Flea Pest Control AustinFleas create a lot of concern with customers. The idea of a flea infestation is definitely disturbing, but more information about fleas can help calm concerns and help you know what you’re up against.

Why Do Fleas Bite Me?

Fleas require blood to survive. Fleas become an issue to homeowners most commonly when a dog or a cat gets them and, untreated, they start to really reproduce. Occasionally fleas can become a household problem due to wild animals particularly those that get under a deck or into an open storage area.

Either way, fleas do not live on humans but can bite humans especially if no animals are nearby, or there is a particularly bad amount of fleas in or around your home.

There are various types of fleas but all fleas typically live on dogs, cats, birds, rodents and other animals with hair or fur. It provides protection near a food source. On a human, the short hair does not hide them and any longer duration stay is definitely discovered by the person and the flea removed.

I Don’t Have a Pet. Why Do I Have Fleas?

Not all of the flea problems in Austin are from pets being in the home. Other reasons fleas appear are:

– people taking in stray cats or dogs temporarily without which also brings in fleas.
– fleas coming into the home from a wild animal or roaming dog or cat that brought fleas under a deck or under a pier and beam foundation.
– pets brought over by friends or family on vacation or holidays.

Where Are The Fleas In My House

If you own a pet and have fleas that are biting you also, don’t EVER remove the pet from the home in order to “get rid of fleas.” You’ll actually get bitten more often because without the pet there the fleas will look for a food source and now you are it.

Pet bedding is often a location where fleas are found. They lay eggs on your dog or cat but those eggs fall off, roll off or get scratched off and generally end up where the dog sits or lies down the most.

The result is a crate, bed, sofa, chair or anywhere else your pet spends time is now a flea nursery.

The flea eggs hatch primarily on heat and vibration and other senses that a host is approaching, so if your pet is not there, or if there is an infestation, fleas will hatch when you approach, sit down near them or walk around where they are located.

Fleas can be in the yard, again typically where the dog or pet rests most often.

How Do I Get Rid of Fleas?

Treat fleas on your pet using standard pet flea treatments or in coordination with your veterinarian. Just remember to not remove the pet from the home. Also keep in mind that fleas on pets are not unusual. We often get calls from concerned homeowners because their pet has some fleas. That can happen. It doesn’t mean that your home is infested or that you have to immediately get your home treated.

You can first monitor your environment first and see if there is cause for concern. One simple way to tell is to walk around the home in white socks with light colored pants tucked into them. If you have a significant flea issue they will jump up onto your pants and you can see them as small pepper sized flecks slowly moving up the leg. Similarly this can be done outdoors wearing sandals and white socks/pants for example.

If you do have a flea issue or are getting bit repeatedly there are some do it yourself steps you can take:

  1. If your home is primarily wood or tile flooring, vacuuming and mopping are your best methods to remove fleas. Wash and dry and pet bedding in hot cycles and then vacuum and mop daily. You can reduce the frequency of vacuuming and mopping after a few days but continue for a week or two and re-assess. The vacuuming and mopping on hard floors is an effective way to remove all stages of the flea life cycle including adult flea, egg, larva and pupa.
  2. You can launder smaller low pile carpets and blankets and rugs particularly if the pet used them or would rest on or near them.
  3. For carpeted areas beneath sofas, under cushions and around pet crates and bedding, boric acid is an excellent natural approach as it is pervasive when pushed down into the carpet fibers. Boric acid will kill flea larvae and interrupt the life cycle so that immature fleas do not turn into adults.
  4. For outdoor grass/turf areas beneficial nematodes are a great non-toxic solution that also kills flea larvae. They are sprayed onto a wet lawn when it is not too hot or sunny outside, and if kept wet for about three days after they will live in the soil and kill flea larvae.

If you need help with flea control application and professional flea extermination you can call us at 512-443-0123 or fill out our pest control quote form.

We also have a more detailed article about the flea life cycle here.