For anyone with animals that spend time outdoors, fleas are a real concern. A flea is a tiny, nearly invisible insects that are attracted to mostly dogs and cats. While there are collars and topical treatments that work to keep your pet flea-free, it’s still possible for them to travel from your pet’s fur to your home.
What Do Fleas Look Like?
- Vary between black and brownish-black in color.
- Around 1/8” long.
- Small mouths with sucking parts.
- Developed legs for jumping, with the potential for a 5-6 inch vertical jump (that’s like an average person jumping the Leaning Tower of Pisa from the ground!).
Can Humans Get Fleas?
Humans are susceptible to this pest as much as their fur friends are. If an infested animal is in a home, flea eggs can fall on areas like flooring, bedding or clothing; there, they are undetected, and hatch a few weeks afterwards. They are most likely to make a home in a humans scalp and hair.
What Do Fleas Do?
The female needs blood in order to carry out their pregnancy, so they’re prone to biting, which can cause irritation. Scratching is common, which can leave your skin raw and open to infection. Because fleas bite, there is also a small risk of transmission of blood borne diseases, though very unlikely.
How to Kill Fleas?
This pest is not easy to get rid of! First, isolate the animal with the infestation and get it under control. It will take consistent treatments, usually a mix of baths with medicated shampoos and brushing, to manage and eventually remove the presence of fleas. This can take weeks, so consistency is important!
Once an infestation is discovered, immediately clean your home, especially in the places your pet sleep. Infested clothing and bedding should be washed with hot, soapy water as soon as possible. The home should be vacuumed from top to bottom, including baseboards and moldings; remember, fleas and their eggs are nearly invisible, so it’s important to be thorough. Next, consider having a pest control company treat your home. The quicker your house is cleaned and protected, the better the chance they won’t reach you and your family. If your fur friend keeps getting flea infestations, consider getting your yard treated to reduce their presence.
Bloom Editor Danielle Schneider
Bloom Writer Leah Iannacone