Fleas are insects with hard, brown bodies that are covered with tiny hairs. Their bodies are flattened from side to side so they can move through the hair of their host easily. They are very small creatures, usually no more than 1/6 inch in length. They feed on blood, living on the bodies of their hosts and laying eggs while the host is asleep. They can infiltrate your home in a number of ways, including through raccoons, opossums, and other wild animals that your pets may come into contact with. From the pets, fleas can transfer to you, your family, and your possessions. They generally split their time between living on the host and moving about floors, paths, and furniture. If you are worried about fleas, there are a few tactics you can use to try to prevent them from coming in.
The first step is to properly detect the fleas. If you have pets that are constantly scratching, and you notice black spots around their bedding, it is very likely you have a flea infestation. The black spots are signs of eggs and dried blood. Constant bites also indicate a flea problem. Flea bites are small, red bumps that do not swell as much as mosquito bites. If none of these signs are showing, you may not have a flea infestation.
Since fleas target pets and animals quite often, getting your pets properly treated is a huge step to preventing the entry of fleas into your home. Your veterinarian will be able to recommend the proper flea treatment for your pet, and they can be very effective. While you are treating your pet, be sure to give it frequent baths, as many fleas will be killed and you do not want them to linger in your pet’s fur. After treating your pet, you will also want to treat your home.
Care in the Home
Frequent vacuuming is a great way to remove quite a few fleas without too much effort, as they tend to wander around the floor when they are not attached to a host. You will also want to thoroughly wash any and all fabrics in your home, including bed sheets and blankets, pet beds, and clothing. If your flea problem is more serious, you will want to get the services of a professional exterminator to help you out.