Dog FleaIt is estimated that 70-80 million dogs and 74-96 million cats are owned in the United States. While pets are man’s best friend, they can also bring major headaches in the form of fleas.

Fleas are not just a general nuisance; they can be a major health hazard for you and your pets by transmitting diseases such as Murine Typhus, Dog Tapeworm and the Plague. There are many species of fleas in the world, but their differences are mainly relegated to their meal preferences.

Fleas typically measure 1/8 inch in length, making them difficult to spot until you have a major problem. Their bodies are laterally flattened, wingless and brownish- black to black in color. They thrive in warm (55-95°F), relatively humid (45-95%) environments and are primarily blood feeders. Female fleas lay 4-8 eggs after every blood meal and can lie between 400-500 eggs during their lifetime, which is about a year. These eggs are deposited, not fixed, between the hairs of their host and can be easily shaken off of your pet while walking or itching. Fleas are frequently found in cracks and crevices where pets frequent or sleep.

Flea larvae hatch about two days after being laid and usually reach maturity in about 2 weeks. If the humidity dips below or rises above their ideal condition range, larvae will either die or fail to develop. During their last development stage before adulthood, flea larvae wrap themselves in a solid cocoon which is impervious to pesticides. These larvae will then wait until they are stimulated by an outside force (mechanical depression of cocoon, temperature increase or vibrations). Then, they will emerge wreaking havoc to your peace of mind. You may think your house is safe since your animal never goes outside, but don’t be fooled! Fleas can jump up to 6 inches and easily attach themselves to your shoes or pant legs and infest your home.

IF YOU SEE A FLEA IN YOUR HOME, call Accurate Termite & Pest Control immediately. Using store-bought flea sprays or bombs will only make your problem worse. Next, take every precaution to seal around your house to prevent wild animals from entering. If you don’t, your flea problem can continue to be reintroduced long after treatments have been completed. Also, have your pets professionally treated for fleas since they are the most likely host for fleas; their treatment should be priority number one. Lastly, prepare your home for treatment by removing all items off of floors. Be aware, any items left on floors could have fleas or their eggs underneath, and our technician will need full access to floors for treatment. Vacuum all upholstered furniture, especially areas your pet may rest or sleep, and thoroughly clean all areas your pet frequents including pathways they commonly walk. After treatment, vacuum every inch of your floor multiple times per day to remove all flea eggs. Remember, flea larvae in cocoons are immune to pesticide. If you don’t vacuum, fleas will emerge soon after treatment. Your pets are your best friends; don’t let them get eaten by fleas. Call Accurate Termite & Pest Control TODAY!

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