Expert Flea Exterminator Houston
In general, fleas like many different types of environments. While they can live in a variety of areas, Houston, Texas makes an ideal home.
This is because fleas thrive in moist humid areas, although they prefer a shady area and like to avoid direct sunlight. Fleas tend to flourish where there are pets, tall grass or wooded areas, and in the spring and summer.
Once you have fleas in your home, they can become very hard to deal with. Most homeowners attempt on their own with over the counter pesticides. However, these only target the adults. In a short time, the eggs hatch and you have another infestation. This cycle will usually repeat until a professional is called to help.
If you’ve noticed your pets scratching more or you have actually seen fleas in your house, give us a call right away. We can help you get in front of the flea problem before it gets out of hand. We also guarantee all services!
It’s important to understand how fleas work in order to completely get rid of these pests. For example, the fleas you can see on your pet or that you may have biting you are adult fleas.
The troubling fact is that those adult fleas are only 5% of the population with pupae making up 10%, larvae are 35% and eggs are a whopping 50% of a flea infestation’s population.
They have a relatively flexible life span that will depend on how often it can get a meal. In ideal conditions, a flea can live up to a year and a half, but on average they live about 3 months under normal conditions.
Appearance and Behavior
Fleas can look different depending on the species, but generally, they range in the spectrum of brown to black and are about one-eighth of an inch. Despite their size, they can jump an average of a foot in a single leap. The ideal home for fleas is one with pets, carpeted floors, and moderate room temperature climate and above.
Fleas and Their Origin
The scientific name for fleas is Siphonaptera which is a rough translation from Latin meaning “a wingless sucker”. There are over 2,500 species of flea in the world. In the United States alone, there are at least 325 different species of fleas you can find in different parts of the country. Flea fossils have been found dating back to the Mesozoic era and have literally plagued the planet ever since.
Reproduction: Life Cycle
Fleas go through a total of 4 stages, however, the time limit these stages occur will vary from one flea to the next and is totally dependent on the environment it’s in. All fleas start as eggs, hatch into flea larva, grow into a pupa, and finally mature into the adult fleas in that order. Female adult fleas can lay anywhere between 10-50 eggs daily.
Eggs are typically laid on your pet which will then fall onto your pet’s bedding, your floor, or yard. After 1 to 10 days, these eggs will hatch into the larva which will last another 5 to 11 days.
The pupa stage takes about 5 to 9 days for them to spin their cocoons which is the hardest state to kill fleas in. The larva stage is their most vulnerable. The pupa stage can range from just a few days to 6 months or more depending on the environment they’re in.
Fleas are found mostly on fur-bearing animals such as cats, dogs, raccoons, opossums, deer, coyotes, foxes, bobcats, etc. Some of the most common fleas you can find in the U.S. are:
- human flea
- northern rat flea
- sticktight flea
- European flea
- squirrel flea
- oriental flea
While some species have a hostname in their title, they often don’t stick to just one type of host. For example, human flea species can also be found on birds and cat fleas are the most common type that is found on both cats and dogs that cause the infestation in your home.
Diseases from Fleas
As if fleas aren’t a nuisance enough, they can also spread disease. In most cases, you’ll typically have a burning or intense itch where a flea is biting due to the anticoagulant in their saliva that helps keep your blood flowing so they can feed longer. At any point, that flea could be infected with cat scratch fever, Murine typhus, tularemia (rabbit fever), or the infamous bubonic plague.
Dependable Flea Treatment
There are a variety of flea treatments some people like to try themselves, but in the end, do-it-yourself treatments aren’t very effective at all. Your best option is to have a professional pest exterminator evaluate the home and situation to determine the best method of treatment as well as what areas need it the most. It’s often recommended not to try alternative methods because it can also interfere with the service you’re getting from a professional.
How Do We Do It?
Step 1: Pre-treatment
There are several steps you can take to making your yard less flea friendly. Mowing your grass means they will have less area to latch onto and removing any debris or clutter from your yard will help eliminate hiding places as well. For the inside, be sure to sweep, mop, and vacuum on a daily basis. When it comes to vacuuming, it’s highly recommended that the vacuum is taken outside, dumped into a bag or airtight container, and tied or closed and then thrown away. Otherwise, there’s a risk the fleas will find their way out of the vacuum and back into your carpet or furniture.
Step 2: Low-Impact Treatments
After a technician has treated those selected areas that have the most issues, the treatment will not be absorbed into any type of organic material such as your pets or people.
Step 3: Monitoring
It’s common to see more fleas after your first treatment. This occurs because the treated areas are no longer suitable for them so they begin leaving those areas. Fleas will begin to die off about 3 weeks after treatment. In some cases, those with severe flea infestations may need n additional treatment.
Step 4: Flea Prevention and Control
Even after you no longer have fleas, you should continue to clean floors, mow your lawn often, and keep your pet on a flea preventative. Areas such as Houston are at higher risk due to the climate. Keeping up on these tasks as if you still had fleas will help prevent them from returning and make it much harder for any that try to survive.
Do you provide free estimates for flea control services? Yes.
In Houston, when are fleas active the most? Fleas are most active in the spring and summer.
Why do fleas feed on animals more than humans? Fleas prefer animals due to their fur being much easier to live in and feed on.
Do cat fleas target other animals too? Absolutely. Cat fleas will choose a variety of hosts from dogs and birds to humans.
How bad is it to have fleas at my home? Fleas pose a health risk to both you and your pets and the earlier you can treat them, the better and easier the entire process will be.
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