What To Do About Fleas In Tampa

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One of the frustrating things in life is knowing that you have a problem but cannot see what is causing the issue. For example, your car makes a weird sound, but you don't know the cause. Your frustration worsens when your mechanic cannot determine what is wrong with the vehicle. 

You can have the same experience when fleas get into your house. Bites appear on your body, but you are unclear about the source. Do you have fleas, bed bugs, or something else in your home? In this article, we give the information you need to determine if fleas are inside your home and what you can do to prevent a future infestation. However, ending the flea invasion requires flea control in the Tampa area from Haskell Termite & Pest Control.

For over 30 years, our company has removed fleas from homes throughout the Tampa area. After ten years in the pest control industry, Bob Haskell began his company to provide high-quality pest control service. Today, our service technicians have 100 years of combined experience, and we have become the largest fumigation company on the West Florida coast. Although our CTE-certified company has grown immensely, we maintain our local roots by sponsoring little league and children's hockey teams. 

Now that you know a little about our story, keep reading to glean the information you need to determine if you have fleas inside your home and what you can do about it.

How To Tell If It's Fleas In Your Home

Since fleas are not the only home invaders that bite people, how do you determine if they are in your home? Investigate your house for these signs of fleas:

  • Fleas
  • Flea dirt
  • Flea eggs
  • Flea larvae
  • Bites
  • Excessive scratching

Keep reading as we examine each of these signs in detail. 

Fleas are minuscule insects with six legs, a three-part body, and two antennae. The distinguishing feature of these insects is their large hind legs that enable them to leap eight inches vertically, or about 150 times their height. Cat and dog fleas are the two types of fleas that invade homes; however, cat fleas are the most prominent of the two species. Dog and cat fleas have a 1/8-inch flat dark brown to black body that becomes reddish black after consuming a blood meal.

Where do you search for these offending insects? Pets are the first place to investigate for fleas. The reason is that fleas have backward-facing bristles that allow them to navigate pet fur. Use a fine-toothed comb and begin your search near the base of the tail. Continue searching around the stomach, underarms, groin, and behind the ears. Because fleas like to hide in warm, protected locations on animals, pay attention to the inner legs and folds of skin. Another place to search for fleas is pet bedding and the surrounding carpet. 

Flea dirt is dried, previously consumed blood. Fleas expel this fecal matter, which resembles dried coffee grounds or pepper when they feed and move around on the pet. On the animal, search for flea dirt at the base of the tail, fold of skin, and behind the ears. To confirm what you find is flea dirt and not soil, use a dampened paper towel and rub the specks. It is flea dirt if it creates a reddish-brown smudge. 

Adult fleas are visible to the naked eye, but finding flea eggs requires a magnifying glass. Fleas produce four to eight eggs after each blood meal. If the flea is on the animal, it deposits them in the hairs; however, they often fall off onto nearby bedding, carpeting, or cracks and crevices. Cat and dog flea eggs are oval, white, and about 1/64 inches long.

Fleas hatch from eggs in two to 14 days, depending on the temperature and moisture. After hatching, the larvae feed on nearby flea dirt as they progress through their growth phases until they reach the pupae stage. At this juncture, they spin cocoons, where they live for four days or up to a year. The mature fleas emerge when they detect a nearby host. 

Bites are another sign of fleas in the house. Fleas pierce your skin to draw blood using a mouthpart called a proboscis. As it removes blood from your body, it injects an anticoagulant and anesthetic. Your body registers these agents as allergens and dispatches histamines. The histamines cause itching, redness, and swelling at the wound site. The red, itchy bites occur more often around the ankles, legs, and feet in humans. 

Pets with fleas often scratch or bite at their fur excessively because flea bites cause skin irritation. Over time, excessive scratching and biting can cause skin infections in the animal. 

If you see these signs in your home or on your pet, you need help from Haskell Termite & Pest Control. Our trained service technicians know the indicators of a flea infestation and how to stop the fleas from ruining your day. 

Why Having Fleas In Your Home Is A Health Risk

Fleas are ectoparasites that feed on blood but remain outside of the host. Unlike mosquitoes, which travel from host to host, fleas remain on their host throughout their lifetime unless dislodged. Fleas infest not only dogs and cats, but they feed on rodents (rats and mice) and other wildlife. Rodents consume rotting plant and animal matter in warm, moist locations like sewers, drains, trash, compost piles, and around animal feces. As a result, rodents consume bacteria, viruses, parasitic worms, and other disease-causing pathogens. 

When fleas jump onto infected rodents and feed on their blood, they consume the infectious organism in the rodent's blood. As long as the flea remains on the rodent, that is not a problem for humans, but they often become dislodged when the rodent bumps against objects in the dark. When a pet of a human walks near the now homeless flea, it jumps onto its new host and feeds. If infected with disease-causing organisms, it can spread the pathogens to its host as it injects its saliva.

Murine typhus, tungiasis, tularemia, and bartonellosis are flea diseases that can spread to humans. In pets, they can transmit tapeworms and cause anemia. Haskell Termite & Pest Control can protect your family from flea-borne diseases by removing them from your Tampa home.

Some Household Items That Will Deter Fleas

You need Haskell Termite & Pest Control to end a current flea infestation; however, you can use these household items to discourage fleas from entering or staying in your home:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Vinegar
  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Peppermint
  • Salt

These items work because fleas do not like the smells. You can distribute these things in many ways. You can mix citrus juices or vinegar with water to create a spray and apply it to pet bedding, carpets, and furniture. Use lavender oils in a diffuser or place sachets of dried lavender around the house.; you can do the same with rosemary and peppermint. Sprinkling salt on your carpet will dehydrate fleas. Be sure to vacuum the salted area after 24 hours. 

Although these items will help achieve long-term flea prevention,they will not end the current flea infestation in your house because they do not disrupt their life cycle.

However, flea pest control service from Haskell Termite & Pest Control combined with sweeping the house regularly, washing pet bedding materials frequently, and suctioning out cracks and crevices is the best way to enjoy freedom from fleas.

Professional Tick Control Services: Stress-Free And Effective

We will dispatch a trained, experienced service technician to inspect your home. We will investigate how fleas enter your house, attractants, and hot spots. Using the information you provide and our investigation, we will create a strategic treatment plan that addresses the interior and exterior of the home. 

Fleas are so problematic in our subtropical climate that we offer a specialized flea removal service. We begin by treating hot spots inside the home to eliminate the current adult flea population. We also treat around the house to quell the flea population in the yard.

While you will notice a significant reduction in the flea population inside your home after the initial treatment, eradicating fleas takes work. The problem is that the cocoons of flea larvae protect them against treatments. Since flea pupae emerge from their cocoons after four days, we will return to treat your Tampa home ten days later to destroy nearly emerging larvae. After an additional ten days, we return to eradicate the remaining emerging pupae, disrupting their life cycle and thus ending the infestation. 

To give you peace of mind, our flea removal service comes with a 30-day warranty. For ongoing protection, we offer treatment plans. With those plans, we return every quarter to reinforce the barrier around the home. Because pest control is not a one-size-fits-all, we use many different treatment methods and products. These products eliminate fleas and eradicate other pests in the yard and house. 

Contact Haskell Termite & Pest Control today to learn about our flea treatment service warranty and to get a free quote.