A flea infestation typically begins when the insects jump on a pet while outside and the animal unwittingly brings them inside. Fleas are parasites that feed on blood. Given the choice, they prefer to bite animals such as cats or dogs. Nevertheless, if your home is infested with this type of pest, you are also at risk of bites.
Bites from fleas are irritating to people and pets alike. Though the risk is small, they may also transmit diseases to humans. It is important to be able to recognize the signs of an infestation and contact us so that we can treat it as soon as possible.
What are the signs of a flea infestation?
Fleas themselves are very tiny insects, measuring only a fraction of an inch. They prefer to bite when their victims, whether canine, feline, or human, are at rest. They can live on the backs of cats or dogs unnoticed because they are small enough to hide within the fur. They can also hide in areas around the home. Therefore, you may notice their bites on yourself, your family, or your pets before you see the fleas themselves.
Flea bites have some similarities with mosquito bites, and it is easy to confuse the two. Nevertheless, unlike mosquito bites, flea bites do not swell up. While mosquito bites are typically isolated, flea bites occur in clusters. Flea bites may bleed more than mosquito bites and then scab over. Rarely, flea bites can cause allergic reactions, such as rashes or hives. More often, they cause itchiness, and sometimes pain or soreness.
Unusual pet behavior
Unfortunately, dogs and cats cannot communicate directly with their owners that they feel itchy and uncomfortable. However, pets can convey to humans that they might have fleas by their behavior.
- The following are behavioral signs that your pet may have fleas:
- Unusual restlessness
- Head shaking
- Frequent scratching, biting, or licking themselves
A flea infestation can also cause hair loss in cats and dogs. You may notice red skin occurring in unusual patches. If you notice signs like this from your pet, you should conduct an inspection of your pet’s fur with a fine-tooth comb and a bowl of soapy water in which to drop any fleas you find. The soap will kill the fleas.
Eggs or flea dirt
You should check your pet’s bedding and your furniture for flea eggs. These are very tiny, with the appearance of small particles similar to salt and pepper.
You may also notice black or reddish-brown specks on the skin of your cat or dog, as well as in areas where your pet spends a lot of time resting. The common term for this is “flea dirt,” but it actually consists of the insects’ feces.
One way to be sure whether the specks are flea dirt is to expose them to water. Flea dirt turns red in water because it consists mostly of blood that the insects have digested after biting their hosts.
Have our team treat the flea infestation in your home
Once you know you have an infestation, treating fleas becomes necessary. It is not only your home’s interior that may be infested, but your yard as well. Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite Services offers flea treatment as part of the residential pest control services we offer, both inside and out. today for more information.