Fleas not only bite, creating red, itchy swellings, they can transmit several diseases such as plague and murine typhus, and can even transfer tapeworms to your pets. Their saliva can also cause allergic reactions in pets and humans.
Because fleas can withstand freezing and remain dormant for long periods, it’s very common for a flea infestation to already be living in an empty home. They’ll spring to life as soon as people move in.
If you have pets, washing their bedding once a week is a good way to keep flea populations from gaining a foothold, as is vacuuming often. If Spot the Dog has a favourite spot in the yard, cut back the brush and clean out debris there, too.
Fleas like humid environments, so a dehumidifier is a good idea to keep humidity below 50 percent for a couple of days, which will kill fleas and their eggs.
If the pests are fully entrenched and spray is the way to go, remember that fleas have to land on treated surfaces in order to be eradicated. It may take up to 10 days for a spray treatment to fully kick in because as eggs hatch, the new crop of pests needs to jump onto pesticide.
Of the four stages of the flea life cycle, pupa is the one to worry about. They can remain in this interim, pre-adult stage for up to eight months, waiting for a suitable host and favourable environmental conditions.
Vibration, heat, carbon dioxide, and warm, moist conditions can do the trick, and all it takes is a nearby mammal to provide a tasty snack and they’re off and jumping to the next victim. This long dormancy can make it very difficult to get rid of a flea infestation.