The summer is meant to be a relaxing and enjoyable time of year, but nothing can get in the way of an enjoyable summer like a pest infestation. In Wisconsin, there are plenty of unwelcomed pets that can enter your home, such as rodents, wasps, and other insects. However, one pest to be on the lookout for this summer are fleas.

Every year, fleas cause itchiness and other discomforts for numerous people and their pets. What’s more, these tiny insects can also transmit bacterial infections, like cat scratch fever. Being able to recognize a flea infestation in your home is essential in getting rid of these bothersome insects and avoiding any serious flea-associated issues. In this blog, we are going to review some common signs of a flea infestation as well as other helpful information.

How Does Your Home Get Fleas?

Many people believe that a flea infestation is related to the cleanliness and condition of a home. However, fleas can — and will — affect everyone.  Fleas typically enter your yard through wildlife, such as squirrels, possums, rabbits, and more. Then, either you, your family, or — more likely than not — a family pet will unknowingly bring these fleas under your roof. Additionally, dog parks, neighborhood pets, and outdoor activities like hiking are other common sources of picking up fleas.

What Do Fleas Look Like?

Fleas are very small insects. In fact, it’s pretty difficult to spot them unless they are on a white surface, and even then it’s still a challenge. These insects have four life stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Flea eggs are very small, generally about the size of a granule of salt. Larva are small, white-looking caterpillars, growing no longer than 5.2 mm in length. Adult fleas can be dark brown or a reddish brown, have long legs, and thin and flat bodies.

Signs That You Have Fleas

Knowing what the signs of a flea infestation are is essential to early detection and preventing major flea-related issues. Let’s take a look at some of the most common signs of a flea infestation so that you can be on the lookout for them.

Scratching Pets

If your pet is scratching itself excessively, there are several skin conditions that exist that could potentially be the cause. However, when incessant itching is a symptom in your pet, your veterinarian will likely look into fleas as a cause first. Many pets — and even humans — are allergic to flea bites, causing a skin reaction that causes itching. Typically, dogs with fleas will be likely to scratch their back legs due to fleas — they may even try to bite the irritated area. When pets are excessively scratching, it can potentially lead to an infection which will need to be treated by a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Reddened Skin or Loose Hair On Pets

Believe it or not, with cats, fleas tend to target areas around the head and the neck. Dogs, on the other hand, are more likely to have fleas attacking their hindquarters. Seeing any balding, or red, inflamed skin in these areas of your pets, paired with excessive itching, is a sign that you likely have a flea infestation.

Visible Sightings

While fleas are very hard to see, sometimes you can spot their small, flat bodies. Their six legs allow them to jump quickly and far. Even if you do not see any fleas, you should not automatically assume that you don’t have a flea problem. Typically fleas in all stages of life can be extremely difficult to see and are easily able to live in your home or yard without your knowledge.

Flea Bites

There is a chance that your family may become prey to fleas that have been brought into the house. When there is a flea infestation, you may not only notice bites and itching on your pets, but on you and your family as well! If you notice any bites on your ankles, it is likely that you have fleas living in your carpets. Additionally, if you wake up to multiple bites on your skin, you may have fleas infested in your bedding. Fleas can be attracted to some people more than others, and pest experts believe this is because of body chemistry. Just because one person in your family has bites and another doesn’t does not necessarily mean that you are free from a home flea infestation.  

Flea Dirt

You are probably thinking, ‘what in the heck is flea dirt?’ Well, if you ever notice specks that look like salt and pepper, whether on your pet’s fur, bedding, or other areas they frequently spend time in could be a sign of fleas. These specks are actually flea droppings composed of digested blood or they could also be flea larvae. Noticing these is a sign of a flea infestation and you should consider flea control services and options.

Flea Control in Wisconsin

If you think your home has fleas, and you have tried all the suggested remedies on how to get rid of fleas, it may be time to call in a flea exterminator. Fleas can be difficult to get rid of once they have infested your home, and a professional pest control company will have the proper knowledge, experience, and equipment to eliminate them. When you need flea control or other insect pest control services in Wisconsin, contact 1st Choice Pest Solutions! Our team can effectively eliminate fleas from your home! To learn more about our local pest control services and flea treatments, contact us!