If you want to successfully eliminate and prevent fleas in your house, then you need to understand how fleas got into your home in the first place. Once you are armed with this knowledge, you are half-way into winning the war against fleas. You can then stop fleas from getting in your house and continuing the infestation, or re-infesting your home.
This article will detail different ways in which fleas can find their way into your home.
How Fleas Get Around
Fleas are small, wingless insects. This means they cannot fly or run around quickly. So, how do fleas get from place to place? The answer is that they are specially adapted to jump long distances, sometimes jumping 200 times their own body length! This makes them HIGHLY mobile. Plus, the fact that fleas are so small makes it easy for them to sneak into homes undetected.
Jumping onto Pets
The most common way fleas get into homes is from jumping onto your cat or dog when they are outside. Your pet will then come back inside after getting contaminated. This is how most infestations start, and it only takes one female to start laying up to 50 eggs a day. Sometimes fleas will actually lay their eggs directly onto your dog or cat. Fleas can quickly multiply, and within a few days one or two fleas could turn into a full blown flea infestation.
Jumping onto Clothes
So you don’t have any pets, but you still have fleas? Well, YOU might be the carrier. You do not have to own pets to have a flea problem. Fleas are also attracted to people when they are looking for a blood meal. So, when you are out an about, fleas can hop up on our socks, shoes, or pants. You could then unknowingly bring them into your home. Fleas live outdoors and in buildings, so you are always at risk of having one jump on you, unless you are a recluse.
Moving into a New Home
Sometimes fleas will be the residents of homes long before you move in. This would be the case if the previous home owners had a flea infestation which was not treated. Flea eggs can last years without dying under the right circumstances, flea pupae can be dormant for up to year, waiting for a host to walk by, and adult fleas can hibernate for up to a year as well.
If you moved into the new house, you may not have noticed any fleas. However, as soon as the house heats up and the fleas can detect a host, they will come out to feed. Many times this is reason for fleas in houses where the owner does not have pets.
Friends’ Pets Inside Your Home
Sometimes friends or family will bring over their pets to your place. You could be watching their pets while they are vacation, your dog could have a play date with their dog, or maybe they just overly attached to their dog. Whatever the reason, if you let someone else’s pet into your home, you run the chance of having a flea problem. Make sure you ask friends and family if their pet has been treated for fleas before letting them into your house.
Friends & Family Have Fleas
Your friends or family members might be fighting a flea infestation, or they could be unaware that they have one. In these cases, you might be subjecting yourself to contamination when you go over for a visit. Or they might come over to your place, bringing their blood sucking friends with them.
Getting our pooches regular exercise is important in keeping them healthy and active. Many people will either take their dog to a dog park, or go on a nice walk with them. In both of these situations there is a high likelihood of running into other dogs. Anytime your dog gets close to another dog, there is a chance fleas are jumping across to feed on a new host.
Plants are a great hiding place for fleas and other bugs. If you bring plants into your home from the outdoors without first debugging them, they may bring in fleas (and other pests). Even new plants from the store or nursery could very easily contain fleas. That is why it is always important when buying indoor plants to ensure they have been treated for insects. Bringing in fresh soil can also contain fleas and their offspring, which is why store bought soil is usually baked.
The close proximity of neighbors can result in sharing of a flea problem. People living in apartments are most likely to deal with this. Fleas can quickly move from house to house, whether by crawling on their own, hitching a ride on person, or jumping onto an animal. Fleas can also live outdoors, so if your neighbor’s backyard is contaminated, you are at risk too.