Fleas are tiny pests, barely larger than the tip of a pen, that feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals. Some flea species can transmit harmful diseases, like flea-borne typhus. Most cat and dog owners are aware that their pets may be at risk of flea bites.
What many people don’t realize is that any household can end up with a flea infestation. Below, we’ll explain how this problem occurs.
Yes, Your Home Can Get Fleas Without Any Pets
Even if a pet has never been brought into your home, fleas can still invade your property. This happens when fleas hitch a ride on wildlife, like birds, mice, rabbits, raccoons, opossums, deer, and more. When these animals visit your yard, patio, crawl space, or attic, fleas can jump off searching for their next meal.
Fleas Prefer to Bite Animals But Will Make Exceptions
Most types of fleas in the U.S. prefer to get their blood meals from animals. There are a few reasons for this:
- It takes less time for fleas to get egg-laying nutrients from animal blood than human blood.
- Animals typically have a lot of fur or feathers that allow fleas to hide and feed undisturbed.
- Fur and feathers also provide a place for fleas to lay eggs.
However, fleas will feed on humans if it becomes convenient for them. For instance, if you sit on flea-infested furniture or pet an animal with fleas, the fleas there may take the opportunity to jump on you and have a blood meal. Fleas will be attracted by your body heat, movements, and the carbon dioxide you breathe out.
How to Know If Your Home Has a Flea Problem
If your home has fleas, you may see them hopping on your bed, upholstered furniture, carpeting, or draperies. You might also see “flea dirt,” the feces they leave behind, which resembles dark specks.
Flea bites look like small, red dots and may have a discolored ring around the bite center. They tend to appear in clusters or lines and frequently show up on calves, ankles, and feet. The human body reacts to flea saliva in the bite like an allergen. Your body sends histamine (a chemical) in response to the bite area, and this causes the bites to swell up and itch.
Flea Control Services
Let our team at Spidexx Pest Control help eliminate the flea problem in your home! For service in Milwaukee, Omaha, Des Moines, or Minneapolis-St. Paul, call us today at (855) 925-3550 or contact us online!