Causes of Flea Infestation
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Fleas are commonly associated with household pets such as cats or dogs. If you do not have pets but find yourself with a flea infestation, you may be wondering why.
Pets of Friends and Neighbors
Even if you are not a pet owner, having friends who visit accompanied by their pets can result in them bringing along a supply of fleas.
Fleas can also come from neighbors’ pets that roam and spend time in your yard. Yet another source may be visiting wildlife, such as rodents, opossums, and raccoons.
Flea infestations can occur when fleas, carried by the host animal, hop off the animal and onto such surfaces as outdoor carpeting or furniture cushions. Fleas can also be hidden in furniture purchased from second-hand stores or yard sales.
You may not even be aware that an infestation has occurred until you notice red, raised, itchy bumps on your skin.
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Characteristics of Fleas
Fleas are tiny insects that are barely visible to the human eye. Approximately 2.5 millimeters in length, fleas are unable to fly but have very long legs that enable them to jump very high. Flea larvae are pale and measure approximately 3 millimeters in length.
Because of their ability to jump high distances, fleas can easily move from location to location, making it easy for them to invade your home from a passing animal.
What to Do If You Suspect You Have Fleas
Regardless of the reasons why you have fleas, once you realize that you have them the immediate concern is what to do now.
Cleaning carpets and furniture with a vacuum cleaner that has a beater brush will help to remove many fleas. There are also some substances such as tea tree oil that repel fleas and can help encourage them to leave.
The best course of action for complete eradication of fleas and their eggs, however, is to call a professional exterminator. These trained professionals can assess the situation to determine the extent of the infestation, then apply appropriate treatments to kill the fleas and their eggs.
An infestation of fleas can be miserable for you and your family, so take action as soon as you become aware of the problem.