Many of us have furry family members, and these family members are susceptible to pests that can fill both our lives and theirs with frustration. The plain and simple fact is that fleas thrive in many of the environments found in Texas. Like most insects, they prefer cool and moist environments, and, although they will typically die out once humidity levels drop below 50% and temps rise above 95°, for most of the year in most parts of Texas, fleas will have a place to exist comfortably. Fleas can be one of the most frustrating pests to get under control, but, with proper prevention and treatment, you can ensure neither you nor your pet will have to worry about these blood-sucking bugs. Fleas are mobile, hard to see, and harder to kill. With their catapult like hind legs, these hitchhikers like to jump from one host to another, with a vertical of up to 7” and the ability to leap over a foot at a time. This would be like one of us hopping from one end of a football field to another, touching the lights above the stadium as we went. 

These little pests rack up huge costs—with Americans spending upwards of $9 billion a year to manage their influence on our lives. These six legged blood fiends are found on many mammals and can transfer diseases much like their parasitic counterparts, the tick and mosquito. Although they typically won’t make a habit of staying on humans, they can bite and cause irritation when handling animals that fleas have made a home of. One of the best ways to prevent fleas involves sanitation and home hygiene, changing pet bedding as often as we change our own, and vacuuming thoroughly can help prevent fleas from spreading and larvae from being able to feed. Another important step is treating pets with preventative flea and tick medications, eradicating new fleas before they have a chance to spread. If you find fleas on your pets, the first step is to give them a bath and go over their fur with a flea comb. Dish soaps such as Dawn are strong enough to kill most fleas, while being safe for most animals. Make sure to focus on the areas around their face and neck, as well as the base of the tail. Once you know your pet is flea free, you can consult a veterinarian about the best preventative course of action.

Sometimes prevention and pet care isn’t enough. Fleas can permeate entire properties, to the point of them becoming inhospitable to humans and four legged creatures alike. There are several low toxicity treatments available for your home and property for when fleas start to run rampant, and there are several ways we can help make sure fleas stay away from the people and pets you love most. Feel free to reach out to us here at 855Bugs. We’d be happy to explore options like our Don’t Bug Me Plan with you during a free inspection.

 

**Photo courtesy of Olha Schedrina / The Natural History Museumhttp://data.nhm.ac.uk/object/c11c05ab-189f-4a19-826f-873bbd04b3c6