Fleas are blood-sucking insects that parasitize warm-blooded animals and humans. Like cockroaches or bedbugs, fleas have bothered people and pets since the beginning of time. The pets themselves infest the home with these small bloodsucking insects.
There are about 2,000 different species of fleas in the world. Each species is adapted to its host, that is, the host whose blood they will feed on and on his body to reproduce.
The most common flea species are as follows:
- cat fleas;
- rat fleas;
- dog fleas.
But this does not mean that the cat flea will not bite a person, but on the contrary, will gladly drink human blood.
Where do fleas come from at home and how to get rid of them?
Fleas in the apartment turn out in different ways. In the vast majority of cases, pets – dogs and cats – bring fleas into the apartment. Even an escaped hamster or rat can return home with fleas if the front door of the house is dirty and the basement doors are open.
The main ways fleas spread:
- Outdoor pet contact with stray animals. Contact with other pets that are already infested with fleas. Most fleas that live in large cities do not care whether the food source is a cat or a dog, so they are easily transmitted from dogs to cats and vice versa.
- Backyard lawns in the summer. During the warm season, fleas actively reproduce and lay eggs, which often get into the grass together with the hair or by contact with grass or shrubs, where they are picked up by uninfected animals – on their paws or fur they bring them home.
- House basements. Warm and damp basements where rats, mice, stray cats, homeless people, and basement fleas live. If you don’t pay proper attention to house cleanliness, the fleas will successfully spread into the entryway, and then by their own route, in the hair of animals, on people’s clothes will get into apartments.
Lifetime of a common flea
Fleas, like many parasitic insects, live a short but bright life. These small insects live about three months in ideal conditions.
When a harsh time arrives – a drop in temperature or lack of food – they are able to hibernate for several months. When conditions normalize, the fleas activate and begin to greedily drink the blood of their victim.
Where do fleas hide in the apartment
Many people mistakenly believe that fleas settle on their prey, such as a cat or dog, this is not true. Fleas do not live in packs and do not form nests, but as free-hunters attack their prey to quench their bloodlust, after which they hide in hiding places.
However, the appearance of just a few fleas in the apartment is enough, and very soon its inhabitants will not play around. Fleas multiply very quickly, and since they have no clearly defined nest, the insects spread out. Due to their ability to jump quickly and far, the whole apartment becomes a dwelling place for these parasites.
If cats or dogs live in the apartment, they lay their eggs right in their thick fur after the next feeding. Sticky flea eggs at first reliably stick to the hair, but then the slime dries up and the eggs fall to the floor in the apartment, and you can’t predict where it will happen.
The main places to look for fleas in an infested apartment are:
- The floor and all adjacent surfaces up to one and a half meters high;
- Behind baseboards, in cracks and crevices, behind wallpaper that comes off underneath;
- Bedding, carpets and other favorite resting places of pets;
- In cases where fleas have become abundant in the apartment – beds, sofas and bedding.
Unsanitary and untidy living conditions only exacerbate the problem and give fleas every chance to successfully survive and multiply in the room with the capture of new territories – neighbors.
What are the signs of fleas in the house
To determine for sure the appearance of fleas in the apartment and not to confuse them, for example, with bed bugs, you should check the apartment for the most obvious signs.
- Scabies and unusual behavior of the pet – anxiety, irritability of the cat or dog.
- Appeared inflammation on the skin, similar to allergies or insect bites, especially if it is on the legs.
- Have noticed small black spots on the floor or furniture, which move in sharp jumps.
If at least one of the above signs is clearly expressed, the next step is to determine the extent of the infestation in the apartment. A thorough examination of the animal and its bedding, combing out the hair on a white sheet will help. White sheets of paper on the floor.
When a large population of fleas is detected in the apartment, a simple wet cleaning with dichlorvos will not do, and a full-fledged flea extermination will have to be arranged.
What are the dangers of fleas to humans?
Fleas in the apartment eventually lead to unpleasant consequences, and unpleasant bites are only a small fraction of how things can turn out.
- The enzyme in the flea’s saliva not only causes swelling of the bite site, it’s unpleasant itching and can take a long time to heal. It can also cause infection to enter the wound. Moreover, complications in the form of severe allergic reactions are possible.
- The possibility of contracting one of the diseases transmitted by fleas is great. Fleas can transmit more than 25 diseases to humans, including bubonic plague, typhus, encephalitis, and hepatitis. Fleas also spread worm larvae and are intermediate hosts for parasitic worms such as nematodes.
- Poor pet health with possible complications, including worm infestations. Constant itching from bites makes animals nervous. The pain is excruciating. A variety of skin diseases are possible, treatment for which will also give the animals anguish.
Extermination of fleas in the home
If you find one or two fleas in an apartment without pets, you can get rid of them with the help of folk methods. Fleas cannot stand pungent smells, most often wormwood or Persian tansy leaves, pine sawdust or wood shavings, salt and soda mixture or turpentine will do. The main thing is to bear these smells firmly and patiently by yourself or leave your apartment for a couple of days.
However, from a large colony of fleas in an apartment or house folk remedies will not help, will need professional flea extermination with modern drugs.
Flea disinfestation gives you instant results. Due to the small size of insects and their activity at any time of the day, the action of the preparation leads to the rapid extermination of all individuals in the fog-treated room.
Extermination of fleas in the apartment, house or basement is carried out with special equipment that allows obtaining an instant result. Modern certified preparations for the extermination of fleas will not leave the parasites a chance, without causing any harm to children and pets.
Do not expose yourself and your family to the risk of catching diseases transmitted by parasites, do not suffer the discomfort of flea bites – they will not leave your house.
Call a specialist! Learn more: Local Resources for Bed Bug Assistance