What are Fleas?
Fleas are small, wingless parasites that feed on blood. They appear flat, dark, and reddish-brown in color and are about 1/12”-1/6” in size.
Fleas do not have the ability to fly, but they can jump. Fleas can jump as high as 8” vertically, which is 150 times their own height.
The most common flea is the cat flea, which prefers feeding on human, cats and dogs.
What Is the Source?
Fleas are attracted to and can live on any warm-blooded animal, but seem to prefer humans, dogs, cats, rats and other rodents.
Don’t own a pet? Sometimes wild animals, such as mice, squirrels, raccoons, rabbits, etc., can cause a flea infestation in your home. Mice definitely lead this list as they are numerous and find access to your home much easier than most other animals.
In some cases even a previously removed animal can leave behind fleas. This will cause the fleas to search out a new host to feed on.
What are the Risks?
When fleas populate a mouse colony, disease can become a very deep concern, the worst disease on record being the bubonic plague. They also transmit the bacterial disease murine typhus to humans through infected rats. Flea bites cause itchy and painful red bumps. Fleas saliva can cause allergic reactions in humans and pets and can also transfer tapeworms and cause anemia in pets.
Flea Prevention Tips:
Search the perimeter of your home in fall with a mirror, looking at the bottom side of your siding for any openings where animals or rodents may be entering your home. Seal any openings you find.
Some burrowing animals can make nests under decks or concrete slabs on homes without basements. Walk the perimeter of your home looking for freshly dug dirt and use a flashlight and search under the deck. A good prevention tip is to use chicken wire behind lattice to create a decorative “rat wall” to keep these critters out of these areas.
Keep your home clean and vacuum regularly.
Keep your yard clear of garbage and pet droppings.
Protect your pets by regular bathing and see your vet for annual check-ups and for advice on flea products and prevention.
Contact a licensed professional pest management specialist for assistance.
Safeway Pest Management technicians are knowledgeable and trained to treat fleas. Call Safeway Pest Management at our Muskego office at 262-679-4422, our Oconomowoc office at 262-354-3444 or toll free at 800-956-0800 or visit us on the web at http://www.safewaypest.net