The warm temperatures and the humid climates known throughout Texas can attract a lot of various activities. On the down side, favorable warmth also marks flea season. Generally speaking, fleas are attracted to domestic and wild animals. Fleas have been known to drive our little pets crazy with the constant itch and irritation they cause, but they can have more of a devastating impact spreading Lyme disease and tapeworms.
A-Tex Pest Management share some facts and preventive measures you can take to better safeguard your pet and home.
– The life cycle of a flea consists of 4 stages; egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Female adults feed on blood and lay her eggs, which then hatch into larvae all within 5-11 days. While fleas are still in the larva stage, they will feed on the blood fed excrement left behind by the adults. Once they hit the pupa stage, they will attach themselves onto a favorable host, and in preferred conditions (warmth and humidity) and left to fester, they can survive up to a year on the one host.
– When it comes to Texas, the warm and muggy climate is the perfect place for a flea because of the temperatures, humidity, landscape, and indirect sunlight.
The temperatures are ideal because fleas thrive in warm climates. They do best in temperatures 70-85 degrees.
Humidity is necessary for a flea, as they need approximately 70% humidity levels to survive.
Landscape preferable to fleas is generally shaded and damp. An ideal place for these blood thirsty stalkers would be both rural and suburban areas, particularly; gardens and dog parks.
Indirect sunlight is important for fleas as direct sunlight will turn these little vampires into dust (ok not really but they do prefer to stay out of direct sun’s intense rays, preferring shade or darkness).
Flea Prevention in Homes & Yards
1. Manicure your lawn and landscape. Keep the grass trimmed, bushes hedges and trees pruned. Be sure to avoid letting vegetative waste pile up, as fleas will hide under it to block the sunlight.
2. Water your lawn regularly. Fleas despise the water. Water your lawn ever 2-3 days, especially in the shaded areas.
3. Beneficial nematodes. Nematodes are microscopic organisms that sift their way through soil and devour many annoying insects, including fleas! They can be highly effective and safe where pets and people are concerned.
Flea Treatment; How to Get Rid of Fleas
1. Bath. As previously mentioned, fleas and water don’t get along. If you suspect fleas, a bath with a flea treatment shampoo formula is a good start. Be cautious however, as due to your dog’s natural oils, they should not get a bath more than once a week. After bath time use a flea comb, rinsing it in soapy water in between strokes to ensure survivors walk away.
2. Vacuum. Females will abandon their hosts to lay the eggs, vacuum everywhere, but especially where pets linger. Vacuuming can suck up nearly 30% of larvae, 60% of eggs and much of the adult excrement that larvae feed on. Be thorough, under cushions and furniture, along edges and high traffic areas.
3. Washables. Anything that can be laundered should also be thrown in the washer, especially pet bedding, or yours if that’s where they sleep.