If you have a pet, more specifically a dog or a cat, then you've probably had a flea infestation before and, if you've ever dealt with a flea infestation, you know how frustrating they can be. Those fleas don't make it easy for you to get on with your life. They'll have you spraying, washing, powdering, sucking, and dunking every item in your home just to get rid of them! You may choose to spray your carpets, your pets, or entire rooms inside your home with flea sprays or wash your clothing, your bedding, your pets' bedding, and even your pets themselves in an attempt to eliminate. You may take the approach of powdering your pets to deter fleas. That's a fun job… not! You may try to suck up all the flea dirt, flea larvae, flea cocoons, and adult fleas in your home with your vacuum over and over again or continually bathing your pets in veterinarian-prescribed products in an attempt to rid yourself of your flea problem. It all depends on which road you decide to take. But the worst part is, you may try all of the methods above over and over with no success! It can be a grueling effort to get rid of fleas, depending on what steps you take and how bad your infestation really is. But all of that hard work isn't the only thing you have to contend with. To make things worse, fleas can also present a health risk for you and your pets!
The flea that most commonly invades homes in Southern Maine is the cat flea, scientifically known as Ctenocephalides felis. Despite their name, cat fleas will actually feed on both cats and dogs and have no problem biting people as well. And when they bite, they can transmit several diseases:
Cat scratch fever, which is caused by the bacterium Bartonella henselae, and can be passed from fleas to cats and then from cats to people through a bite, scratch, or contact with their saliva in certain areas.
There are over 22 named species of bacteria from the genus Bartonella that can affect dogs and cats. These are referred to generally as bartonellosis.
Murine Typhus, which can be caused by the bacteria Rickettsia felis, can make humans very sick but will not affect the health of your cat or dog in the same way. While you could develop symptoms such as fever chills, body pain, nausea, vomiting, rash, or worse, your pet is likely to only experience a slight fever for a few days as a result.
Pets can get flea allergy dermatitis from fleas, which is often accompanied by hair loss and wounds on the skin. This mostly affects dogs, but can also affect cats.
When a large number of fleas feed on your pet, they may become anemic. This can also lead to further health problems for your pet.
The plague, while extremely rare, is still a threat for pets and their owners and fleas are a vector for this disease.
Tularemia is a potentially serious disease caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis. This disease is spread from fleas that have fed on rodents, so take greater caution if you have a flea infestation and a rodent infestation at the same time.
Another significant threat fleas can present is parasitic worms, in particular, tapeworms. These worms primarily affect dogs and cats because dogs and cats often accidentally ingest adult fleas while grooming themselves. If an adult flea has the tapeworm parasite, it takes root in the intestine of the animal. This can happen in humans as well, but it is rare.
Most of the time, a flea infestation will come and go without any health implications, especially if a pet owner is familiar with the process of getting rid of flea infestations quickly. But if a flea infestation is prolonged due to ineffective flea control, serious illness may result. That is why we recommend professional treatment when dealing with fleas.
HOW BIG BLUE CAN HELP!
If you live in Southern Maine and you're having trouble resolving a flea infestation in your home, let Big Blue Bug Solutions take care of those fleas for you! We use modern Integrated Pest Management (IPM), green pest control, and EPA-approved pest products to effectively arrest flea infestations. The products we use are residual. So, not only will active fleas in your home be eliminated during the treatment, but the surfaces in your home will continue to eliminate any new fleas that emerge or fall off your pet. This breaks the cycle of infestation and returns your home to a flea-free state. And flea-free is the way to be!
In circumstances where mice or rats are a factor, we can assist you with that as well. Our service team members are trained and licensed to solve rodent problems just as effectively as we solve flea problems!
Get started by scheduling a free inspection with us at Big Blue Bug Solutions today. We'll take a look at what pest pressures you're dealing with and help you figure out the best plan to get rid of them!