All About Fleas, Terminix

All About Fleas: Get to Know Your Enemy

Adult fleas feed on the blood of warm-blooded mammals and are the archenemy of cats and dogs everywhere. Of the 325 species of fleas in the United States, the most common species is the cat flea. Despite its name, the cat flea is the primary flea that infests both dogs and cats. Because they often afflict domestic animals, fleas are also the scourge of pet owners. They say to know your enemy, so here’s some information to help you get to know the (flea) opposition

Life cycle

Fleas pass through four life stages during metamorphosis: egg, larva, pupa and adult. Female fleas need blood meals for their eggs to develop. The female flea lays 25 to 40 eggs per day on a pet, the pet’s bedding or in cracks in the floor. The eggs laid on a pet fall to the ground and hatch into larvae in about a week. The complete life cycle from egg to adult takes 21 to 28 days. Fleas usually live for two to three months, but they can live for up to a year.


You’ll find flea larvae and pupae in the areas where your pets hang out and sleep — pet beds, carpets, upholstered furniture and your bedding if your pet shares it with you. Likewise, you’ll typically find fleas outside where your pets hang out and sleep as well. You’ll also find them in the moist, shaded soil under shrubs.


Fleas eat 10 to 15 blood meals per day. Adult fleas usually live and feed on one cat or dog, but they may move from one pet to another when the animals play or sleep together. Cat fleas are also one of the hosts of dog tapeworms. Children can get tapeworms if they eat a cat flea.

Flea bites

Although fleas usually bite dogs and cats, they may also bite people. Cat flea bites are very annoying to humans. Chemicals in flea saliva trigger an immune response that causes itching. Human flea bites usually occur on the ankles and calves. Dogs and cats may experience a more severe immune response than humans. Flea bites on pets can cause an allergic reaction called flea bite allergy, characterized by irritation and severe itching. If your pet experiences a flea allergy, consult your veterinarian.

Why are fleas biting me?

Fleas don’t usually move from animals to humans. People get bitten by cat fleas when a hungry adult flea comes out of its cocoon and jumps onto a person walking by. Like mosquitoes and other blood-sucking insects, fleas respond to carbon dioxide when warm-blooded mammals breathe.

How do I protect my family, pets and home from fleas?

Vacuum pet bedding, carpets, floors and upholstered furniture every day for several weeks. Throw away the vacuum cleaner bag after each cleaning so the fleas can’t climb.

Consult your vet

Oral insecticides (capsule or tablet form) either kill the adult fleas or prevent fleas from reproducing, thereby eliminating future flea infestations. Topical insecticide treatments applied between the shoulder blades of your cat or dog kill adult fleas and work for about a month.

Call Terminix®

A Terminix professional can expertly assess the situation and apply the correct treatments to help control the flea population in and around your home.

All About Fleas: Facts, Identification, and Control

All About Fleas: Facts, Identification, and Control

Fleas are literally the worst kinds of nuisances. Although these creatures are visible to the naked eye, it’s harder to catch them than most of us anticipate. Once a flea enters your home, there is no going back. They can reproduce quickly. In a blink of an eye, you will be experiencing a full-on flea infestation. Fleas cause so much grief and frustration not only to pets but to human beings as well.

You can catch them literally anywhere. You can carry it on your clothes or shoes while walking. Your dog can accidentally catch some while playing with other animals or while playing on the grass. As the weather gets warmer, the more likely it is to have a flea problem inside your home.

However, do not be fooled that flea infestation is less likely in the winter than in the summer. Fleas are considered as a winter pest because of their inability to ward off cold outdoors. Indeed, the flea population decrease during the cold months. But these creatures will always find a way to survive even if it means infesting another home. When this happens, you are going to need more than just precaution. You are going to need advanced methods for pest extermination.

If you want an easy way out of your pest problem, call for your local pest exterminator near Huntersville . Getting rid of fire ants can be very tricky because of their aggressive behaviour. For this reason, you are going to need more than just manual pest control. You may need professional help. If you do, contact your local pest exterminator near Mooresville. If you are looking for the best pest control service around you, call Lake Norman Pest Control. This company has been proven to provide top-quality service using safe and environmental-friendly methods for pest control. The best part is, Lake Norman Pest Control offers a basic service plan that covers your entire home eliminating and preventing all kinds of pests including flies, cockroaches, ants, mosquitoes, and many more.

4 Fast Facts about Fleas

To get to know fleas better, here are some fast facts about fleas that you should know.

  1. These creatures feed off of the blood of their hosts. When they move away from the skin, they can live for more than 100 days without feeding. For this reason, fleas can live everywhere inside your house without needing a host for months. Moving your pets away will not get rid of a flea infestation. They can just feed on you whenever they feel hungry.
  2. Did you know that a female flea can consume up to 15 times its own weight? Female fleas grow up so fast and reproduce quickly. The more blood they consume, the more flea eggs they hatch in the future.

Are you at Risk?

Although fleas do not pose as much danger as rats, cockroaches, and mosquitoes, they can still pose nuisances to human beings. They can cause skin irritations that could lead to skin infections, especially among children and infants. According to studies, fleas can also cause respiratory illnesses and complications to humans. Humans may suffer allergic reactions to the secretions of fleas.

Practical Ways to Prevent Fleas

Trust me, you don’t want to have a flea infestation at home. It could cause more harm to your pets and your family as you think. To prevent and control the population of fleas, here are some practical methods to do so.

  • Always conduct a weekly or monthly treatment of your lawn to get rid of any unwanted lawn pests including ticks and fleas. If you do not want to use commercial pesticide, you can always create your own using essential oils. Experts have found that using peppermint oil, lemon oil, cilantro, and neem oil can reduce the number of pests in the lawn. You can also apply some on your dog’s or cat’s coat before they play outside to prevent fleas from latching onto their bodies.
  • Experts also recommend keeping your debris away from the perimeter of your house. Just like cockroaches and rats, fleas love clutters. They hide within these litters and wait for a potential host for food and warmth.
  • Leaving pet food outside can increases your pet’s probability of acquiring fleas. It urges it to go outside more often. When it does, it has no protection over fleas that are waiting for a potential host.

Common Species of Fleas

Cat Fleas

The name “cat flea” is a bit deceiving. Even though it is often associated with cats, they also target other animals such as dogs. Plus, they can target humans! The body of a cat flea is the thinnest among all the flea species. It can move easily among the host’s hair. For this reason, flea combs are not that effective in getting cat fleas. These creatures are always found in carpets as it is their comfortable hiding place and site for laying eggs.

Do not underestimate cat fleas. They can transmit parasites to its host. To identify cat fleas, here are some of its most distinct characteristics. The name is a bit deceiving. Even though these pests are often attached to cats, they may also target dogs, other animals, and humans. The body of a cat flea (like other fleas) is so thin it can move between its host’s hairs. The most common location where cat fleas get comfortable and lay its eggs in the carpet.

  • They are brown to black in color
  • They are characterized as having very narrow bodies with hair.
  • Cat fleas have six long legs that enable them to jump from one host to another
  • Cat fleas are more common in warmer places, especially in the southern United States
  • Experts confirm that they are carriers of the murine typhus that can affect both humans and animals.
  • Luckily, the bacteria can be treated using DIY methods.

The hair on our bodies acts as a cover or a safe haven for these creatures. They are known to bite the legs and feet of their hosts, including underarms and the head. The bites leave a reddish spot surrounded by distinct, reddish halos. Good hygiene will help eliminate if not prevent the existence of human fleas.

The adult human flea is characterized to be 1.5 to 4 millimetres in length. These creatures are characterized as reddish to brown colour. They are commonly found in moist and warm places. This explains their preference for human skin. According to experts, the bite of the human flea can be treated with do-it-yourself methods. All you need is a skin ointment to get rid of the red marks and itch.

However, there are instances where the bite of this flea could lead to an allergic reaction. In worse cases, it causes anaphylactic shock. If you ever get bitten by human fleas, remember to wash the area with warm soap and water. Use an antiseptic solution for treatment. If you experience worse symptoms, consult your doctor.

Rat Flea

According to entomologists, there are two species of rat fleas: the Oriental Rat Fleas and the Northern Rat Fleas. The Oriental fleas are found near coastal areas. The Northern rat fleas are found inside houses and other infrastructures.

These creatures are characterized as light brown to dark brown colour with a 2.5 mm body length. The rat flea can be found in large cities where rat populations are numerous. According to experts, rat fleas are attracted to warmth and moist. They do not limit themselves to the bodies of rats. They can also jump from one host to another, wherever they can feed.

If you got fleas at home, do the necessary procedures for control. Without action, these creatures will cause a greater nuisance.

All About Fleas On Dogs

In Dogs, Pet Healthby Emotional Pet Support Team November 22, 2019 Leave a Comment

Featured Image Source: petcentral.chewy

Only a pet parent knows the pain of seeing their sweetheart catching fleas. These insidious parasites not only suck the blood off the skin of your four-legged ball of fur but also spread in your home, eventually affecting both you and your pooch.

Did you know? According to their size, fleas can jump farther as compared to any other insect. If an average-sized human had the same jumping ability, then they would be able to jump at least 295 feet across and 160 feet high.

When it comes to fleas, the blood-sucking parasites find a home on the skin of dogs, the carpet of your home, or any other soft furnishing inside.

But, it does not mean that you cannot get rid of them. Here, you will get to know almost everything about them, including the right way to keep them away from your dog.

How Dogs Get Fleas and How Do They Spread?

In the first place, you must be wondering about how do fleas manage to find a home in your dog’s coat. Now you are talking.

Take a look further, and you will find the answer.

One of the most common and easiest ways for your dog to get prone to fleas is through another dog. There is a possibility that your dog might have come into contact with fleas while paying a visit to doggy daycare, dog park, or a boarding facility.

As told above, fleas can jump across a considerable distance, so it is possible that your furry friend might get fleas even without being around an infected dog.

Fleas may also find a home on your dog’s skin after coming in contact with a cat, any other household pet, or even from you. If you have been to a flea infected area or exposed yourself to an infected animal, then there are chances that you may bring fleas home on your clothes or shoes.

Also, second-hand toys and bedding for dogs might carry fleas in them, so make sure you don’t even get a thought of buying those for your pup.

If your dog spends time outdoors, then also there is a possibility that they might invite fleas as many outdoor animals are home to this parasite. To avoid this situation, you may introduce your furry friends to artificial lawns

How to Spot Fleas on Dogs

Fleas are dark brown in color and usually are of the size of the head of a small nail (approximately 1-2 mm). They do not like direct light being reflected on them, so the best areas where you may find them include the belly and lower thighs of your dog.

Now, the easiest way to spot fleas is through flea dirt. All you have to is pick some specks of flea dirt and put the same on a damp paper towel. If the bits turn out to be red stains of blood, then it is definitely flea dirt, and your dog sadly has fleas.

Additional Signs that Your Dog may have Fleas

Now that you know how to spot fleas on dogs, you must also get familiar with a few other signs that may confirm their presence.

These signs include:

  • Pale gums
  • Rashes and hair loss
  • Red spots on the skin of your dog
  • Persistent scratching and chewing the skin

Natural Ways to Avoid Fleas on Dogs

Essential Oils

Many essential oils like eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree, citronella, and many more make excellent flea remedies. You may dilute a few drops of the chosen essential oil with water in the spray bottle and spray the same on your dog’s coat.

Lemon Bath

One of the best things about a lemon bath is that it is way too simple and will leave your dog smelling fresh while keeping it flea free. All you have to do is mix a freshly squeezed lemon into approximately two cups of water, and then add a few drops of pet-friendly bath gel/soap/shampoo for naturally treating fleas in your dog.

Multi-Purpose Neem Oil

It is one of the least known flea treatments and also the most effective natural insect repellent.

To use it, you may either add it to your dog’s shampoo or dilute it to make a flea spray. Also, you may apply it directly to the fur of your dog.

Coconut Oil

Talking of coconut oil, is there anything that it cannot do? It can help in many ways when it comes to treating fleas. Rubbing a spoonful of coconut oil on your dog’s coat will not only help you in preventing fleas but will also keep the coats shiny.

Tip to take: If you add coconut oil in your dog’s food, then it will also serve as a solution to treat intestinal parasites.

Lather Bath

Any shampoo (of course pet-friendly) that produces lather will help to kill the fleas naturally. You may go for any pet shampoo (make sure that it is organic and does not contain any added chemicals). Leave the shampoo on for a few minutes, after your dog is lathered properly. This is a great way to get rid of the existing fleas on your dog.

Rosemary Dip

In case, just in case, if your dog likes to play in the water, then this remedy is going to be more fun for your dog than just being a flea remedy. Boil rosemary leaves in water, strain the mixture, and mix it well in the warm water. When the water reaches normal temperature, pour the prepared over your dog, and let it dry naturally.

Do not panic if you find out that your dog has fleas because you already know some of the most amazing natural remedies to keep the bloodsuckers away from your loving canine friend.

All about fleas

Unfortunately, this is not the case. A warm spring or fall can extend the flea season to 9 or 10 months of the year, and fleas can survive in winter months too, thanks to well regulated temperatures inside the home that provide a perfect breeding ground year-round.

More facts about fleas…

Fleas feed on the blood of their host, which is called a “blood meal.” Although the female flea can drink up to 15 times her body weight in blood daily, she is also able to live more than 100 days without a blood meal.

Did you know? Of the thousand-plus species and sub-species of fleas, the cat-flea is the most common flea species found on dogs and cats in the U.S.

A few fleas can become an infestation in no time if left untreated: the female can lay up to 2,000 eggs in her lifetime—which ranges from 2-3 months up to 18 months in optimum conditions.

Some pets can develop an allergy to flea saliva, such that even one bite can make them extremely itchy, uncomfortable, and cause severe skin irritation. Pets with severe infestations can also develop anemia from the overall loss of blood.

Did you know? Fleas can jump up to 100 times their body length.

Flea “dirt” (feces) found on a pet during infestation

Veterinarians are often asked what pill, drop, dip, collar, or shampoo works the best to get rid of these persistent parasites. Unfortunately, no single method or insecticide will completely eradicate (or at least control) a flea problem.

Why? Because the flea’s life cycle is fairly complex, and much of it occurs in the animal’s environment, not on the animal itself. For this reason, understanding the various life stages of the flea will make it easier to get rid of them.

Fleas have four life stages:

Even if you are not seeing fleas, they can still be there…

Egg Stage
The female flea lays her eggs on the host. From there, they can easily fall off your pet and into the environment. Therefore, flea eggs can be found anywhere a flea infested pet has access. Eggs can hatch 1-6 days after they are laid.

Larvae Stage
The flea larvae are white and segmented and have no legs. They feed on flea feces to survive and avoid the light. They can be found deep in carpet fibers, or under organic debris such as leaves. They undergo two molts (shedding of their skin) during this period which usually lasts 5-11 days. They accumulate in areas frequented by pets.

Pupa Stage
The Pupa is a cocoon stage of the flea life cycle. Within 7-14 days the pupa is fully developed. However, a fully developed flea can stay inside the cocoon for several weeks or even several months until stimulated to emerge. Heat, vibration or physical pressure can all stimulate emergence from the pupa cocoon.

Adult Stage
As soon as the adult flea emerges from the cocoon, it immediately begins seeking a host and moves up toward the light, coming to the top of the carpet pile, or bedding material where they are the most likely to encounter a passing host. Mating occurs on the pet, and egg production begins within 24-48 hours of females taking their first blood meal. With this event, the life cycle starts all over.

“Is that flea dirt on your head, or have you been rolling in the flowerpots again?”

When it comes to fleas, prevention is key!

If you suspect your pet may have fleas, we will use a flea comb to check for signs. Depending on what we discover, we typically recommend using a flea control product year round to offer your pet the very best protection.

We recommend using a monthly application of topical flea control such as Activyl or Activyl Tick-Plus, Revolution for cats, or our newest product, NexGard, which is a monthly oral chew for dogs to ensure your pet remains flea-free 365 days a year.

Better yet, contact us to help determine the best product for your individual pet: some over the counter flea control products are not as effective as what you can get from your veterinarian, and some can even be toxic to your animal.

All About Fleas

No matter how different cats and dogs are, there’s one thing they have in common. One very small, but very bothersome, thing. Ctenocephalides felis. The common cat flea affects both felines and canines – and it can even cause you discomfort. What do you need to know about fleas, and more importantly, what can you do if you’re facing an infestation?

A Quick Look at Fleas

Fleas are an external parasite; they feed on the blood of their host. These little vampires are quite the athletes: they jump as high as two feet – and they can do this up to 10,000 times in a row when they’re on the hunt for a host. That’s right: the tiny 1-3 millimeter insect can leap and bound the length of three football fields when they’re looking for a new, rent-free home.

This ability makes it very easy for them to find your dog or cat. Your pet comes into contact with fleas through other animals or through the environment; they simply jump on board and get ready to feast.

One Flea, Two Fleas, an Infestation of Fleas

Fleas are incredibly prolific. During their lifespan, which ranges from just a few days to as much as a year, they can produce millions of young. Just one flea can start an infestation; as it camps out on your pet, it lays eggs in the fur. These eggs can drop into your couch, bedding, rugs, etc.; so now your cat/dog has fleas – and your home has them too! New fleas then find a host. (Watch out, it could be you!)

Fleas: A Pesky Pest – and a Health Hazard

There’s no doubt that fleas are a nuisance. When they bite, their saliva causes irritation – and itch! But fleas can also cause serious health issues, such as:

  • Flea allergy dermatitis.
  • Tapeworms.
  • Hair loss.
  • Anemia (especially in kittens and puppies).
  • Skin infections from excessive scratching.

How do you know that your pet is hosting a flea party? Excessive itching is always a red flag: if you notice this behavior in your cat or dog, search for fleas immediately. Use a fine tooth comb and run in through your pet’s fur, paying particular attention to the base of the neck and tail. You may find:

  • Fleas, which are brown and about the size of a pinhead.
  • Dried blood that fleas excrete. The “flea dirt” is small and black.
  • Very small white grains. These are flea eggs.

Also be on the lookout for these other symptoms:

  • Chewing and licking.
  • Hair loss.
  • Scabs or hotspots.
  • Irritated skin.
  • The presence of tapeworms (small, white and shaped like grains of rice, you may find these in your pet’s feces or hair around the backside).
  • Pale gums.

Spot these signs of trouble? It’s time to take action.

No Fleas, Please: Removing Fleas from Your Pet and Home

First stop: your vet. Ask about an effective treatment that deals with fleas at all stages of the life cycle. There’s no sense in eradicating the adult fleas if the eggs, larvae, and pupae remain alive to start the infestation all over again.

There are several great options on the market, including Advantage, Advantix, Frontline, and Revolution. Your vet can help you select an appropriate option for your pet and show you how to correctly administer the medication. Make sure to treat every animal in your home.

Now that you’ve treated your pet, the fun’s only just begun! You still need to treat your house and yard so that you can stay proactive in the fight against fleas. What should you do?

  • Thoroughly clean, wash, and vacuum all linens, bedding, carpeting, and other surfaces. Pay close attention to the areas in which your pet spends a lot of time.
  • Ask your vet about a permethrin-based product to treat your upholstery, floors, pet bedding, etc. In the past, fogging was the only option for severe flea infestations. Today, a product such as Siphotrol Plus II can be applied, and within 15 minutes your surfaces are safe for contact.
  • Wash pet bedding every week.

As long as you treat your pet and keep on top of indoor cleaning, yardwork is optional. It can help you eliminate some of the sources, though:

  • Dispose of yard debris, such as grass clippings and leaves.
  • Use a flea/tick removal spray. Make sure it’s environmentally-friendly (and pet-friendly!). Hit dark, moist areas where fleas like to hide.

Remember: prevention is the best medicine. Even if your cat pets do not have fleas, it’s a good idea to invest in a good treatment product. If they do, get busy treating, cleaning, and ridding your furry friends and house of these pests.

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