Houston is a big city, and between the highways and skyscrapers sometimes we don't notice that in the middle of all this concrete that we're constantly surrounded by animals. Squirrels climb the trees, rats and mice scurry underneath our homes, and sadly far too many stray cats and dogs wander our streets. All of these animals carry fleas, and it's incredibly easy for these fleas to get off of these animals and into your home.
Fleas are parasites who live by hitching rides on other animals. And they're built to get from one place to another. A flea can easily jump unnoticed onto you or your pet. And if you live somewhere like The Heights where your home's foundation is raised above the ground, if a stray cat decides to take a nap in underneath your house, fleas can easily jump off those animals and work their way up through the floor and into your home.
Once fleas get into your home, they can bury themselves deep in carpets or upholstery and start laying eggs. That's how an infestation can begin.
A flea can lay 500 eggs in its lifetime. If you get a single flea in your home within a week that one flea can become thousands. We've seen infestations here in Houston so bad that when we've walked into a house within minutes the bottom half of our pants were almost a solid block of fleas.
The worst part about fleas is that they bite. Flea bites are not only irritating, but can also be dangerous. Fleas can easily suck enough blood from puppies, kittens, or other small animals to induce life-threatening anemia. Many cats are also highly allergic to flea saliva, and flea bite can cause them to break out in a painful rash. Enough flea bites can even be lethal to vulnerable animals.
A veterinarian can recommend a flea treatment for your animal, which is definitely an important part of getting rid of fleas, but that only solves a small part of the problem. The first thing to understand is that there's never just one flea. Flea populations expand rapidly and cluster near food sources. Fleas have a complex lifecycle, moving from egg to larval and pupal stages before emerging as the hopping, blood-sucking adult nuisances we all know. It's only the adult fleas that you're likely to see and recognize, since all the other life stages are too small to easily see with the naked eye. But adult fleas only account for about 10% of a given flea population. So, for every adult flea you crush with your fingernails, there are 9 more in various life stages scattered around your carpet, yard, and upholstery waiting to take its place. To get rid of fleas, you have to treat the whole picture.
Fleas love dark corners, cracks, and crevices. They will bury themselves deep in carpets or upholstery, and hide deep in mattresses and pillows. Regular vacuuming of all these surfaces can help keep flea populations down, but vacuums may not be powerful enough to reach down and suck out the fleas hidden deep in upholstery. And vacuums can't reach under baseboards and inside the walls of your home. Effective, professional flea treatment is the best way to destroy the 90% of fleas in your home that you don't see.
Fleas love the heat, and Houston's warm weather means that fleas are comfortable outside most of the year. Grass, plants, patios, and cracks in the pavement are all places where fleas can lay eggs and grow to adulthood, waiting to jump on you or your pet. You can't treat the whole city, but keeping a flea-free perimeter around your house by treating your yard can significantly reduce the changes of fleas getting into your home.
To properly control fleas it’s necessary to treat the entire environment, indoors and outdoors. Even if your veterinarian has given you a flea treatment for your pets, the key to keeping an infestation from happening or from coming back is to destroy the eggs. Bulls Eye Pest and Termite Control provides effective flea control and extermination services anywhere in Houston.
We look at your home and the specifics of your environment to make sure that we have a flea control solution that will work for you. Bulls Eye’s trained flea control experts can provide a thorough evaluation of your home and your yard, identifying areas where fleas are likely to nest and breed and forming a customized flea control solution to keep fleas off of you, your furniture, your carpets and your pets.
If you have problems with fleas, give Bulls Eye Pest and Termite Control a call at 713-222-PEST