Fleas — not just a nuisance to your dog or cat!

Lately we have been getting a lot of calls about flea infestations in homes. Fleas aren’t just a problem for man’s best friend. These pests, which commonly appear in warmer months, feed on the blood of any warm-blooded body. Typically biting human beings, fleas can cause itchy, unsightly marks as well as severe allergic reactions. Fleas tend to travel with mammals on the move, which can include not only you and your pet but also rodents. If you have a rodent problem in your home, fleas may be soon to follow.

Flea bites create a small, hard, red, itchy spot, slightly-raised and swollen with a single puncture point at the center. The bites often appear in clusters or lines, and can remain itchy and inflamed for up to several weeks. Fleas can also lead to hair loss as a result of frequent scratching and biting by the animal, and can cause anemia in extreme cases.

Besides these problems, fleas can also transmit disease. For example, fleas transmitted the bubonic plague between rodents and humans by carrying bacteria. Endemic typhus fever, and in some cases tapeworm can also be transmitted by fleas.

Fleas usually feed several times a day, but can survive several weeks without a meal. Adult fleas usually leave the host after feeding; however, flea eggs, larvae or pupae may be found on pets. The peak season for flea infestations outdoors in most parts of Canada is from early August to early October.

Once a flea infestation takes hold in your home, it can be very difficult to remove without professional help, as they can hide in any crack or crevice within the home. Even then it may take more than one visit if the infestation is severe. If you suspect a flea infestation, contact a PPC licensed Service Professional to rid your home of fleas and to prevent future infestations.