Mere mention of fleas and people start to squirm and itch. Although they’re usually associated with pets, did you know that your home or even YOU could have fleas? A Five Star Termite & Pest Control has prepared a list of just some of the ways to help you identify and prevent a flea infestation.
How Long Do Flea Bites Last on Humans?
Fleas don’t have wings, only powerful legs that help them to jump about 8 inches vertically and 14 to 16 inches horizontally onto their hosts. They are attracted to body heat, exhaled carbon dioxide and movement. More movement, more problems. They prefer a nonhuman host to feed but if humans are most abundant then human blood is what’s on the menu. Flea bites look like small, raised red bumps that itch much like mosquito bites. You should avoid scratching to prevent the spread of infection. Use ice packs or a number of different Aloe Vera based lotions, creams or even gels to help relieve the itching, redness and inflammation that cause the itch. Flea bites typically take a few weeks to fully heal but it can take longer if the person is highly sensitive.
Flea Eggs VS Dandruff; What Color Are Flea Eggs?
The female flea can lay about 30 eggs per day. So a single female can lay anywhere from two to four hundred eggs. And those eggs do not remain on the host but instead drop off in your pet’s bed, your carpet or say maybe Fido is taking a nap on your couch while you’re away, then they will be found in the upholstery. Flea eggs often are mistaken, if seen at all, for table salt or dandruff. They can be white or transparent. For every one flea you see on you or your pet, there are 10 eggs, seven larvae and two cocoons somewhere in your home. That ratio and the fact that they prefer carpet or the cracks and crevices of your furniture to hide makes them even harder to spot and get rid of. It only takes one flea to continue the problem.
What to Do if You Have Fleas in Your House
Here are some tips to keep fleas from taking over your home.
• Sweeping, mopping, dusting and just generally keeping high traffic areas, especially areas where your pet frequents clean, are a must daily as the eggs fall off the host as it moves.
• All affected pets should be bathed, treated and removed from your home for 4 to 6 hours.
• Wash all sheets, blankets and pillows that your pets may have been in contact with.
Where Do Fleas Come From? And What About if You Don’t Have Pets?
Though you may think that, because your pet stays close to home or even in the house most of the time, they’ll be safe from an infestation. Truth is fleas are very clever when it comes to finding their next food source. Fleas love the dark, quiet areas of your yard that your pets often lay in while outside to stay cool. The problem is other animals. The squirrels, raccoons, feral cats and other such flea carriers that may visit your yard. The more visitors you have the more likely you are to have an infestation. No matter how hard you try to keep them out they’ll carry those pests with them. It’s recommended that you don’t leave out food for these animals. Even water left out for your pet when its outside could be seen as an invitation. Humans too can be transportation for these blood suckers. Your human guests could be introducing these unwanted guests into your home by unknowingly bringing them from their own home. Fleas hitch a ride on pants, socks, legs or shoes and shoe laces.
Plants that Repel Fleas
Fleas are more likely to be a problem in warmer months. Usually between Spring and Autumn but here at A Five Star Termite & Pest Control, we are still getting calls now in November! Before you have a full blown problem there are ways to naturally try to prevent fleas from invading your home. Such as anti flea landscaping. There are plants proven to repel fleas. Here are a few:
• Thyme – can be grown in shaded areas where fleas love to hang out outdoors and indoors to help prevent infestations.
• Neen – used for centuries as an insect repellant. The leaves of this tree can be boiled and used as an after shampoo rinse for your pet.
• Sage – toxic to fleas and other parasites in high doses this is great to have around your home.
• Basil – easily planted indoors in a window or outdoors the herbs’ 100% essential oil can be applied topically. The leaves also expel a compound into the air that can help keep your home and garden free of the insects.
• Peppermint – the oil derived from this plant protects against flea bites.
These four plants are also effective and safe for your pets.
• Catnip – proven more effective than DEET (commonly found in insect repellents). You can crush it and rub it on your animal or allow your cat to rub themselves on the bushes.
• Chamomile – used to help prevent fleas this plant, commonly thought to be used only for tea, is safe for keeping fleas off pets and improve the health of surrounding plants.
• Lavender – this tall, beautiful plant smells great to us but not to fleas.
• Rosemary – used as a natural repellent. Rosemary oil is used in many products to repel fleas on pets.