Fleas are wingless insects that normally prefer to feed on animal blood, but will also drink human blood if the opportunity presents itself. Ranging in size from 1/12 of an inch up to 1/6 of an inch, fleas are nevertheless capable of jumping great distances with their powerful legs. The average flea can leap 8 inches up and 16 inches across in search of a host.
Able to fit compress their slender bodies into small spaces, fleas will often hide in small cracks or corners when not on a host animal. Female fleas also tend to drop eggs around a home as they ride their animal host from room to room, thereby spreading the infestation. If you have found fleas in your dog or cat’s fur, this usually indicates a much greater population elsewhere in the house since these adults fleas generally account for only around 5% of the total population.
Flea bites often become irritated and the raised, red spots can both cause pain and bleeding. There is also a chance that, due to the blood to blood transmission, flea bites can pass disease, such as was the case in the middle ages when fleas spread the Black Death throughout Europe.
Do It Yourself Albuquerque Pest Control
People most often notice a flea infestation when they return from a trip. This is because the fleas inhabiting the home have been starved for blood in the absence of the human residents and attack much more aggressively upon their return. Simply removing pets from the home is also not an effective method of flea control and in fact will push the fleas to turn to human hosts for their source of blood.
The best time to control flea populations is in late spring before the adults have the opportunity to begin a new lifecycle. Effective control means controlling fleas at every stage of their lifecycle, from egg to larvae, to pupa to adult.
- Cleaning: Once pets have been thoroughly cleaned and removed from the home for a few hours, the first step is to sweep, vacuum and mop all surfaces. After this initial cleaning, proceed to the treatment phase.
- Liquid Residual Insecticides: These chemicals control the flea population by killing the adults. These treatments are designed to linger in the home and provide residual effects for several weeks. Make sure all animals are safely out of the house, including fish and birds, before applying any flea treatments. FenvaStar EcoCap and FenvaStar Plus are both liquid residual insecticides.
- Insect Growth Inhibitors: In order to stop a flea infestation, you need to kill the flees at every stage of their life cycle. Insect growth inhibitors prevent fleas from developing from larvae into pupa, thus breaking the cycle. The flea life cycle can last six weeks and fleas are active in this cycle between the spring and fall. Tekko Pro IGR and Martin’s IGR are two examples of insect growth inhibitors.
- Flea Control Aerosols: Aerosol sprays combine liquid residual insecticides with insect growth inhibitors and are best used in houses with hard floors rather than carpets, though it is possible to use them with carpets as well. Precor 2526 Premise Spray and PT Alpine Flea Spray are both popular options for flea control aerosols.
- Exterior Treatments: Both liquids and granules can be used on enclosed, exterior spaces to prevent future infestations.
- Pet Flea Treatment: There are numerous treatments available from vets or over the counter that can help prevent your dog or cat from
Flea Pest Control in Albuquerque
Controlling a persistent and parasitic pest such as the flea can be a challenge for anyone not used to dealing with such threats. Care must be taken to cut off the flea life cycle, to repeat the treatment in 4-6 months when its effectiveness diminishes, and to use a range of chemicals that treat the problem without threatening people or pets.
That’s why for pest control, Albuquerque residents know to turn to Preventive Pest Control. At Preventive Pest Control, our experienced New Mexico residential pest control experts know how to apply the right combination of treatments to eliminate annoying flea populations and put up a powerful barrier preventing their return. Timing the application of life cycle inhibitors and applying liquid insecticides and aerosols in a safe, yet highly effective manner is our specialty. So don’t leave it up to chance and call the Albuquerque pest control experts at Preventive Pest Control.