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What Southern Maine Property Owners Need To Know About Flea Infestations

a flea on dog hair

Fleas are a pest that many people without pets don’t think about very often, and even those with pests might not realize how much of a problem they can be. While fleas live in the fur of animals, they can also become a health risk for humans.

 Fleas don’t actually live on humans like they do pets, but that doesn't mean we aren't vulnerable to flea bites. Beyond the discomfort of itchy bites, the most troubling thing about fleas are the diseases they carry.

 Because fleas are such a tiny pest, many people don’t have a good idea of what they look like. While you might notice other signs of fleas first, knowing what they look like can be helpful. Here is what fleas look like:

  • They are a reddish-brown color
  • They often appear as small brown or red dots on an animal's fur.
  • Their narrow bodies only reach up to 3mm long.
  • They have large back legs used for jumping.

Are Fleas Really That Dangerous?

Pets that have flea infestations will have to deal with itchy bites and the unpleasant sensation of small insects living in their fur. While humans don’t have to deal with being a host for these parasites, flea bites do occur which can lead to itchy red bite marks.

 While you might not think of fleas as full of germs, they are one of the most common disease spreading pests. This trait puts them in a similar category with rodents, mosquitoes, and cockroaches. Fleas are what started the largest pandemic ever recorded as they can cause Bubonic Plague.

 Other than the plague, fleas can also carry tapeworms, bartonellosis, and murine typhus, and they might cause allergic reactions for some people.

How Can You Prevent Fleas?

While it’s more common to get an infestation in your Southern Maine property because of pets, fleas can also get into homes that don’t have pets. This is because, while fleas don’t live on humans, they can hitch rides on human clothing or secondhand furniture.

 Because of the risks that fleas pose, knowing how to protect yourself, your family, and your pets is important. There are some things you can do to help prevent flea infestations, such as:

  • Working with your vet to keep fleas away from pets. This is one of the most important prevention methods and vets might recommend things like medications and flea collars.
  • Keeping your home or business clean by vacuuming, sweeping, and decluttering.
  • Looking at secondhand clothing and furniture for fleas before you bring these items inside.
  • Preventing wildlife that could also carry fleas from getting into your yard. You can do this by storing pet food properly, installing floodlights, and making sure that trash cans have tight lids.

The Best Way To Prevent Fleas On Your Property

Doing what you can on your own to keep fleas away is an important step, but the most effective and long-lasting solution to flea infestations is working with the professionals at Big Blue Bug Solutions. With more than 80 years of experience in Southern Maine, our technicians are ready to work with you and your vet to help prevent flea infestations. We even offer free inspections, so give us a call today to get started.