Contrary to popular belief, fleas are attracted to more animals than just your furry pet. They’re known to bite humans, too. Similar to mosquitos, fleas feed off their host’s blood, and while they’re traditionally known to target animals – especially dogs and cats – flea bites for humans are more common than you think.
Fleas might be small in size, but a bite from this wingless insect can cause major irritation, and sometimes lead to a serious reaction. The best way to avoid potential problems is to adopt and carry out preventative measures before they make their way into your home and onto your body.
Here are a few ways to prevent fleas from biting you and your loved ones at home.
Inspect Your Furry Friends
The most common way fleas enter your home is via your pet. And once inside, they reproduce at rapid speeds; in their life cycle, females can lay up to 2,000 eggs in her lifetime.
To minimize fleas, check your pet for signs of fleas before your dog or cat comes back inside your home. Scan your animal for flea droppings (also called flea dirt), which look like small, dark brown or black specks, using the naked eye, or by using a flea comb to spot them.
Preventative products for your animals like spot treatments, flea shampoos, sprays, powders, and collars are very effective and easy to use. While some treatments may require weekly applications, others can be applied just once a month.
Take special notice if your pet begins to scratch itself more than usual, too, as this is a sure sign of fleas.
Keep A Tidy Home
While fleas might enter your home via your pets, there are methods you can adopt to lessen your chances of an infestation, even if one does sneak through the back door.
Since fleas don’t have wings, they get around by jumping from host to host, or other objects in between. To remove any jumping pets, vacuum your carpets, rugs, and couches two-three times a week. This will eliminate any eggs that might be present.
Wash your pet’s blankets or bed cushions weekly, making sure your washer is set to the hottest temperature possible, and spray and adult flea killer inside kennels and around your backyard a few times a month. And be sure to keep your grass cut short, as fleas prefer tall grass for shade.
Do this throughout the year. Many people assume that fleas are more prevalent during the summer due to hotter temperatures. And while that is true, heated homes offer a haven for fleas in the colder, winter months.
Treat Your Bites
Unlike mosquito bites, flea bites remain small. Fleas tend to target a person’s feet and legs, and bites typically appear in groups of three or four and often in a straight line. Though most people can’t tell that they’ve been bitten immediately after, the bite will begin to itch sometime later. If you notice any of these patterns, don’t fret. There are ways to treat the bites before they become too irritated.
For starters, avoid scratching the bites, as doing so can often lead to bleeding and sometimes infection. To stop the itching, place a cold compress on the bite and use a cream or lotion to reduce swelling. You can also take anti-inflammatory medications as well after consulting with your doctor.
Other natural home remedies that can help reduce the swelling and relieve itchiness include lavender oil, used tea bags, lemon juice, and baking soda.
Your Neighborhood Experts
Despite precautionary measures, there are still ways fleas can make it into your home. Luckily, our team at ABC Home & Commercial has the knowledge and ability to treat and eliminate any infestation you may have. Our experts can administer necessary treatments your home needs to ensure you, your family, and your pets, remain flea-free all year long.