Detecting an Infestation of Tiny Fleas this Spring

As the weather begins to warm up here in Northern California, it is time to start preparing for flea season. Fleas are a common worry in homes that have dogs or cats who regularly venture outside, but any home is susceptible. In addition to hiding in your pets’ fur, fleas can also get in on wildlife that has invaded your home or even by clinging to your pant leg.

Fleas are primarily an annoyance for their biting, although they can spread disease under the right conditions. But even having fleas constantly biting your pet can eventually cause health problems that will require a vet visit. The more pressing issue with fleas is that they are extremely hard to detect and can be almost impossible to remove on your own.

How to Identify Fleas at Your Property

The first step to effective flea control is knowing that you have a flea infestation. Most people rely on their pets since a dog or cat that is constantly scratching in response to itchy and irritating fleabites is many homeowners’ first indicator there is a flea problem.

If your pet is scratching, you will often be able to spot fleas on them. Part your pet’s fur either using your fingers or a flea comb until you can see the skin. Fleas will show up as black, brown, or red specks between one and three millimeters wide. You will need to look closely in good light to make sure you do not miss them.

But even if you do not have pets or your dog is not scratching, there are a few additional signs you can look for to reveal a flea presence. These include:

  • Flea Dirt – These are flea droppings. They can also show up as dark specks on your pet’s skin, but unlike fleas, they will not move. When you rub flea dirt, it will leave behind a red smear due to the blood that fleas have consumed. Pets’ skin is the most common place to find flea dirt, although it can be present in corners of your room, carpets, or window sills.
  • Flea Bites – Bites either on yourself or on your pet leave a patch of irritated red skin behind. On your pet, the stomach, neck, and hindquarters are the most common locations. On a person, most fleas will bite feet and ankles.
  • Itchy Feet and Ankles – Whether or not you have a pet, if you have an unexplained itching around your feet and ankles, fleas may be to blame. They might be jumping up to crawl on you or bite around that part of your body. 

One female flea can lay more than 50 eggs in a single day and fleas are not limited to staying with their host. Instead, they can go for up to 100 days without feeding, so even if their host is removed from your house, such as invading wildlife, or your pet is treated with flea prevention medication, fleas may still be living in your carpets, curtains, and other areas around your house. 

Get rid of fleas in the Greater Sacramento and Roseville area with the help of ADAPT Pest. We create an effective flea removal plan based on the number, location, and concerns for fleas in your home. Get more information about our flea removal treatments by contacting us at the first sign of biting insects at your home.

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