What are fleas?

Fleas are well-known tiny insects that commonly feed on the blood of cats, dogs, and wild animals. Since all three of their main hosts regularly live near people, fleas are common household pests.

Fleas are hard to spot because of their small size and ability to jump quickly out of sight. These insects have an oval body that is flattened from side to side and covered in a hardshell, two physical features that help prevent them from becoming squished and allow them to move with ease through the fur of their animal host. Fleas are reddish-brown, wingless, and have six spine-covered legs, with the back legs being larger and stronger than the rest.

Are fleas dangerous?

Fleas are pests that, once they find their way onto a host’s body like your cat or dog, will continuously bite them, feed on their blood, and produce more biting fleas. While we aren’t the flea’s preferred hosts, they will bite us as well if we are available. Most people and animals are allergic to their saliva and will develop red itchy rashes that are unpleasant and can cause areas of scabbing and secondary infections to occur.

Fleas can acquire and transmit diseases and parasites like murine typhus, tularemia, plague, and tapeworm to people and animals.

Why do I have a flea problem?

Flea infestations are most likely to occur after a rodent or other wild animal has traveled through your yard or found its way into your home. As flea-covered rodents and other wild animals explore an area, forage for food, or gather material for nesting sites, they will leave behind flea eggs that develop into new biting adults!

Fleas can also be transported from a flea-infested home into a new home on inanimate objects like bedding, upholstered furniture, and rugs.

Where will I find fleas?

Where you will find a flea depends on what life stage they are currently in. An important fact to know about flea is that it is not just an outdoor pest. Fleas can reproduce, creating large, difficult-to-control infestations in short periods.

  • Adults: Adult spend their lives on the backs of their animal hosts.
  • Eggs: Eggs start out on the backs of their animal hosts and then drop to the ground. Flea eggs often hatch under leaf piles, woodpiles, shrubbery, and decks outside. Inside, they are in bedding, rugs, upholstered furniture, behind baseboards, and within the cracks of floors. 
  • Larvae: After hatching, their worm-like larvae live in damp areas, feeding on flea dirt (dried blood) that has fallen off animal hosts. Eventually, they will form a cocoon and develop into an adult. When an animal host walks past them, the vibration causes them to emerge from the cacoon and jump onto their new host.

How do I get rid of fleas?

Stop fleas from taking over your Idaho yard and home by partnering with the local experts at Sawtooth Pest Control. We are a family-owned pest control company with over 18 years of combined experience and a dedication to helping families solve their property’s pest problems. Our effective home pest control and commercial pest control services provide the regular treatments necessary to remove fleas from indoor and outdoor spaces and keep them from returning.

Speak with one of our professionals today to learn about our flea control options and how we can work together to meet your goal of maintaining a space not overrun by these unwanted pests.

How can I prevent fleas in the future?

Prevent fleas from becoming a permanent fixture in your yard with the assistance of the professionals at Sawtooth Pest Control and the following helpful tips.

  • Fleas like to avoid the sun, so keep the grass cut short and cut back shrubs and bushes in your yard.
  • Clean up yard debris like leaf piles and woodpiles from your yard.
  • Remove bird feeders and keep lids on trash cans to make your yard less attractive to rodents and other flea-covered wild animals.
  • Spread cedar wood chips in flowerbeds; its odor helps to repel fleas.
  • Regularly wash your family’s bedding and pet bedding.
  • Routinely vacuum floors and upholstered furniture to pick up stray fleas.