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Fleas: They really do suck...blood!

Fleas can carry the plague bacteria and transmit it to humans. When there is an outbreak of the plague it often kills large numbers of rodents which forces the bloodthirsty, plague-infected fleas to gravitate toward humans. The plague isn’t just a disease of the past but we are fortunate to live in an age where antibiotics and good sanitation keep plague deaths to a minimum.

Fleas typically inhabit the fur or feathers of host animals. The fleas body is smooth and thin which makes it easy for them to move freely between pieces of fur on their hosts. The fleas straw-shaped beak enables it to pierce skin and siphon blood from the host. It remains tucked under its belly and between its legs when not in use. An adult flea may take as many as 15 blood meals per day. Flea poop is essentially dried blood residue. The flea larvae feed on this waste when they hatch.

These pests don’t fly but they can propel themselves a full 12 inches forward and upward. That’s a jumping distance equal to roughly 150 times its own height. Fleas multiply quickly once they’ve found a good host animal. A single adult flea can lay 50 eggs per day if it is well fed and in its short life span can produce 2000 eggs. Fleas lay their eggs on their animal host but aren’t particularly sticky, so they mostly roll off your pet and land in his dog bed or on the carpet.

People often wonder how their pets manage to get fleas when they are not in contact with other pets. Fleas thrive in damp, grassy areas, along ponds or in the shade of bushes or trees. Squirrels, rodents, raccoons, deer and feral cats can carry fleas into the yard putting your pet in danger of a mighty flea infestation.

Here are some tips to prevent flea infestations:

  • Clean and vacuum frequently

  • Keep your yard clean of garbage and pet droppings

  • Protect pets by giving them baths, give them monthly flea and tick treatments

  • Visit with your vet if you notice your pet scratching

If you have a severe flea infestation you can call the pest professionals at Xtreme Weed & Pest Solutions and we can come and treat your home and yard.

A flea free home and pet is a happy home and a happy pet.

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