How Fleas Spread throughout your Home (and what you can do about it)
If you have pets at home, and if pests infesting your home is one of your recurring nightmares, be prepared with your pest control spray, because chances are that you have a flea problem in your home already. Your beloved dog or cat might be a walking fleabag and it’s high time you checked for signs, because it’s not just your pets that fleas like to hitchhike on, but on you and your home too. There are a few ‘Hows’ regarding flea infestations that can be answered to put your mind at ease:
How do fleas get into your home?
If your pet stays outdoors a lot, then there is a higher chance of being exposed to fleas. The thick fur that pets have is what makes an ideal home for fleas, where they can stay hidden and have regular access to fresh blood. Human beings have way too less hair on their bodies for a flea’s liking, and most humans wash themselves too often. As for your carpet, clothes or other convenient places that adult fleas can hide in, the lack of availability of regular blood supply will deter fleas from staying in such areas for long too. While this is true for adult fleas, fleas in other stages of life can live in your home in places other than your pet’s fur coat.
How long can fleas live in your home?
Fleas thrive in warm weather conditions, and die off in cold ones. While fleas living outdoors survive in the summer and freeze to death in the winter, the ones living inside your home have optimal temperature throughout the year and can live longer. The average lifespan of a flea is one hundred days, but living inside a home can extend their lifespan upto a year. Since you have no choice but to keep your home warm in the winter, you are also involuntarily allowing ideal temperature settings to be made for fleas to infest your home.
How can a single flea be a threat?
Fleas work quicker than one might expect. Fleas can, upon finding a host, feed within a few minutes and then breed within 24 hours. The worst part of this is that they can lay up to 50 eggs in a day. All this adds up to the realisation that a single flea, carried into your home by you or your dog, can cause an instant infestation. Therefore it is safe to say that a single flea is a threat.
How can a flea harm you or your pet?
Not everyone can have the same reaction to fleas. Some people, as well as pets, are more sensitive to flea bites than others. A flea bite can be red welts that appear on your skin. While flea bites are more or less harmless for humans, it is an entirely different case for your pet. A flea bite can cause hair loss for your pet in that area. Moreover, your pet might lick, bite or scratch on the irritated area of the flea bite until it becomes raw. In the case of heavy infestation, fleabites can cause anemia. It can also put your kitten or puppy in a critical health condition. Using an organic flea control spray regularly on your pet is necessary in such cases.
How can you prevent fleas from infesting your home?
It is not enough to prevent your pet from leaving your home to prevent flea infestation. It is always better to be safe than sorry, and there are several things you can do to make sure fleas won’t come hopping in, if they haven't already. A clean lifestyle, for your pet and your home, is absolutely necessary if you want to keep fleas away indefinitely. Giving your pet a bath regularly is a great idea to keep him/her healthy and clean in general as well as to prevent fleas from breeding on his/her body. Nobody wants a fleabag in their home after all.
Special care should be taken to vacuum areas of your home where fleas can thrive more than anywhere else, such as carpets, where flea eggs and larvae develop. Apart from carpets, fleas can also live in the cracks between hardwood flooring. So a thorough cleaning of such areas is also recommended.
Fleas can cause harmful diseases to your pet, and is generally a complete nuisance to have inside your home. Taking care to identify a flea infestation and promptly finding a cure are the only things to do in case you suspect that your home is already infested.