Our pets are like family to us, but they are also often the residency of tiny pests known as fleas. These unwelcome guests can show up by the hundreds, especially during humid seasons. If carried inside, it won’t be long before they move into your carpets, rugs, and upholstered furniture.
Fleas can lay dormant and unnoticed for months up to a year before they hatch and attach themselves to a host. Even the smallest flea problem can become serious quite quickly, as fleas breed at a rapid pace, some lay between 25-40 eggs per day.
You’ll know when you’ve been bitten by fleas, as they often bite around the legs and ankles in a pattern of two to three bites in a row. You will feel the bites as soon as they occur; if bad enough, they can cause soreness for up to a week. Some fleas cause allergic reactions while others can transmit tapeworm. In extremely rare cases, some fleas carry deadly diseases. To prevent these pests from intruding your humble abode, take these simple steps as a precautionary method:
- Wash and inspect your pets on a regular basis using a flea comb.
- Wash your pet’s bedding each week at a temperature above 50 degrees; this will kill any existing fleas and eggs.
- Vacuum your floors, drapes, and upholstered furniture weekly; don’t forget the cracks and crevices in floorboards, as fleas love a good hiding space.
- Take your rugs and pet’s bedding outside and shake or beat them; this will cause the fleas and eggs to fall off.
- Move your pet’s bedding to an area in your home that doesn’t have carpet, but only if the floor has adequate sealant; if not, gaps will quickly become the new hiding place.
- If you’re moving into a new home that previously housed pets, thoroughly inspect the carpeting and flooring for the presence of eggs or fleas.