Fleas

Here in the United States, there are two species of fleas that are found on our pets: Ctenocephalides felis (cat flea) and Ctenocephalides canis (dog flea). The “cat” flea is the most prevalent on both cats and dogs. Additionally, this flea is found in more than fifty species of domestic and feral mammals and birds. Included in the group are raccoons, possums, rodents, rabbits, and ferrets. Having any of these critters on your property can lead to an infestation. 
 
Fleas have a characteristic jumping behavior that allows them to travel up to a foot in distance. Their reddish-brown color, along with a flat side profile, is what most people are familiar with when trying to identify one. Through the detection of vibration, heat, and carbon dioxide, fleas know when an animal or human is nearby, and make the leap. Once a flea has landed on a host animal, it immediately begins to feed on the blood. 
 
Pet owners are quite aware of these parasitic insects that inhabit the fur of their family friends. Dogs and cats fall into a group of animals that are called “nesters.” Fleas thrive on nesting animals due to easy access to the animal while they are lying down asleep or sitting in their favorite spot. These “bed” areas quickly become epicenters for a nasty flea infestation. Fleas can gain access to your pets in several ways. Contact can be made outdoors with other animals or at a place that has been infested previously (groomers, vet, kennel, etc.). The fleas find their way into your home and reproduce prolifically. Female fleas are voracious feeders in order to be able to lay eggs. The eggs fall off of the host, hatch, and a new army of fleas is unleashed. 
 
Not only do fleas bite you, but they also transmit diseases. The black plague back in the 14th century was spread by fleas as well as the bubonic plague today. Another common disease that is transmitted through fleas is Murine typhus. Moreover, fleas act as intermediate hosts for tapeworm, which your pet can easily contract when ingesting a flea. Should one inadvertently jump into your mouth, you would suffer the same consequences.
 
Here in California, fleas are abundant and thriving outdoors. Coastal areas in the southwestern regions of the U.S. are inundated with fleas because of humidity and heat. As the days become warmer, the flea population is bursting at the seams. 
 
Contact your veterinarian if your pet shows signs of fleas or bites. Secondly, inspect your pet’s bedding, areas where they lay, carpeting, and furniture. If you suspect you have a flea problem, do not waste time. Contact the professionals at Go-Pher the Kill Pest Control. Our team of professionals here at Go-Pher the Kill Pest Control will promptly evaluate your flea issue and recommend an effective way to eradicate these pests once and for all. The longer you wait, the greater the infestation will be.