Everything you need to know about pests
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What are fleas?
Fleas are small and wingless insects about 1/10 inch long. They are covered with hair and are in a compressed condition so that they can move through animal fur. They are parasites that feed by drawing blood from the host. Fleas prefer to feed on hairy animals such as dogs, cats, squirrels, rats and mice. Although they don't have wings, they can jump long distances. The eggs do not hatch on the host. They hatch in rugs, carpet, bedding and upholstery. The eggs usually hatch within two days.
Fleas in the house
Fleas are brought into the house via a host, an animal. They need the host to survive. If the host, a pet dog for example, is removed from the house, the fleas need to feed on something else like people. The best way to control fleas is to keep them outside. Keeping the animals outside and destroying their habitats outside using flea control products. If there are fleas in the house and the residents and pets leave for a while, when they return you can see them frantically jumping to feed. Adult fleas are easy to see. Larvae on the other hand are more secretive. They are found in places like behind and under furniture, in pets bedding and in cracks and grooves in the floor. Flea eggs laid on a pet fall off and are carried around the house by the pet. Flea eggs make up half the flea population in a house.
What are the signs of fleas?
The most common indication is a scratching pet. People may experience bites leaving itchy bite marks/ Flea feces look like black pepper and may be seen in pet beds, carpets and any where the animal host hangs out. Fleas are not usually found in bedding unless an animal is allowed to sleep in the bed. Eggs and larvae are more likely to be living under the bed or in the bedding of the animal.
Using over the counter products usually does not eliminate the cause of any infestation. It's usually worthwhile to enlist a professional exterminator to do a flea inspection, after which a plan to eliminate the infestation can be made. It may involve eliminating the source animal(s). Bathing and grooming pets. Getting flea control products like collars or other applications to eliminate the fleas on the pet. Using a strong vacuum on rugs and under beds to eliminate the eggs. Flea infestations nee a multifaceted treatment plan. Effective flea control involves both flea control chemicals and physical methods.
There are many flea-borne diseases including the plague, flea-borne typhus, and some rare ones like Bartonellosis and Tungiasis.
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