It is never fun to discover fleas in the house. Fleas leave bites on the skin, and those bites can itch like crazy. If you've ever had flea bites, you're probably nodding as you read this because you know how true this is. Flea bites are really itchy. But that itch is not the worst problem fleas bring into our Tulsa-area homes.
Fleas are vectors for diseases and parasites. The most noteworthy disease is bubonic plague, which is still very much a threat in our present time. This disease comes with serious symptoms and can lead to human mortality.
When fleas are exposed to rats, they can contract murine typhus. This is a bacterial disease, which is usually caused by two types of bacteria: Rickettsia typhi and Rickettsia prowazekii. This disease is most common in the southern United States and, in particular, California and Texas.
For cat owners, cat scratch disease can be a concern. According to the CDC, around 40 percent of cats get this disease at some point during their life. When they do, they may only get a fever. But symptoms may be more serious, symptoms such as vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, swollen lymph nodes, and red eyes. In an unusual case that was covered by many news outlets, a woman in Ohio woke up one morning with blindness in one eye. Doctors were baffled until the woman told them about the symptoms her cat was having. They were then able to trace the illness to B. henselae, the bacteria that causes cat scratch fever. She had gotten it from her infected cat licking her eye.
Tapeworm is a parasitic flatworm, which can live in the intestines of a human or pet. When animals chew on fleas to get them off, they can consume this parasite with the flea. Children sometimes get tapeworm when they accidentally eat a flea, due to close contact with a pet.
Flea bites can sometimes produce a red rash with tiny red bites that have a dark red halo, and this rash can become inflamed when you scratch it. If you scratch too much, it can lead to open wounds and a bacterial skin infection that might require steroids or antibiotics to heal. When fleas bite your dog or cat, it can cause serious dermatological issues, which can lead to distress for your pet and a loss of hair from excessive scratching.
Fleas can be extraordinarily difficult to get rid of because they multiply fast. A flea can live for around 100 days. During its short life, it can produce 400 to 500 offspring. This can leave homeowners exasperated as they attempt to use DIY-flea solutions to get rid of them.
When fleas appear, you may be able to control them with the following tips:
Vacuum rugs, floors, furniture and surfaces where pets sleep, eat, or sit. This will help you suck up eggs, larvae, and adult fleas in these locations. When you're done, dispose of the bag outside.
Wash pet and human bedding in hot water and dry it in the drier. Repeat this once a week until your infestation is resolved.
Use a steam cleaner to steam and shampoo your rugs and furniture.
Get veterinarian-prescribed flea products to get rid of fleas on your pets and make them unusable as a host.
On the outside of your home, keep your lawn trimmed and the area around your foundation perimeter clear to make your home less inviting to rodents and wildlife that bring fleas into your yard and into your home.
If an infestation is small, this may be enough to solve your problem. But, for larger infestation, or a flea infestation that is linked to a rodent infestation, it is best to contact a licensed professional. Professionals know what products to use and how to apply them in a systematic way to ensure the elimination of fleas.
There are many serious issues that can come with having a flea infestation in your home. For expert assistance in Tulsa and the surrounding area, let Montgomery Exterminating help. To learn more about our residential pest control solutions, give us a call today!