Help! I Have Fleas But No Pets - Where Did This Infestation Come From?◀ Back To Blog
January 8, 2013
What are Fleas?
Fleas are insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals with adult fleas typically measuring about 1/8 inch long, and ovular and reddish-brown in appearance. Wingless with powerful hind legs, fleas can leap up to 6 inches! To the naked eye, flea larvae resemble tiny whitish "worms”; you most likely wouldn’t be able to identify them at all, because they are encased within a sticky cocoon covered by incorporated soil particles and small items of debris from the habitat in which the larvae develop. A female flea can lay 4 to 8 eggs on her host after each blood meal, approximately 500 eggs during her lifetime. Fleas- like bed bugs- can go several months without food.
Can You Have Fleas Without Pets?
To put it bluntly: yes, you can in fact have fleas without pets. If you’re concerned that fleas have somehow managed to infest your home despite having no pets, you should be looking out for a few signs:
- You have bites on your body. Flea bites appear as small red dots, and typically have a bite pattern of 2 or 3 groupings or clusters.
- Check your carpeting. Try standing on the carpet with white socks on; there’s a good chance that fleas will jump from the carpet onto your socks, which will be an instant indicator you have a flea infestation.
- You are actually able to identify a flea. As we previously mentioned, fleas are about ⅛ of an inch in size, reddish-brown in color with flat bodies.
How Can You Get Fleas Without Pets?
Often fleas that have been living on wildlife may find themselves in your yard. With their incredible jumping ability, fleas can hitch a ride on you as you walk by, and even jump right through your front door--though that’s a pretty unusual scenario. If you know that wildlife- such as deer or raccoons- like to hang around your house, it's smart to be especially mindful of fleas. Neighbors' pets may also have a tendency to explore your property, and leave fleas in the vicinity. Even something as simple as a visit from a flea-bearing neighbor can bring fleas into the home. Fleas are excellent at finding ways to get around, and are keen to settle in when they find an available host.
Apart from their ability to spread, a major concern with fleas, especially for those without pets, is that a flea infestation may be a sign of even bigger problems. Rodents can act as a great home and a great source of transportation for fleas, and when rodents find a place to settle in, the fleas often spread out looking for more food. If you find yourself with fleas but without pets, it is advisable that you look around for a potential rodent infestation as well. Rodents come with their own host of problems, and rodents and fleas together can be very bad for you, as fleas can host rodent tapeworm, which is infectious to humans.
How do I get rid of Fleas?
Fleas can be a very difficult problem to resolve; Thomas Pest Services highly recommends that you avoid do-it-yourself sprays and treatments. Over the counter flea solutions are usually ineffective to solving flea problems, and can be dangerous in the hands of a non-expert. Best practice for flea removal is to leave it to a licensed pest professional to get rid of fleas, and Thomas Pest Services is staffed with pest techs perfectly trained for the job.
Flea prevention is important, but if you need to get rid of fleas, contact your Albany exterminator for flea removal services. Thomas Pest Services offers free quotes to Chatham, East Greenbush, Saratoga and surrounding areas throughout the Capital Region for flea removal.