For residents of Hartford and Hampden county, this past weekend brought snow and ice. But that doesn’t mean pests aren’t a problem. Fleas can hitch a ride on your pet, even if the weather is cold. So, what should you do if you find your furry family member scratching more than normal? Will fleas go away on their own? Here are some tips to help combat your pets’ (and your) discomfort.
Know the Signs
Cold weather can mean dry skin for your pets. So how do you tell if irritation is dry, flaky skin, or if they might have a flea problem? There are many signs of a flea infestation but the most common include:
- Hair loss
- Red bumps
- Small black specks (which are usually flea feces) scattered throughout pet beds, carpets and rugs
- Flea larvae (tiny worms) behind furniture or inside the cracks of floors.
Eggs are deposited on your pet by the female adult flea, allowing them to fall off of your pet as they move and dispersing them throughout the areas your pet frequents. If you see more than one of the above signs, you can safely assume you should strongly consider having a flea infestation.
Will fleas go away on their own?
The short answer is no. The longer answer is, they can if you’re lucky, but it’s very unlikely. With a host, fleas can live for 100 days. In that time, female fleas can lay 400 to 500 eggs. With the eggs being able to hatch as soon as a day after they’re laid, containing the rapid spread of fleas in your home with no significant effort to control them is highly unlikely. Considering this, there are effective methods you can try at home to control and prevent a flea infestation in your home.
Prevention is the Best Medicine
Keeping Your Home Pest-Free
- Maintain a clean home. Practicing good sanitation is key to avoiding an infestation.
- Vacuum carpets, floors, and furniture frequently, and wash pet bed linens regularly, to remove any existing fleas and help prevent the fles eggs from hatching.
- Since fleas can transport themselves on rodents, it’s important to prevent and eliminate any rodent infestations by keeping the lawn properly landscaped. This includes mowing the lawn on a regular basis, replacing loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows, and removing all moisture sites around the property.
Keeping Your Pets Pest-Free
- Check pets’ coats thoroughly for fleas, especially after spending time outdoors. Be aware of excessive scratching and licking.
- Bathe pets after walks or playtime with other animals.
- Wash pet bedding, collars, and plush toys frequently.
- Speak to a veterinarian about flea prevention treatments even if you only have an indoor pet. They can and do still get fleas for catching mice or other rodents that enter your home.
- Keep your pet on a leash when outside to minimize exposure.
If you’re like us, your pets are members of your family so keep them happy and healthy. Call us at 413-566-8222 or contact us with any questions or if you are experiencing a pest problem. We have the knowledge and the services necessary to help keep your home pest-free!