Just because the temperatures cool off in the fall and winter doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods yet. Fleas pose a threat to your pets and family all year long. In fact, fall can be a time where flea infestations are fairly common. These fall flea control tips from the experts at LawnLab helps keep fleas away from your pets and family this fall and winter.
When living outside, fleas can’t survive through freezing temperatures. That’s where overwintering comes in. Fleas are smart enough to know that when the temperatures start to drop, it’s time to find a warm place to live. Unfortunately for us, the best place for a flea to hole up for the winter is our warm, cozy home.
Fleas are parasites, meaning they need a host to live off of. Usually, these hosts are unwary animals like rats, mice, cats, and dogs. Once they find a host, they hold on for as long as they can. They drink the blood of their host and reproduce. A female flea can lay as many as 50 eggs every day for up to 3 months.
In the fall, in their search for a warm host to overwinter on, fleas often find their way onto our pets and into our homes. Once inside, fleas can lay thousands of eggs over the fall and winter. These eggs can fall off the host and into our beds, couches, rugs, and carpet where they will hatch and start the life cycle all over again.
So, to recap, if a flea is outside without a host in the freezing temperatures, then it will not survive. That’s why, in the fall, fleas tend to find ways to overwinter on a warm host or in a warm home, making fall flea control important.
Historically speaking, yes. Fleas are very dangerous. It was the flea that transmitted the bubonic plague, killing over 50% of Europe in the 14th century. Yes, 50%. The only creature on earth that has caused more deaths is the mosquito. That being said, do we have to worry about the bubonic plague here in Texas? No, not really, but that doesn’t mean fleas are harmless here. Fleas in Texas pose their own set of problems.
Murine typhus has been making all the news here in Texas over the past few years. While rats are the main carrier of this dangerous disease, cats and humans can also be infected from a flea bite. Knowing the symptoms will allow you to catch it early and seek the necessary treatment.
Mycoplasma haemofelis is a parasitic bacteria that can be quite dangerous for cats. This disease, transmitted from fleas to cats, causes anemia, a total loss of energy, and can even cause death. Though it is rare, humans with compromised immune systems have been infected by M. haemofelis. Treatment is pretty easy and includes antibiotics.
Cat scratch disease is an illness caused by the bacteria Bartonella henselae that is transmitted to cats by flea bites. This disease can then be passed to humans if an infected cat bites or scratches hard enough to break the skin. This disease is pretty common in cats, infecting over 40% of cats at some point in their lives. Most cats don’t show signs of ever being sick but, in humans, symptoms can be fairly extreme. Blindness and schizophrenia-like hallucinations have been reported, though these symptoms are extremely rare.
Tapeworms are another threat from fleas here in Texas. These creepy parasites are transmitted via swallowing an infected flea and is typically found in cats and dogs. However, people can become infected as well. Don’t worry, tapeworms are easily treated once they’re found.
Preventing and controlling fleas in and around your home is important to the health of your pets and family. Lucky for you, there are a few easy ways to reduce flea populations around your yard. Here are a few LawnLab fall flea control tips to turn your yard into a flea-free zone.
Indoor flea control is a bit different. Eggs, larvae, and cocoons can be deeply embedded in your couches, carpet, and beds so it’s important to do a deep cleaning. LawnLawb’s fall flea control tips can help make your home inhospitable to fleas.
For the best fall flea control available, invest in flea control services from LawnLab. With flea control services from LawnLab, you won’t have to worry about sharing your home with biting fleas this fall and winter.