Are Fleas Just a Problem for My Pets in Western Massachusetts?
With over 2,500 species of fleas across the world and around 300 in the United States, Massachusetts homeowners are most likely to encounter cat fleas around their properties. Unfortunately, these fleas aren’t always easy to spot – as adults, cat fleas only grow up to 2 ½ millimeters in length with dark brown, red, or even yellow coloring.
As small as they are, cat fleas can cause a lot of damage – these pests love to feast on your pets and family, and they’re capable of consuming up to fifteen times their body weight in blood on a daily basis. Despite the name, cat fleas aren’t picky about their hosts. While they may love feeding on your feline, they won’t hesitate to take a bite out of your other pets, or even you.
Fortunately, flea infestations are treatable. Here’s what you should know about how and where flea infestations start, what you can do to prevent them on your property, and steps you should take if you’ve got an active infestation.
Where Do Fleas Come From And How Do Flea Infestations Start In Western Massachusetts?
While flea infestations may seem like they pop out of nowhere, these pests don’t just appear out of thin air. Most of the time, flea infestations start outside. Fleas like to spend their time in shady areas, like long grass or overgrown bushes, while they wait for their next meal to pass by. Since they can go as long as three months without having a blood meal, fleas are patient. They can also be a problem even if they haven’t infested your pet yet.
Once a host, usually your pet, has passed by their hiding spot, fleas will use their powerful hind legs to hop onto the animal and get inside your home. Fleas like to nestle into your pet’s fur in places where they can’t easily bite or scratch them away, like under their abdomen, the back of the neck, or behind their legs.
In some cases, fleas may even use humans as a host. They can do this by jumping onto the end of your pant legs or other clothing.
After they’ve made it into your home, a couple of fleas can quickly turn into an out-of-control infestation. A single female flea can produce up to 2,000 eggs in her lifetime, and the longer the infestation goes untreated, the bigger it becomes.
Fleas may even lay their eggs directly on your pets, however, some eggs are bound to fall and hatch on your carpet, furniture, or other crevices in your home.
Keep in mind that while it’s common for flea infestations to start with a pet, people who don’t own pets can still be at risk for fleas. It’s possible for guests who have animals to bring a flea infestation into your home or for fleas to infest wildlife hosts around your property and then make their way inside.
How To Prevent Fleas In Western Massachusetts
Whether you’re a pet owner or not, there are a couple of steps you can take to reduce the chances of a flea infestation in your home:
Be careful about walking your pets in shady areas or tall grasses where fleas may be hiding.
Make sure you use flea treatments on pets you have throughout the entire year, not just during the summer.
Seal outdoor trash cans and garbage bins that may attract infested wildlife hosts.
Regularly mow your lawn and trim your bushes.
Vacuum your home on a regular basis to get rid of flea eggs and larvae that may be nestled in your carpet or furniture.
Do a deep clean of your home regularly to clean areas where fleas may lay their eggs, like couch cushions, baseboards, or under furniture.
Wash pet bedding and other clothing that could house fleas.
Anyone who's ever suffered a flea infestation can tell you that the benefits of preventing fleas make each of these steps worthwhile endeavor.
The Most Effective Form Of Flea Control In Western Massachusetts
Even if you take the above steps, it’s not always enough to completely prevent an infestation, especially if you’ve got an existing flea problem in your yard. The most effective form of flea control for your Western Massachusetts property is one that involves professionals, like those of us at American Pest Solutions.
If your pets regularly deal with fleas or you’re noticing signs of an infestation around your home, you don’t want to wait and let it spiral out of control – contact us at American Pest Solutions today to learn more about what we can do to help.