Fleas are small, wingless parasites that ingest the blood of cats, dogs, and even humans. These flightless insects can be a pet owner's worst nightmare, mainly because once there is an infestation, it is so hard to get rid of them. To combat fleas, it's best to know as much as possible about them.
Here are the answers to three frequently asked questions about fleas.
1. Where Are Fleas the Most Common?
Fleas like warm, humid climates and they thrive when the temperature reaches between 70 and 85 degrees with humidity above 70%. Because fleas live in hot and humid areas, they are especially problematic in South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, and Georgia. This isn't to say that fleas don't live in other states, but when it gets either too hot or too cold, they don't typically survive.
2. Can Fleas Cause Diseases?
Fleas are not only irritating, but they also bite, which causes itchy red spots to appear on the skin. When they bite humans, it is mostly on the feet and ankles. As for biting cats or dogs, they typically bite the entire body.
Besides biting and causing itchiness and discomfort, fleas have also been known to cause disease. Some of the most common diseases they carry include Murine typhus, Mycoplasma haemofelis, and cat scratch disease. Fleas can also cause tapeworms when they are swallowed by animals. Other health issues fleas cause include anemia and severe scratching, which can result in scabs and hair loss.
3. Why Is It So Hard to Get Rid of Fleas?
Fleas are notoriously hard to get rid of, mainly because they multiply so quickly. Female fleas start laying eggs just 36 to 48 hours after their first blood meal. Fleas are known to lay up to 50 eggs in one day and in a lifetime, female fleas will lay about 2,000 eggs. One more reason they are so hard to get rid of is that flea eggs are so tiny and can be hard to see. In fact, they are no bigger than a grain of sand. Fleas themselves are little as well, and by the time they are detected, a flea infestation may be well underway.
Besides making their home on certain animals, they are also found in the carpet, beds, furniture, and curtains. If you have a flea infestation, or you have found flea eggs on your pet or in your home, be sure to contact residential pest control services to help get rid of them.