WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FLEA CONTROL SERVICES
Fleas are a total nightmare, they live by feeding on blood from their hosts, which is called hematophagy. Their hosts are either birds or mammals. Fleas are small, blood-sucking, parasitic insects that have reddish-brown bodies and grow about 3 mm long. Their bodies are flattened sideways with long claws on all of their six legs. This body shape of theirs enables them to move through their hosts’ feathers or fur. Though they do not have wings, they are excellent jumpers and that skill enables them to jump from one host to another. They have great legs really designed for jumping – only the froghoppers can jump higher – and mouthparts designed for sucking blood.
Fleas are quick to the draw and can infest your home in a jiffy. Their capacity to transmit diseases makes it very important to eliminate them immediately. Some people think fleas bite only animals, but there can be nothing further from the truth. Humans can also be victims of flea bites. Flea bites are very itchy, and even painful on the skin surrounding the flea bite. Flea bites can also cause a slightly raised bump on the skin. There can also be unsightly and embarrassing hives or rash on the skin near the area of the bite. Another side effect from flea bites is that too much scratching can cause damage to the skin, and a bacterial infection may develop from that. Fleas bites on humans usually resolve by itself. However, no matter how itchy it becomes, avoid scratching it. Infection may occur in doing so.
Some people may develop an allergic reaction to flea bites. Symptoms are dizziness, difficulty breathing, nausea, chest pain, and swelling of the lips or tongue. Consult with a healthcare provider if these symptoms show up.
When you get flea bites, wash the area of the bites with soap and water. You may also try using apple cider vinegar. Choose one that is organic. You can either use a Q tip and dab it gently on the bite site.
Ways we get fleas
When fleas lay eggs, they do so in places frequented by your pets. This could be in the garden, on your carpet, on your pet’s bed, or on the furniture. Worst of all, they can lay their eggs on your bed, if you allow your pets there. Outside your house, they like to stay in shady, protected areas. Because they are very good jumpers, they jump from one host to another; they jump even on humans.
If you have lots of shaded areas and enclosures, wild animals may find these and take shelter during the night. This could introduce fleas to your yard as well as to your pets.
Flea life cycle
The life cycle of a flea has four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. An adult female can lay as much as 40 eggs a day. The flea egg takes two days to hatch. The female adult lays her eggs on her host, but usually falls over and can be found in different parts of the house. After the eggs hatch, it becomes a larva. They are tiny and look like worms. This stage lasts for 5 days. It then gets into a cocoon, until they sense a host and then they emerge as adult fleas.
A fully developed flea will only emerge from the cocoon once it has a host it can jump on. A female flea, once it had its first blood meal, can lay eggs after 1 to 2 days of that meal. The whole cycle would then begin with another batch of females laying their eggs.
Before I call the professionals, are there DIY control measures I can apply for fleas?
If you are the type of person who likes to do things yourself or just do not feel like calling the pros just yet, there are certainly ways to eliminate fleas yourself. Here are some tips to get rid of fleas:
- Use your vacuum cleaner for your carpets, rugs, and furniture regularly. Set it to the highest setting, and the brush to its most powerful. After vacuuming, throw away the bag as it may contain the pupae. Dispose of it accordingly.
- Sweep the wooden floors and tiles. Keep your house clean.
- Wash your pet’s bedding regularly. Wash it with hot, soapy water. This will kill the fleas.
- Use a flea comb. This can be an effective way to remove fleas from your dog or cat. Bring with you a cup of soapy water, and do this outside the house, then use your flea comb on your pet outside the house. Dip the fleas into the soapy water to drown them.
- Make use of a DIY lemon solution. Thinly slice a piece of lemon. Put these slices into a pint of water then boil. Cool after boiling, then put into a spray bottle. Spray the lemon solution around the house. You may also use other citrus fruits like oranges, lime, or grapefruit.
However, if the flea population has become out of control, you may need the services of a pest exterminator.
If the infestation has become heavy, can pest exterminators help me get rid of fleas at home?
The good news is yes, they can! Treatment cannot be confined indoors. If you have a backyard that has lots of shaded areas or enclosures, these should be treated too. The pros will have to assess the extent of the infestation by checking your house and inspecting it. A good exterminator will make treatment plans that are based on your personal circumstances and preferences. They will either offer heat treatment or chemical treatment.
Chemical treatment – Chemical treatments are applied using a spray or fogger. It uses a chemical product that contains pesticides as the main active ingredient. The spray disperses the product in a fine mist which would then settle on the exposed areas of your house. This would form a residue which would stay there for weeks and this would kill all adult fleas as well as the larvae too. This kind of treatment kills the adults and also stops the development of the larvae. This would stop the flea life reproductive life cycle. It does not kill the eggs, but the effects last long enough until the eggs hatch, effectively killing the new fleas.
Heat treatment – This treatment does not use chemicals and is the more popular method because it is more natural. This is done by heating the affected areas to 50 degrees C for a prolonged period of time. This would kill adults and their eggs without the use of chemicals. The advantage of heat treatment over chemical treatment is that it kills adult fleas, larvae, and the eggs in one day. However, unlike in chemical treatments, this cannot be used to kill fleas in a large area because it works only in a small area.
Preparing for flea control service in your home
After calling your flea exterminator, there will be things that you are going to have to do before they start things up. For one, you may have to prepare to leave your home. Your pest exterminator would not want you around while they do their work. It would take only about 3 to 5 hours, though, so you would not have to worry about being away for days. A few hours would be enough to let the pesticide settle and you can then return home. Of course, do not leave your pets behind. Make sure they are treated for fleas before you allow them to return.
Before you leave, clean up your house. Vacuum carpets, sweep and mop the floors, and wipe down all surfaces. Pesticides will settle better and evenly in a cleaner surroundings. Food products and kitchen utensils should be covered and stored.
Once you get home, open the doors and windows to allow it to air out and to properly ventilate your house. If you are itching to clean the house, wait until after two weeks. The treatment will work properly if given more time. This would take care of the newly hatched fleas.
Choosing the best pest control management in the Carolinas
Finding the best pest control management in Carolinas is important if you want to completely eradicate fleas in your home safely and efficiently. For their pest control needs, people from North and South Carolina trust only one name: Go-Forth Pest Control.
Go-Forth Pest Control is a family-owned pest control company that uses only state of the art equipment and methods that are family friendly and pet-friendly so that your family’s safety is assured. We have gained expert experience in exterminating pests like fleas, cockroaches, wasps, weevils, mosquitoes, mice, flies, termites, ants, and spiders over the years. You may check us on Facebook or Google us to see what our satisfied customers have to say about us.
Go-Forth Pest Control has earned the trust of residents and businesses in North Carolina for more than 50 years. For more information, or to set an appointment, just dial 336-841-6111. Our friendly operators are standing by.