Fleas Archives

What are Dangers from Fleas?

If your pet catches fleas, they can quickly spread throughout your home and bring certain dangers along with them. Chances are if you have a cat, dog, or other furry pet, you treat them as part of the family. They play on your carpet, sit next to you on the sofa, and either sleep restfully in their own bed or cozy up in yours.

Unfortunately fleas are one of the most common external parasites that affect cats and dogs.

fleas on a dog

Fleas are dangerous to both animals and humans and should be exterminated as soon as possible to eliminate potential threats to your family’s health and safety.

What Are Fleas and How Do Pets Get Them?

Fleas are tiny, flat, wingless insects about 1/8 of an inch long and reddish-brown in color. Although fleas do not have wings, they can jump far. Fleas are most active during warmer months and inhabit cool, damp areas around trees, leaves, tall grass, and other plants. Fleas jump onto animals walking by these areas and feed on their blood.

Once fleas have nestled into a cat or dog’s fur, your pet brings them inside your home where they may jump off to infect other animals or humans. They can get into carpet, furniture, and bedding and can even lay eggs, further escalating the problem.

Dangers to Animals and Humans

Fleas are dangerous to both animals and humans. The following are potential effects of flea infestations:

For Pets:

• Scratching and biting skin causing infection
• Restlessness (cranky and tired from the misery of tiny bugs crawling on you and biting you)
Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD) — a common skin condition from flea bites
• Anemia especially in smaller pets with severe flea infections. Anemia is a condition in which there is a lack enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues.
• Tapeworms which can cause intestinal infections.

For Humans:

• Allergic reaction resulting in small, raised bumps either red or purplish in color.
• Discomfort from irritated skin
• Tapeworms which can cause intestinal infections.
• Typhus — a disease that can cause fever, headache, confusion, and rashes
Cat scratch disease – a bacterial disease spread through bites and scratches from cats infected with fleas

Signs of Flea Infestation

Since fleas are so small and difficult to see, you may not notice a problem right away. Here are some signs of being aware of so that you can act quickly:

On Pets:

• Excessive scratching or biting at the skin (especially around the back of the neck and the base of the tail)
• Inflamed skin with tiny red sores or scabs
• Flea feces, or “flea dirt,” looks like black pepper or coffee grounds and may be visible in areas where your pet sleeps

On Humans:

• Itchy, irritated skin
• Small, discolored bumps typically found on feet, ankles, and calves
• Bites can appear in series of straight lines or in clusters of many bites

Flea Extermination

Getting rid of fleas without professional help is challenging due to their small size and rapid reproduction rate. If fleas are not completely exterminated, they can become a recurring problem.

Maine Bed Bug and Pest Control have a two-step process that kills adult fleas and halts their reproductive life cycle, eliminating fleas for good. Call us today at (207) 650-8654 to quickly put an end to flea infestations and keep your family and pets safe and healthy.

Fleas Aren’t Just Your Dog’s Problem. When to Call a Flea Exterminator

There’s nothing quite like the fear you feel when you find out your pet has fleas. You’re thinking about the comfort of your pet, but you should also be thinking about your home. Many people don’t realize that having a flea infestation is not just a problem your animals have.

Getting a flea infestation is just like any other insect infestation – difficult to remove if waited too long. Fleas aren’t just your dog’s problem. Here’s how to know when to call a flea exterminator to get your home free of these critters!

Does Your Home Have Fleas?

A hand looking for fleas on a dog to see if it's time to call a flea exterminator.

The first step of getting rid of fleas from your home is finding out if you do in fact have fleas in your home. If you have a dog, they should be the first thing you look at. Dogs are the most common way fleas get into your home. They make your dogs very uncomfortable and they will continue to get more and more uncomfortable the longer the fleas go unnoticed and undealt with. You can use a small flea comb and brush backward on your dog’s hair to see if they have fleas.

If your dog does have fleas, you’ll want to perform what is called a “sock test” to see if your home has them. Put on knee-high white socks and walk around your floor – particularly carpeted areas – shuffling your feet, creating heat that fleas are attracted to. The fleas will cling to your warm socks as you pass them, showing up as little dark specs.

Flea Infestation Signs

Besides the sock test, which not everyone has time to do, there are a few tell-tale signs of a flea infestation to watch out for:

  • Flea dirt. Basically flea poop, this will show up as tiny blackish specs – almost like black pepper – that usually turn rusty red when smeared.
  • Flea eggs. Run your fingers through any carpet in your home and see if you can feel and see flea eggs which appear as tiny white specs.
  • Since fleas are attracted to heat, you can set up a lamp and some hot water with soap under the lamp. The fleas will be attracted to the heat of the lamp and fall into the soapy water which will kill them.

There are a dozen tested ways of getting rid of fleas from your home, like washing your bedding and steam cleaning your carpet, however, you should call an exterminator if you want the job done quickly, efficiently, and correctly. For all of these qualities in your flea exterminator, call Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control today at (207) 650-8654.