The first indication of a flea infestation is when your pet scratches or bites itself or visible fleas on the pet, human or environment. Fleas often bite humans on the ankles or lower legs. Walking through suspected areas wearing white socks can be used to determine if fleas are present. There are commercially available flea traps or home-made traps can be utilized. Placing a shallow pan filled with detergent and water on the floor with a light source 6 inches above is effective in trapping fleas.
The first step in control is to determine the source (flea host) of the fleas. In most cases the fleas are feeding on pets, cat(s) or dog(s). In some cases the fleas are feeding on wildlife such as raccoons or skunks living under the house or deck. In these cases the animal should be excluded from the structure and entry points sealed. In the case of pets there are various products to treat fleas on your pets. Consult a veterinarian for recommendations.
The next step is to eliminate the existing adult and larval fleas in the environment. It is advisable to hire a professional, licensed pest control operator. Prior to any treatment, thorough and regular vacuuming is important. Pay close attention to areas where your pet sleeps, rests or spends time in which may include sofas and beds. Flea larvae hide in cracks, under cushions, pet bedding and carpets. Laundering pet bedding, sofa covers, and bed coverings is advisable.
There are a number of pesticides on the market for flea control. These include liquid pesticides (some are low to non toxic products), fogs, dusts and insect growth regulators. Using a combination of these products is more effective. Our District does not endorse any product. Refer to our flea control brochure or call our District office for more details. Monitor your pet for fleas on a regular basis.
Links to other flea informational web sites:
- http://extension.entm.purdue.edu/publichealth/insects/flea.html (Perdue)
- http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/plague/index.htm (Centers for Disease Control)
- http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7419.html (UC Davis)
- http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+2094&aid=598 (Drs. Foster and Smith Pet Education site a commercial web site that has ingredients and mode of action of most flea control products* we do not endorse any services or products listed on this site informational purposes only)