Fall is in full swing, and winter is not far behind. While we typically have milder, shorter summers in both Tennessee and Mississippi, the cooler air and shorter days mean fewer mosquito bites and, overall, fewer pests. Despite this, there are a few pesky critters still hanging around that you need to consider. One of these is the dreadful flea. While a flea’s ideal temperature is between 70 and 85 degrees, they often find their way into your home through your furry best friend. The warmth of your home provides fleas with the perfect environment for survival and breeding. These fall flea control tips will help you prevent a flea infestation this winter.
How Do They Get Inside Your Home?
As parasites, fleas like to hitch-hike on the backs of cats and dogs. They are parasites, which means, once aboard their host, otherwise known as your unsuspecting pet, they survive and feed off their blood. Once they find a pet to latch onto, they hold on as long as possible. Female fleas will start laying eggs within 24 to 36 hours laying up to 50 eggs per day for up to three months. They can lay eggs in your carpet, beds, sofas, and various areas of the house where your pet spends most of its time.
After the eggs hatch, they feed on digested blood left behind by adult fleas. In about one or two weeks, the larvae spin a cocoon. This cocoon can last up to a year, waiting for the ideal environment in which to thrive.
Why Are Fleas a Nuisance
Flea infestations can lead to scratching, itching, skin irritations, and infections. There are typically three diseases that fleas can cause in humans. They are:
Murine typhus is rare. Rats are its leading carrier, but cats can come into contact with infected fleas as well. Humans can get infected through flea bites. Symptoms of typhus include headache, fever, nausea, body aches, and a rash on arms and legs. Treatment includes antibiotics, but it’s crucial to catch right away as a delay in treatment can lead to a more serious illness.
Mycoplasma haemofelis is a parasitic bacterial disease that is transmitted from fleas to cats. It has been found in rare cases in humans with compromised immune systems. Treatment for both includes antibiotics.
Tapeworms make themselves at home in the intestines of dogs, cats, and humans. Pets can get tapeworms by swallowing infected fleas, and though it is rare, children may get infected by accidentally swallowing an infected flea as well. Tapeworms are usually treated with medication.
How to Prevent and Control Fleas
Pet owners should take adequate steps to rid their pets, and their homes of these unpleasant creatures and minimize the risk of infestation by carrying out continuous year-round treatment, even in the winter months. While we highly recommend calling in the professionals for flea control, there are a few ways in which you can help to prevent an infestation and combat one.
- Clean and vacuum the area(s) where your pet spends most of its time including where it eats, sleeps and hangs out.
- Wash everything your pet uses, sleeps, and rests on. This includes beds, blankets, sheets, and toys.
- Inspect and treat your pets. Check with your veterinarian on the proper treatment for your pet. Routinely check your pet’s fur for signs of fleas to help prevent future infestations.
Easy Ways to Prevent a Flea Infestation:
Call the Professionals at Lawn Jox
The good news is that over the winter months, the development process of the flea is slowed, making them less active and easier to eliminate. Fall flea control will reduce the flea populations, helping you avoid a winter flea infestation.
Lawn Jox designs and delivers full-scale mosquito, flea, and tick solutions to suit residential or commercial properties of any size. Our professional technicians will customize Lawn Jox’s innovative and effective control services that will deliver results. Call us at 901-Lawn-Jox or send us a message now.