Flea Identification & Prevention

What are fleas?

Fleas are wingless insects with hard flattened bodies that are reddish-brown, and the hard shell that covers them makes them very difficult to squish despite their small size. They have large back legs, which provide them with exceptional jumping ability and make them difficult to catch, and their specialized mouthpart allows them to bite through the skin of their host so they can feed on their blood. Their flattened body enables them to move with ease through the fur of their animal hosts. Blood is the sole food source for fleas. They prefer to feed on animal blood, including cats, dogs, mice, rats, squirrels, chipmunks, skunks, raccoons, and more. If people are all that are available or in the case of a large infestation, they will also feed on our blood.

a flea on human skin

Are fleas dangerous?

Fleas feed on blood, but unlike other biting insects, don’t pose significant health risks to people. The spread of diseases by fleas in the United States is not a considerable threat. However, fleas do act as intermediate hosts to parasitic tapeworms that they can spread to both people and pets. You should always keep them out of your yard and home.

In addition, flea bites are very itchy and may lead to a secondary infection caused by excessive scratching. Pets that are allergic to their saliva develop a flea allergy dermatitis that is very uncomfortable and may lead to hair loss and open wounds due to excessive scratching.

Why do I have a flea problem?

Despite their small size, fleas are resilient insects that are very difficult to eliminate and control. When rodents and other wild animals decide to live, travel across, or feed in our yards, they introduce the fleas living within their fur onto our properties.

The warm weather found in Florida throughout most of the year allows these tiny insects to thrive. Once they make their way into your yard or house, they quickly become frustrating pests to deal with and are not easy to eliminate without the help of a professional.

Where will I find fleas?

Fleas prefer temperatures between 70 and 90 degrees and live outside, hiding in damp, dark areas, usually under vegetation or debris. Leaf piles, shrubbery, woodpiles, and spaces under decks are typical hangouts for fleas. Inside, fleas that are not living on a host hide in rugs, upholstered furniture, and in bedding.

Fleas mostly live outside on the backs of animals. However, they are also a common indoor pest, finding their way into homes:

  • On the backs of rodents that have moved inside to nest.
  • On things like used rugs and upholstered furniture.
  • On the backs of our pets.
  • After jumping onto the clothing of you or your family members.

How do I get rid of fleas?

At Green Flag Services, we understand that fleas are a nuisance and difficult to control and eliminate. If you are having problems with fleas on your property, reach out to us today. We can provide you with the flea control services needed to eliminate fleas and prevent them from returning.

If you need help removing fleas or other pests from your DeLand, Daytona Beach, Port Orange, Baldwin Park, Lake Nona, or Lake Mary, FL, residential or commercial property, call Green Flag Services today!

How can I prevent fleas in the future?

Don’t allow fleas to take over your home and yard. Partner with the professionals at Green Flag Services and put into place the following easy to implement prevention tips:

  • Remove food sources like bird feeders and open trash cans that could attract flea-covered rodents and other wild animals to your property.
  • Trim back grass, weeds, and dense shrubbery from the foundation of your home.
  • Get rid of leaf piles, brush piles, and excess woodpiles from your property that can provide fleas with damp, dark areas to hide.
  • Regularly vacuum your home, especially where pets spend most of their time.
  • Routinely wash your pet’s bedding.
  • If possible, try to keep pets off of upholstered furniture and your bed.
  • If you allow pets on your bed, make sure to wash your bedding often.
  • Place your pets on a year-round flea control program under the guidance of their veterinarian.
  • Regularly groom and bathe your pets, inspecting them for fleas in the process.
 

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