What do fleas look like?

Fleas are flightless brown insects that measure about 3mm in length, although their eggs are quite a bit smaller. Due to their small stature, these pests can be quite difficult to see on your pet, or in your home. It is often helpful to use a bright flashlight and a magnifying glass when checking for fleas or flea eggs on your pets and in your home. One may notice fleas when they are jumping from one surface to another, as they can spring a considerable distance in one leap.

flea on the pet of a san antonio texas resident

Are fleas dangerous?

Fleas are one of the most common parasites that affect our pets. While their bites can be irritatingly itchy, they are also known to spread secondary parasitic infections, such as tapeworms, to our pets. Fleas have also been known to spread bacterial infections such as Bartonella henselae, more commonly known as cat scratch fever. Some pets and people may also develop an allergic reaction to flea bites over time.

How did I get fleas?

Fleas can be introduced to the home in several ways, the most common carrier being your pets. If you commonly take your dog for walks through grassy or wooded areas, it has almost certainly been exposed at one time or another. Fleas can jump from pet to pet, so it’s important to check your animal after playing with other dogs or cats. Fleas may be carried into your home with other invasive pests such as rodents like mice, rats, and squirrels. If you suspect that you have a rodent infestation, it’s important to look for this secondary infestation, as well. Finally, fleas can be brought into the home by way of upholstered or fabric items like blankets and dog beds.

How do I get rid of fleas?

If you suspect that you have a flea infestation, it’s best to schedule an appointment with a professional to evaluate the severity of the situation. Flea infestations can be difficult to treat, as fleas can lay up to 2,000 eggs during their lifetime, and they may live as long as a year. Luckily, Family offers both outdoor and indoor flea and tick control that eliminates these biting pests where they breed and rest.

Does Family have any flea prevention tips?

As seasons change, or on a biannual basis, we recommend inspecting the outside of your home for ways in which flea carriers, such as rodents, can enter.

Here are a few more flea prevention tips that may help:

  • Make sure that any visible cracks and gaps leading inside your home are filled or repaired.
  • Inside the home, apply regular flea treatments and use vigilance.
  • If you have pets, it’s a good idea to consult your veterinarian about a flea prevention treatment that is right for your pet.
  • Almost every pet owner experiences a flea problem at one time or another, but developing a cleaning routine that includes your pet’s bed and other areas where they rest throughout the home, can be helpful.
  • Fleas don’t often travel far from their hosts, so vacuuming bedding and carpets on a regular basis can be effective ways to stop an infestation before it starts.

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