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Longview Homeowner's Guide To Flea Prevention

flea up close

Do you know the journey a flea takes to get into your home? Do you know that the most common type of flea that bites dogs, cats, and humans is the cat flea, or that cat fleas don't prefer squirrels, rats, or mice? Do you know that raccoons and opossums are the animals most likely to bring cat fleas into your yard? If you're concerned about flea bites on humans and pets, and you want to know what works best to keep fleas out of your home, you need to understand the complex path a cat flea takes to enter your home and take root. Join us as we look at why flea problems start, what to expect from the fleas in your home, how to guard against flea bites, and how to get rid of fleas. If you need advice and would like to speak with a pest professional, navigate to our contact page for assistance, or feel free to call us. The service team at Gecko Pest Control can answer your questions and guide you toward the right solution for pest control in Longview.

When And Why Fleas Become A Problem Around Longview Properties

There are many flea species. But cat fleas are the most common fleas Longview residents deal with in their homes. Cat fleas are plentiful in nature and are a plague to furry animals. When one of these animals travels through your yard, flea eggs can fall off in your yard. The animals to consider most are raccoons, opossums, feral cats, and skunks. But don't entirely rule out rats, mice, and squirrels. They have fleas as well and the fleas they carry can bite other animals and humans when a preferred food source is not nearby. Since cat fleas are the worst, we'll focus on how flea problems begin with these pests.

  • An open trash receptacle is an open invitation to a wild animal. If you notice a receptacle overturned, it is evidence that wild animals are visiting your property. You can deter them and the fleas they carry by keeping trash covered and by securing your receptacles so they aren't easily tipped over.
  • Animals find harborage underneath structures. If an animal gets under your back deck, stairs, or shed, it can create conditions for big flea problems. Flea larvae need flea dirt to survive. Flea dirt is the fecal matter of adult fleas and it contains blood, which is food for fleas. When an animal beds down, eggs and flea dirt fall in the same location and increase survivability for hatched larvae.
  • Animals that get into your attic can bring fleas into your home. Lock windows, repair damaged window panes, and bolster vulnerable spots with metal flashing.
  • When your dogs or cats go outside, they can bring fleas back in with them. Make sure your pets are protected. We'll get to how you can do that in a moment.

The secret to preventing a flea infestation is to deter wildlife. If you are unable to do this, a pest control service provider can help. A year-round pest control service plan can come with routine treatments to reduce and eliminate fleas near your home. For assistance with this in Longview, call Gecko Pest Control for assistance.

The Many Problems Fleas Bring To Homes They Infest

Most folks know that fleas bite. That is the primary problem they present inside Longview homes. But there are a few other facts that you may not know. Let's quickly run through them as they pertain to your health and your ability to get rid of fleas

  • When you find flea bite marks on your skin, it is annoying. Flea bites itch, and the more you scratch, the worse they itch. If you scratch too much, you can cause wounds to open. While infected flea bites aren't usually a concern for most people, they present a threat to some seniors, the infirm, babies, and young children who don't report their bites.
  • When fleas routinely bite, it can lead to a condition called anemia. Humans rarely get bitten long enough for anemia to occur, but it is a serious issue for dogs and cats. 
  • When fleas bite, they can transmit diseases if they have an infection. Some common diseases spread by fleas is murine typhus, tularemia, tungiasis, and several forms of Bartonella virus.
  • When fleas are consumed by pets, they may get tapeworms, which can present a danger to pets. Humans can get tapeworms as well, but most people pass them through their system without issues.
  • Fleas are pernicious pests. One way they are a serious problem is that they are seriously difficult to eliminate. Dealing with a flea infestation can feel like stomping out a brush fire. You get rid of them in one area and they pop up in another.

When fleas take root in your home, it is best to have a trained pest control technician diagnose your problem and apply materials and methods to eliminate them. But, long before you get cat fleas (or some other kind of fleas), you can take steps to prevent an infestation. We touched on some already. Let's drill a little deeper.

How You Can Protect Your Family And Pets From Fleas

In light of all the ways fleas can create problems, it makes sense to roll your sleeves up and do the hard work of keeping them out. Flea control fits into a few categories. Let's break them down.

Pet Products: The first line of defense in the war on cat fleas is flea control for your pets. There are many products available. Here are a few to consider:

  • Flea collars
  • Flea powders
  • Flea baths
  • Flea medication

Consult your veterinarian about what products are best for your pet and your family. Keep in mind that topical products could irritate your children or elderly family members.

Monitoring: Along with pet products, you'll need to keep watch for flea activity. Most products you'll use to guard your pets are not continually active. You'll apply them when you detect fleas. Here are a few ways to watch for fleas.

  • Take note when your pets scratch.
  • Use a flea comb to check your pets.
  • Part the hair on your pet with your fingers.
  • Look for tiny specks springing up from your floors or couch.

When you see fleas in your home, apply your products as quickly as possible. Fleas can take root quickly.

All-Natural Methods: When you apply products to address the fleas on your pets, you'll also want to use a few all-natural methods to deal with any eggs or larvae in your home.

  • Vacuum your carpets regularly until you're sure you don't have a cat flea infestation anymore.
  • Vacuum your living room furniture. Use your crack-and-crevice attachment to get tough spots.
  • Wash and dry all pet bedding and blankets your pets sleep on.
  • Wash and dry the bedding from your beds.

If you catch an infestation early, these methods will stop those pests. When more is needed, contact your pest control service provider.

Yard Protection: If you don't have fleas in your home yet, and you have flea collars for your pets, the next step is to consider ways to keep fleas out of your yard. As you may already guess, most of these tips have to do with wild animals.

  • Protect your trash.
  • Use fencing material to keep animals out from underneath structures.
  • Remove potential food sources in your yard. Consider nuts and fruit on the ground, the seed in bird feeders, and grass seed on the ground.
  • Protect food sources with fencing material. Vegetable gardens, certain landscape plants, and berry bushes are targets for animals.
  • Address moisture problems, such as clogged gutters. Doing so will make it harder for fleas to survive and develop and it will help to remove water sources animals are searching for in your yard.

All of these tips will provide flea control for your house. In most cases, they're enough to get the job done. If you don't have the energy to take these steps, or you need greater protection due to higher-than-normal flea pressures, contact Gecko Pest Control for assistance.

Why Professional Flea Treatment In Longview Is Worth It

Flea control is often tricky. Cat fleas are amazingly resilient pests that avoid treatments in surprising ways. We've heard numerous stories of failed treatments due to Longview residents not understanding what these pests were doing. For example, laying down traps to catch fleas and then finding fleas in the traps. While it looks like the traps are solving the problem, the reality is that traps don't address the flea eggs, so when a flea hatches and grows into an adult flea, it can bite you, mate, and lay more eggs before it comes in contact with your traps. A home pest control professional diagnoses your flea problem, treats your home with materials that are known to work, and evaluates the treatment to make sure all the fleas are gone. When you want results, it pays to hire someone with training and experience. If you're in Longview, contact Gecko Pest Control. We can help.

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