Fleas originate from another infested animal. They easily spread between different animals and then make their way into your home when the pets come in for a visit or to sleep. Outside, fleas can typically be found in shady areas, near long grass or bushes, while they wait for a host to pass by.
Inspect the carpet, upholstery, and curtains for any signs of fleas or flea dirt. You can also use a white towel or cloth and drag it along the floor to see if any fleas or flea dirt come up. Check any areas where pets have been, such as the pet's bed or toys, for signs of fleas or flea dirt.
A good way to spot it is to use a flea comb over a sheet of white paper, which makes it easier to see the small black specks. Another sign of a potential flea problem is flea dirt on pet bedding, carpets or rugs.
The most common way for fleas to enter your home is when a cat or dog attracts fleas and brings them into your house. But, fleas can also enter another way. They may come through with an old piece of furniture, or clothing and skin of a person who already has been infested.
Wash all bedding in hot, soapy water
For mild infestations, wash your bed sheets in hot soapy water. The soap will kill fleas, while also destroying their eggs and larvae. Consider vacuuming your mattress as well. Don't forget to do the same to your pet's bed.
You might be asking yourself will fleas eventually go away? While some could last 2 – 3 weeks, they could also live for up to 12 months on the host it finds, so it is unlikely they will go away on their own. Fleas can also reproduce very quickly by laying eggs in carpet, bedding, or garden prolonging the infestation.
After tending to the fleas on your pet, it's time to get rid of the infestation in your home. In most cases, it takes three to four months to completely get rid of a flea infestation since it takes fleas this long to go through their life stages, according to the American Kennel Club.
Soon after you conclude that you might have a flea in your home, you may wonder, “does one flea mean an infestation?” While one flea may not seem like a big deal, these small bugs breed extremely quickly. So fast that if immediate action is not taken, an infestation is surely on the horizon.
Dee added: “People might feel a little embarrassed to find out they have a flea infestation as fleas are often associated with dirty environments – but this is a common misconception. “Fleas will move into any environment and even homes without pets can get flea infestations.
Moderate to severe infestations will take months to control and require a four-step process for complete elimination: Sanitation. Thoroughly clean areas where fleas frequently breed.
You'll find flea eggs in any and all places that your cat or dog frequents—beds, bedding, crates, couches, chairs, carpeting, floor cracks or crevices, and corners. Flea eggs can survive for approximately 10 days before hatching.
In your yard and in wildlife, fleas live in high grass, sand, sheds and debris – places where they can find shade and humidity. These areas, such as the grass underneath a shrub, provide the perfect conditions for all three stages of the flea's life cycle. From the egg lay to the cocoons – and that's not all.
Wildlife like skunks, squirrels, raccoons or opossums, can leave behind adult fleas or flea eggs when they spend time around the house, in the attic or your crawl space. Mice and rats can transport fleas into your home.
During the day, fleas often hide in dark, cool places where they can avoid detection and where the temperature is more conducive to their activity. Fleas will often hide in the fur or feathers of animals, such as dogs, cats, birds, or rodents, where they can remain protected and close to a source of food.
As few as 20 fleas might mean your pet is infested, while the most could be between 200 to 300. Ignoring a few fleas can quickly lead to an infestation on your dog and in your home,2 because two adult fleas could lead to hundreds of eggs and pupae. Fleas start feeding on blood within minutes of landing on your pet.
Clean, clean, clean
This is why, if your pets have fleas you must treat and clean your house as well. Collect all bedding, throws, rugs and clothing and wash them in soapy water - washing liquid will do. The soapy water is known to kill the eggs, larvae, pupae and adults. Vacuum everything.
Covering skin with long-sleeve clothing and pants will minimize exposure to bites. Flea bites often occur on the lower legs and feet, protect these areas with long socks and pants. Treat clothing and gear with products containing 0.5% permethrin.
Will a flea die without a host? Fleas are parasites; they need a regular supply of blood to survive. Adult fleas develop a dependency on the blood of their host, so yes, they will quickly perish should they be separated from them for a certain amount of time – this could be as short as a couple of days.
Hair loss, dry skin, and lesions in the areas where your pet is scratching could lead to infection and more severe diseases if fleas are left untreated.
Adult fleas will be killed within a few days but the floor should not be vacuumed, swept or washed for at least two weeks after treatment because there will still be eggs which will continue to hatch.
Fleas generally cannot live in human hair. While most species prefer to live on the furs of animals, they can use humans as temporary vectors. In such cases, fleas can infest and bite humans. You may get infected if there is a serious case of flea infestation in your environment.
When it has a host, an adult flea can live about 100 days. But how long can they live without a host? Those fleas typically live only one to two weeks. The entire lifespan of a flea, from egg to adulthood, can last a few weeks or even a few months.