Flea Control in Cleveland, OH
While flea infestations are common, finding and treating the source of the problem is often vey complex. Chronic flea issues occur when fleas latch onto you and your pets — that part is easy enough to understand. The problem, however, is misinformation about pet flea treatments. Most pet owners rely on their pets’ monthly flea treatments to prevent fleas. However, these flea treatments don’t attack all possible angles of infestation. New fleas that developed away from the pet simply jump onboard, which causes the issue to reoccur. In other words, as long as there’s a separate source of fleas other than your pet (rodents, for example, are a big source of fleas), you will always face the risk of re-infestation. In order to effectively manage an infestation, fleas must be removed from the pets, the yard, and the home. Removing and excluding flea-ridden wildlife from your property is also an important factor to consider.
Comprehensive Flea Control
Interior treatment includes application of residual control. The benefit of this method is that it often outlasts the fleas’ life cycle. When used in conjunction with other flea control methods outlined below, it’s unlikely that you’ll have a recurring infestation issue.
- We inspect the interior and exterior of the home for hidden sources of wildlife. Recommendations are made when applicable.
- We perform a thorough flea treatment to the interior of the home. This includes treatment on carpets, rugs, upholstered furniture, and anywhere your pets stop to rest.
- We target both larvae and adult life stages by combining insect growth regulators with an adulticide spray. As such, no young fleas escape extermination and will not have the chance to grow up and reproduce.
- We apply dusts to areas where fleas pupate. This knocks out adults as they emerge from their cocoons.
Stop fleas outside before they become an issue inside. Treat your yard to reduce introductions in your home.
- Enjoy lasting results with our micro-encapsulated insecticide spray. This special formulation reduces the risk for dermal exposure to pets, as well as people inhabiting the yard.
- Our insect growth regulators prevent larvae on the ground from maturing into biting insects.
- Shaded areas and underneath vegetation are the main hot spots outdoors. These are the areas we target with our exterior service.
Flea eggs, larvae, and and pupae do not jump like adult fleas do. One effective tactic for dealing with early-stage fleas is to run them over with steam. By doing so, you can instantly knock out any flea in a juvenile stage within your home. This service complements our vacuuming regimen.
- We bring in steamers to treat your carpets, rugs and upholstered furniture. This is a great add-on flea control service to use in conjunction with our other services.
- Steam heat targets eggs and pupae in ways that liquid sprays cannot. While sprays have the ability to knock down adults and larvae, their effect on eggs and pupae is minimal.
Experience has taught us that other flea control options will fail to produce significant and long-lasting results if there is flea-infested wildlife on site. Removing flea-infested rodents, raccoons, feral cats, and other animals should be considered your first line of defense.
In Ohio, the Cat Flea, Ctenocephalides felis, is our primary pest species. Cat fleas are unique due to the fact that the adult remains on their host, rather than hopping off after a feed. Their laterally-compressed bodies are adapted to weave in and out of fur. Cat fleas are also highly adapted in several other ways, and can survive repetitive scratching and other grooming actions. They have numerous hairs and spiked protrusions that can latch onto fur and clothing. A scaly exoskeleton shell protects them from injury. They also have a great resistance to being squished. Want proof? If you manage to find and catch a flea, squeeze it as hard as you can between your fingers. Then watch it jump away. They are powerful jumpers and can propel their bodies to a height of around 7 inches. In fact, they can reach their host from slightly over 12 inches away. Common hosts in urban areas include cats, dogs, rats, mice, squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, opossums, skunks, rabbits, birds, and even humans.
Fleas go through a life cycle similar to that of a butterfly. Their complete metamorphosis includes egg, larvae, pupae and adult life stages. The entire cycle can take 30-75 days to complete, and the process speeds up in hot and humid weather. As a result, flea season in Cleveland, OH runs from July through October.
Adult cat fleas live for 4-25 days. In order to lay eggs, a blood meal is required. When a female flea is properly fed, eggs can be laid at a rate of up to 1 egg per hour. The female loosely adheres her eggs to their host. The eggs will then fall off where the host animal sits and rests. Within 2 weeks, the eggs hatch into tiny worm-like larvae. They feed on skin flakes and dried blood during a development period that can last up to several months. These larvae thrive in hot and humid areas that are protected from rain and sunlight.
In order to mature into adults, the larvae require their own blood meal. In order to provide this, the adult feeds on more blood than they personally require. The adult then excretes this undigested blood — this is what’s known as flea dirt. As the flea dirt dries, the fecal matter falls from the host. The larvae will feed on the flea dirt until they’re mature enough to spin a protective cocoon in which to pupate. Carpet fibers, dust, hair, and other debris adhere to the silk of the cocoon. This adds camouflage and an additional protective layer to the pupal case. Because newly-emerged adults require a blood meal within a week in order to survive, they will wait to pick up a signal that a host is nearby before breaking out of their cocoons.
Tips and Tricks
- Try restricting pets’ access into infested areas outdoors.
- In addition, humans can wear repellents to prevent fleas from grabbing hold when visiting areas with high flea populations.
- Before bringing pets indoors, use flea combs to remove any fleas. Flea combs can remove 10% – 60% of fleas on a host animal.
- By regularly washing or disposing of pet bedding, you can disrupt the flea life cycle.
- In addition to laundering bedding, make an effort to vacuum up eggs and flea dirt where ever pets stop or rest. This must occur every other day to be effective.
- Bathing pets removes the flea dirt and dander that provides food for flea larvae.
- Gather adults with light traps as they emerge from their cocoons.
- Cut the lawn and remove weeds to reduce harborage outdoors.
- Clean and sweep porches, patios and decks.
- Screen vents and chimneys to exclude potentially flea-infested wildlife from nesting inside your home.
- Finally, use air conditioning inside the living space and dehumidifiers in basements to create an unfavorable indoor environment for fleas.