Effective Flea Control For Ashland, Massachusetts Homes
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Fleas are an annoying reality of life for anyone living in Ashland, Massachusetts. The pests can quickly drive you and your pets crazy, presenting potential health risks as well as a significant nuisance. As an Ashland homeowner, understanding how to control fleas is key to a flea-free home. To do this, it’s important to understand the life cycle of a flea, the different types of fleas and the best flea control strategies.
What are Fleas?
Fleas are small, wingless, reddish-brown insects with long hind legs that allow them to jump impressive distances, often onto unsuspecting humans and pets. They can measure between one-sixteenth of an inch to one-eighth of an inch in length and can live as adults for up to 18 months. Fleas have hard, leathery exoskeletons that allow them to feed on their hosts’ blood and to resist drowning in water. Fleas typically target warm-blooded animals, such as cats, dogs, rabbits, and humans, to feed off of their blood. The adults feed off of blood several times each day. As well as being a nuisance, fleas can carry many diseases and parasites, such as tapeworms and other diseases, and can even transmit them to humans.
Types of Fleas Found in Ashland
There are several different species of fleas, but the most common species in Ashland is the cat flea. The cat flea is resilient and will feed on dogs, cats, mice, birds, or people when needed. They reproduce quickly and can lay up to 1,000 eggs in their lifetime.
Life Cycle of Fleas
Fleas live life in four distinct stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Adult fleas live approximately two months, lay many eggs, and feed repeatedly on their hosts’ blood. The eggs are laid in the fur of the animal and fall off onto carpets, furniture, and other areas in and around the home. A single adult flea can lay up to two hundred eggs in its lifetime, allowing infestations to spread quickly.
The eggs then hatch and enter into the larval stage. The larvae feed on organic matter, such as dust, debris, and animal dander. After a few days, the larvae spin a cocoon and enter the pupal stage. The pupae can also stay dormant for up to five months, allowing the flea infestation to spread into warmer months. The pupae then emerge into the adult stage and begin their cycle of feeding and reproduction.
Signs of a Flea Infestation
Flea bites on humans are often the first sign of an infestation. The bites can be identified as red bumps on the skin that are hard to the touch. Flea dirt, small black dots that look like pepper, may also be seen on linens, furniture, and carpets. Pets may scratch more aggressively than usual, or bite and lick their fur, as a result of the flea bites. It is best to check your pet for fleas regularly.
Flea Control Strategies
There are many steps to ensure effective flea control and prevention in Ashland homes, including regular vacuuming, vigorous cleaning, and treating affected areas with insecticides. Vacuuming is one of the most effective methods for controlling and eradicating fleas. Vacuum carpets and furniture frequently’at least twice a week and make sure to get into all of the nooks and crannies where fleas love to hide. Vacuuming also helps to break up the flea eggs and larvae, reducing the flea population.
All bedding, and especially pet beds, should be washed in hot water weekly. All additional linens and clothing should also be regularly washed in hot water and dried on high heat. For effective flea control, it is best to deep clean carpets and furniture thoroughly once a month. This will help to remove any remaining fleas and their eggs, as well as helping to keep the home flea-free.
Insecticides can also be used to treat an infestation, however, they should be used with caution as they can be hazardous to children and pets. It is recommended that a professional pest control service, such as F&W Pest Control, be employed to ensure that the fleas are completely eradicated. F&W’s integrated pest management approach (IPM) provides the professional quality you need with the environmentally responsible quality of a DIY approach. Trust the expert exterminators at F&W to get rid of your fleas this season. Get a free quote to start debugging your space today.
With some effort and regular maintenance, flea infestations can be controlled and prevented. Vacuuming regularly and washing bedding and linens in hot water, as well as deep cleaning carpets and furniture at least once a month, are all very effective methods for flea control. For assistance with flea infestations or for an in-depth treatment plan, speak to a local pest control service and have them complete a thorough inspection of your home.
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