It’s a common misconception that fleas are a spring and summer problem. In reality, a fall or winter flea infestation is very common and very difficult to get control of. The best way to ensure your home and property isn’t invaded by opportunistic fleas looking for a warm place to overwinter is with flea prevention. Here are a few fall flea prevention tips to safeguard your home against these biting problems.
If temperatures outside are below 48 degrees Fahrenheit, fleas will die. On their own, they can’t handle frigid temperatures like that. The thing is though, fleas are rarely on their own. When temperatures start to drop, the fleas know it and begin searching for a warm host to hop on and make their next meal/home. They are very active in the fall as they search for warmth and food. If you have pets that frequent the outdoors, then it’s very possible for them to accidentally bring in a few hitchhikers. That’s when the real problems begin.
Once they find a host or a warm home, fleas will hang on for as long as they can. They spend their time drinking blood and laying eggs. Here’s where it gets problematic. Fleas can lay 50 eggs a day, for three straight months. That’s 4,500 eggs… per flea! The worst part is that these eggs don’t stay on the host. A lot of them fall off into your carpet, couches, chairs, rugs, curtains, and even your beds. In no time, you could have a pretty nasty flea infestation.
Yes. Historically speaking, fleas have been devastating the human population for well over 1000 years. The bubonic plague, also known as the black death, was the most famous pandemics in human history and it was spread by fleas. This disease was so bad that in the 14th century, it killed over half of all people in Europe. Statistically speaking, fleas are some of the most dangerous creatures on Earth. The plague still occurs worldwide but is rare here in the United States and is treatable with antibiotics. However, there are still a few health threats from fleas that we should be mindful of.
Cat scratch disease is caused by the bacteria Bartonella henselae, which is carried by fleas. This is a dangerous illness spread to cats through flea bites. It can then be transmitted from cats to humans via scratches and bites that break the skin. This disease is incredibly common among cats, though most don’t show symptoms. Over 40% of cats have had it at some point during their lives. and can then be transmitted from cats to humans through bites and scratches. Symptoms of cat-scratch disease in humans are usually mild, but they can get pretty extreme. A couple of very rare cases actually made the news recently. One woman was blinded when her cat licked one of her eyes and a boy experienced schizophrenia-like hallucinations and various other neurological symptoms for 2 years resulting from cat scratches.
Murine typhus is a disease that was once nonexistent here in the United States. Over the past few years, it has made a resurgence, specifically in the southwest. This nasty disease is spread via contact with infected fleas and has been making a resurgence here in the US. Mostly affecting people in California and Texas, typhus has been slowly spreading further north. Though it hasn’t yet reached Kentucky, it’s important to be aware of this dangerous disease and to know the symptoms.
Mycoplasma haemofelis is another potentially dangerous disease affecting cats. The parasitic bacteria is transmitted via flea bites and results in a total loss of energy. The anemia caused by Mycoplasma haemofelis can be so extreme that it can even result in death. There have also been rare cases of this nasty disease being transmitted to humans.
Tapeworms are some of the most disgusting parasites on Earth. These creepy worms are spread by accidentally ingesting infected fleas. Once in our system, tapeworms make themselves at home in our intestines or, in rare cases, our brain. Once settled in, tapeworms feed and grow to anywhere between six feet to 28 feet long. Don’t worry though, tapeworms are very easily treated.
How To Prevent a Flea Infestation?
After reading all that, I’m sure you’re ready to start protecting your home and yard from a flea infestation. Here are a few fall flea prevention tips to help keep your pets and family safe from fleas and the diseases they carry.
These tips will help you prevent fleas for making a home in your property, but there’s no replacing professional flea control. Here at Environmental Turf Management, we have premium flea and tick services to help protect you and your family from these dangerous, biting pests.
If you want to know more, give us a call at (770) 446-0234 or request a free quote here. For the latest tips and tricks from the experts, check out our blog. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest deals and news.