All The Ways Fleas Can Get Into Tucson Homes
June 15, 2021
Anyone who’s ever owned a cat or a dog knows all about fleas. These pests are infamous for setting up shop in pets’ fur, sometimes breeding, laying eggs, and living their whole lives on their animal hosts. What’s less common knowledge is that fleas bite people too. While it’s true fleas don’t normally live on their human hosts, they do still feed on us – and people are especially likely to be bitten by fleas if they have animals around. Even if you don’t have pets, you’re still not totally safe from fleas. There’s more than one way to wind up with an infestation of these hopping parasites. Let’s talk about how to avoid just that.
How To Spot A Flea
Fleas are small, but despite some misinformation floating around on the grapevine, they’re not microscopic. Rather, they might appear as a bouncing black spec that’s about the size of a pinhead. If you look up close at a flea, you’ll see a dark-colored, segmented body that gets fatter at the abdomen. Fleas also have a set of powerful back legs that make them able to leap like Superman. In fact, fleas are one of the best jumpers on Earth, able to leap up to 200 times their own body length. That would be like a 6-foot-tall human leaping 1,200 feet in a single bound. This astonishing talent for the Long Jump makes it easy for fleas to find new hosts.
Far from being just annoying, fleas can spread a few dangerous diseases. In fact, they were one of the primary vectors responsible for the spread of the Black Death throughout Europe during the Middle Ages. Nowadays, it’s rare for someone to die of the plague, but fleas can still spread it by biting multiple hosts. Fleas can also spread typhus, tularemia, and cat scratch fever. Fleas can bring cat scratch disease to your pet cat after biting a stray cat that has it. This opens up the door for your cat to give this illness to you.
With all the nastiness fleas bring with them, it’s safe to say you probably don’t want them around. Naturally, keeping all your pets on effective flea and tick medication is the best way to prevent a flea infestation on your property. Other methods include:
- Treat wildlife problems – Other pests like squirrels, opossums, rats, and raccoons can bring a breeding population of fleas onto your property. Getting rid of them can help stave off infestation.
- Protect pets- If you don’t want to keep your animals on a chemical flea preventative, it’s important to bathe them and brush them regularly, as well as limit their contact with other animals that could have fleas.
- Trim bushes and trees back that could provide shelter both to fleas and the wildlife vectors that carry them. Keep your lawn as short as possible.
- Use natural repellants like cedar chips. Fleas hate the smell of cedar, so spreading dried cedar chips in places pets frequent can help cut down on fleas.
- Introduce nematodes to your property. Nematodes are microscopic worms that prey on fleas’ larvae. You can get them in spray form and spray potentially problematic areas.
If you find yourself with a flea problem despite these measures, help is just a click or call away. Here at Pest Friends, we might have a friendly name, but pests sure don’t want us as an enemy. We offer modern, eco-friendly treatments that can eliminate flea populations on your property, no matter their size. We also provide commercial pest control for Tucson businesses.