With over 300 species found in the United States, fleas are one of the most common pests in American households. Despite this, many homeowners tend to downplay the dangers of an infestation, probably because they think fleas only affect pets. Not only can homes without pets get fleas, but these dangerous pests are a health threat to humans as well as animals.

At only 1/10 of an inch in length, these pests can jump up to 200 times their body length with their long and strong back legs. The three types of fleas that homeowners should be most worried about are cat fleas, dog fleas, and rat fleas. These three species have only slight variations between them. From the side, they are shaped like a comma and colored reddish-brown.

a puppy scratching at fleas
a flea on a dog

Flea Warning Signs & Dangers

Often, the first sign of an infestation is an itchy, scratching pet. If left alone long enough, this can turn to hair loss and red, inflamed skin. As fleas can easily pass from host to host, another sign might be bites on the ankle for human residents of the household.

When an infestation grows, more severe warning signs such as pale gums may be present in your pet. Flea dirt may also be present on their fur but also around the home and on the carpet. Flea dirt is reddish-brown and may be easier to detect on a white, wet paper towel. Other signs might include flea eggs in the carpet or fleas themselves that jump up and latch onto pants or socks when you walk through the room. In a carpet-free home, flea eggs might be present between floorboards, behind couches, and on pet beds and toys.

Despite how common they are, fleas are not harmless. Along with the discomfort they can cause you and your pet, they can also spread life-threatening diseases. Since the 14th century, fleas have been a vector of the bubonic plague. Additionally, fleas can spread typhus, and infecting animals can aid in the spread of cat scratch disease and tapeworms.

Flea Prevention Tips

Fleas can come indoors accidentally and begin to thrive almost immediately. Still, proper sanitation and running through some maintenance checklists may prevent you from ever seeing a flea in your home. To keep these plague-carrying pests out of your home, try these prevention methods:

  • Don’t walk your pet through tall grass. Check them thoroughly after walks, or bath them immediately upon returning home from a walk.

  • Wash pet beds and toys regularly.

  • Sweep, vacuum, and sanitize often. Make sure to include chairs and sofas, and regularly wash your sheets.

  • Keep your lawn well-trimmed and don’t overwater.

  • Remove any debris from your yard, especially humid breeding places like leaf piles.

One major aspect of keeping fleas out of your home is keeping flea-carrying pests out of your home. Therefore, general pest prevention methods are important to keep these critters out as well. General pest prevention methods include:

  • Keep indoor and outdoor trash sealed and sanitized weekly. Keep outdoor trash far away from the home and indoor trash regularly taken out.

  • Don’t keep dirty dishes in the sink, sanitize surfaces, and don’t let food or sticky spills sit out, indoors or out.

  • Vacuum regularly and de-clutter. Make sure any storage boxes are sealable plastic, not cardboard.

  • Store food in glass or metal containers and immediately deal with any food spills in the cabinet.

  • Don’t let standing water accumulate around the home. Deal with any leaks or landscaping issues that allow water to collect.

  • Keep woodpiles at least twenty feet away from your home, and don’t leave other easy hiding places nearby, such as old tires, bushes, debris, and yard decorations.

  • Seal cracks and crevices around the outside of your home with silicon-based caulk or steel wool.

Fleas are a common problem, but that doesn’t make them any less dangerous. While these pest prevention methods can help, the most effective means of keeping your home flea-free is yet to come.

The Best Form Of Flea Protection: Prewett Pest Control & Termite

Not all flea-prevention methods are built alike, so it’s a good idea to collaborate with your vet and Prewett Pest Control & Termite to safely and effectively prevent a flea infestation in your home. With several pest control plans to choose from, there’s a level of protection that’s right for you. No matter the plan you choose, you have our 100% satisfaction guarantee that means if you see a pest return between visits, we will come back to deal with it free of charge.

With heightened levels of protection, you get added benefits like mosquito and tick protection, termite treatment, and warranties. For a flea-free Auburn home and protection against over 30 different pests, call Prewett Pest Control & Termite today.


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