You and your family took the dog and headed straight out of dodge for a much-needed vacation. Upon your return, you open the door, expecting to settle in and enjoy a little peace and quiet. You take off your shoes, wiggle your toes in the carpet and notice something strange: Tiny brown specks are hopping out from the carpet, onto your legs and you’re starting to itch. You have fleas and you need to act fast. Without any walking, warm-blooded food trucks arounds, these little creatures were busy breeding and now they’re ravenous. Fleas come in droves and they’re persistent. Once they take root in your home, it’s never long before you experience a full-blown infestation.

Chances are, you or one of your animals inadvertently were host to a hitchhiker. Fleas are notorious for hopping onto warm-blooded animals and hitching an uninvited ride. They are most likely to nestle into the fur of a dog or cat, but humans have also been guilty of bringing fleas into the home.

What Do Fleas Look Like?

Fleas are itty bitty, wingless parasites. Their bodies are shiny and reddish brown. They are covered in tiny hairs, detectable only with a microscope, which allow for unhindered movement through animal fur. Adult fleas can grow up to 3.2 mm and are relatively easy to spot on a white surface or beneath the fur of a pet.

While they cannot fly, fleas are (relative to size) one of the best jumpers of all known animals. They can jump up to 7 inches vertically and 13 inches horizontally.

However, although they don’t bite (yet), the biggest threat to your home and comfort are the eggs and larvae of fleas. Until you’ve eliminated the source, you will never be fully rid of the infestation.

Signs and Symptoms of Fleas in Your Home

Besides the obvious copious itching and red, irritated bites, there are a few clear signs that fleas have taken over your home.

Non-coffee drinkers have a pretty good chance at spotting fleas. If there’s no reason for there to be coffee grounds in your house and you start spotting little black specks on the counter, behind the couch and in your bed, you have a flea problem. “Flea Dirt” is actually the feces of adult fleas and it resembles course ground black pepper, or coffee grounds.

Fleas are a scourge, but they are also a symptom of a potentially greater problem. If you don’t have pets, it is possible that fleas were brought into your home by a mousier mammal host. A professional will be able to tell you if you have a rodent infestation as well as fleas.

Ground Zero for a Flea Infestation

There are a couple places in your house that are considered “Ground Zero” to obsessive flea hunters.

  • Carpeting
  • Upholstered Furniture
  • Between Slats in Wood Floors
  • Dark, Sequestered Spaces
  • Litter Boxes
  • Terrariums with Bedding
  • Pet Beds
  • Pets

Make sure you start to treat your pets for fleas immediately. In addition to spreading diseases, such as Lyme disease and Bartonella, Fleas also contribute to the spread of tapeworms. If your pet has fleas, they may ingest them during grooming and it’s important to get them to a vet as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, these areas can be some of the most difficult to clean, difficult to reach places, which is why it’s important to trust a professional with your flea removal needs.

Pest Control Service for Fleas Versus “Do It Yourself”

For isolated areas, a do it yourself method of flea removal can be quick and cost effective. Fleas are not attached, so vacuuming and sweeping are simple methods to eliminate the issue. Unfortunately, fleas are rarely in an isolated area and they can prove to be far more effective than homeowners anticipate.

“But what about a flea bomb?”

Flea bombs disperse a pesticide, which lands in hard-to-reach places around your home. They do not, however, get in between the fibers of your carpets, which is where eggs and larvae are most likely to hide.

Before you call an exterminator, you’ll want to make the necessary preparations to ensure the treatment is as successful as possible.

  • Wash all pet bedding in hot water or throw it away.
  • Vacuum every nook and cranny of your house, including behind furniture and beneath cushions. The less fleas there are to start, the higher the chances your pest control service will be able to finish them off.
  • Cover any fish tanks or terrariums.
  • Put away or cover any open food and store your dishes and utensils.
  • Remove all pets and be prepared to leave the house for up to five hours.

Call Orkin Today for a Free Quote!

The first step towards a flea-free existence is to prevent them from entering your home in the first place. Orkin provides thorough yard treatments to protect you and your pets from unwelcome guests. If you are already suffering from a flea invasion, do things right the first time. Call Orkin and get those fleas out once and for all!