Fleas are small, wingless, hard-bodied insects that move quickly and are highly prolific. They bite wild animals, domestic pets, and humans. Their bites often cause severe itching, particularly when multiple bites are part of the picture. Fleas have the potential to transmit bacterial infections, disease, and internal parasites. The itching caused by their bites often results in secondary infections and skin damage caused by scratching. Flea infestations that are left untreated quickly spiral out of control, and pet owners should be aware that the visual presence of even one lone flea usually means that there are hundreds, or perhaps even thousands, that you don't see.
Fleas Like It Hot
Fleas can be especially difficult to get rid of during the hottest part of summer because they thrive in high temperatures. Furthermore, they reproduce so quickly during the height of summer that successfully getting their population in check can feel nearly impossible. Although many consumers turn to home remedies and over-the-counter pest control products to combat fleas, these aren't strong enough to stop a fully fledged flea infestation. Each individual female flea lays up to 50 eggs per day, and these eggs wind up distributed all over the home.
Even if your pets live exclusively outdoors, fleas and their eggs easily hitch rides inside on clothing, soles of shoes, towels, and anything else that goes from outdoors into the home interior. Fleas find indoor conditions very comfortable, and colonies quickly develop and begin to multiply. Besides, outdoor pets can suffer greatly from fleas if left untreated, so it's a good idea to take pest control measures for their benefit.
Fleas Bring Disease
The most well-known example of fleas and disease was the outbreak of the bubonic plague during the 14th century that wiped out approximately 60% of population of Europe. Fleas on black rats were carriers of this disease. Although plague cases are relatively rare in modern times, indications exist that this once nearly eradicated disease may be making a comeback. Small outbreaks have been noted in recent years in the American Southwest. Murine typhus is also transmitted by fleas from rodents and seems to be on the rise in southwestern states as well.
Fleas also act as parasite vectors, which results in increased risk of tapeworm and other internal parasite infestations. Certain individuals with allergies may experience respiratory distress if flea feces are inhaled.
Flea Treatment Options
Fleas are best treated before their numbers reach epidemic proportions, but many people wait until the situation becomes unbearable. A common mistake is to treat the pets themselves as well as their bedding when it becomes obvious that intervention is necessary. Although this is a great start, it isn't enough. Successfully winning the war on fleas means treating both the indoor and outdoor home environments in ways designed to kill the insects in every stage of their development. Otherwise, the situation just becomes a vicious cycle.
How We Can Help
Worldwide Pest Control is standing by to help you solve all of your pest control needs, including fleas, ants, roaches, and any other insect pests that are having a negative effect on your quality of life. Please contact us today at your earliest convenience for more information on how to keep your home as pest-free as possible — inside and out.