Most of us consider our homes a sacred and protected place. It’s here that we enjoy the company of our family and friends. The invasion of our homes by pests such as fleas is a battle we all have to face. For most people, their pets are part of the family. For this reason, it is imperative that we keep pests such as fleas out of our homes and yards. These pests are parasites that feed off of the blood of our pets. But can fleas survive on human blood? Fleas can survive off of human blood. But in order to reproduce, fleas must feed off their preferred host.
Fleas will survive in any way they need to. A cat flea prefers to feed off of a cat. A dog fully prefers to feed off of a dog. These insects thrive on the host that they prefer. But in situations where they can’t find what they need, they can make do by biting another animal. This could mean a person such as you or I, or an animal such as a squirrel or a rat. These fleas require certain proteins found in their preferred host’s blood and cannot move through their life cycle without that. That means that a meal from another species is for survival only.
The lifecycle of a flea starts at the egg. These tiny eggs are about half a millimeter in diameter, oval shaped and white. They are not usually seen by the human eye. These eggs are usually laid either in the fur of the host, or of their bedding. They can lay dormant for a long period of time, but once it senses the vibration and heat of a host it will hatch usually about it a week after being laid.
A larva will emerge from a hatched egg. This larva will feed on dead skin, hair follicles and the droppings of adult fleas. The droppings of adult fleas will have a small amount of leftover blood in them. This nourishment is important to the development of the flea. From here they were pupate, or get into a cocoon like state. They will wait in a pupa state until they sense a host near. They will then exit their cocoon as a fully mature adult. These adults will mate and lay eggs upon the host and bedding. The cycle continues.
FLEA TRANSMITTED DISEASES
Fleas feed upon their hosts using sucking mouth parts. They will pierce the skin of their host and then draw blood out. In the process they will inject a small amount of saliva, and some blood will be regurgitated back into the host. This creates a situation where a disease could be transmitted from the flea back into the host. When a flea bites a human, transmission can also occur. Diseases such as the bubonic plague, typhus fever and cat scratch fever can be passed from insect a human.
Host animals can also be infected with diseases from flea bites. Anemia and dermatitis can be caused by flea infestation’s on your pets. In some cases, your pet will try to scratch by biting its own skin. Sometimes they will consume a flea. If the flea is infected with tapeworm, this can infect your dog or cat with tapeworm. This is a very dangerous disease that must be treated by a veterinarian. The best prevention is to keep your pets free of fleas. An experienced Oklahoma pest control company can help.
THE ROLE OF YOUR VETERINARIAN
It’s important to keep your veterinarian in the loop when treating fleas. Veterinarians have many different options when treating fleas on dogs and cats. But this intervention must be coordinated with a good Oklahoma exterminator. If you only treat your home and yard for fleas, fleas could survive on your pets. If you only treat your pets for fleas and not your home and yard, then fleas could survive in their bedding or elsewhere in your home.
A good veterinarian will also be able to identify if any flea born diseases have been passed to your pet. When these diseases are caught early enough, they are easily treatable. By keeping down the number of fleas on your pet, you also lower your chances of being bitten by fleas yourself. This also lowers the chance that you will come down with a flea born disease for humans.
REDUCE THE SPREAD OF FLEAS
There are things that you can do in your home that will keep fleas to a minimum. First of all, vacuum often. The vibration from vacuum cleaners can fool pupated fleas into coming out of the cocoon and being sucked up by the vacuum. Vacuum cleaners can also suck up eggs and adults. Fleas do not survive the trip through the vacuum cleaner. A HEPA filter vacuum is the best way to go, but if you only have a normal vacuum cleaner, this will be better than nothing. Contact your Tulsa exterminator for more information.
Cleanliness is next to godliness. It’s a good idea to shampoo your pets often. Also, trips to the veterinarian or grooming shop can allow your dog to be dipped. Keeping the house picked up is a good way to keep from allowing fleas to lay eggs all over the place. Also keep pet bedding clean. Their bedding is some of the most commonly used places of fleas, especially flea eggs.
ELIMINATING FLEAS FROM YOUR HOME
Treating your home and yard for fleas can be a daunting task. If you’ve already instituted the help of a veterinarian, then it’s time to get contact with a good Tulsa pest control company. Here at TemMax Pest Control, we are ready and able to give you a free estimate. We are very well versed in issues surrounding fleas and your pets. Servicing the greater Tulsa area, we help people in Jenks, Bixby, Owasso, Broken Arrow, Sapulpa, Coweta, Claremore, Sand Springs, Catoosa, Pratville and much more. Call us today! We are here to help!