How DC-Area Residents Can Protect Their Pets from Fleas in Fall


a flea on pet hair in washington dc

In the fall, something magical happens; all of the insects that bite us in our yards seem to die off. Of course, we know they don't. They just go into hiding and wait for the winter to pass. Every year those biting pests come back. But, since they do disappear for a time, it may seem logical to think that fleas will disappear in fall as well and that the chances of having a flea infestation will go down because fleas are insects. But this is not the case. Let's take a look at the anatomy of a flea infestation. The more you know about "how" fleas get into your home, the better you'll be able to protect your pets from fleas in fall.

How Fleas Develop

Fleas find an animal host to live on. While on the host, the fleas have multiple eggs, each individual female having as many as 50 a day. These eggs are hard and slippery and slide off the host animal. The feces (flea dirt) from those adult fleas falls off too. This flea dirt is important because hatching fleas need something to eat and they are unable to jump and unable to bite mammals to get a blood meal. If they find a meal, they develop through their larval stages, spin a cocoon, and become a pupa. This pupa develops into an adult within the safety of its cocoon. When conditions are favorable and the adult flea senses a host animal nearby, it will break free of its cocoon and leap onto the animal. Fleas can leap 7 inches vertically and 13 inches horizontally to get to their potential host.

What Stage Fleas Get In

In fall, as temperatures drop, fleas are no longer able to complete their life cycle outside. They typically make it through the winter as adult fleas on warm-blooded animal hosts. Often, rodents are a perfect choice.

The Rodent Connection

It is important to understand the connection between fleas and rodents. While fleas are less likely to jump on your pets while they're out in the yard, rodents are more likely to try to get into your home to get out of the cold. When they do, they can bring adult fleas in and litter eggs around your home. These eggs hatch into larvae, develop into pupa and eventually adult fleas that spring onto your pets inside your home. This can happen in the dead of winter.

If you're experiencing a rodent infestation in your DC home, flea infestations are just one of the many issues you're going to have to deal with. The best way to deal with a rodent infestation is to have a licensed and experienced pest professional apply systematic methods to monitor and remove those rodents from your home. Your pest professional will also be able to address your flea infestation.

The Problem with DIY Flea Control

Cat fleas are pernicious. It is rarely possible to control them with targeted methods. If you wash or powder your pets, they can pick up more fleas within your home after those products wear off because fleas don't just live on your pets. If you apply DIY treatments all over your home and don't address the fleas on your pets, your pets could be the start of a new infestation. If you target some rooms and not others, your pets can pick fleas up from rooms that haven't been treated and bring them into rooms that have. You can do everything right and completely get rid of your flea infestation by treating your pets and getting every single room treated—and then have rodents introduce more flea eggs and cause to you to have to do the process all over again. A lot can go wrong with DIY flea control.

Get Control of Those Fleas

At American Pest, our service professionals are trained in the most advanced methods, products, and technologies for controlling flea and rodent infestations completely. When your DC home has been treated, you won't have to wonder if those fleas are going to spring up again, quite literally. The treatments we apply have a residual effect. That means your home will not only have a shield that prevents infestation but it will be actively eliminating any new fleas that are introduced. When it comes to frustrating, relentless, pests like fleas, this is definitely the best way to go.

Fleas are only one of many bugs to watch out for if you have pests. With help from American Pest, you'll have the support you need to keep your pets and your family protected.

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