What are fleas?

Fleas feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals and sometimes people, although we are not their favorite hosts. Though tiny in size, fleas can become a massive problem for homeowners in the Wilmington, NC area. Using their powerful back legs, they can jump quickly out of danger, and their hard body makes it very difficult to squish and kill these insects.

Fleas are reddish-brown, wingless, and have bodies that are flattened from side to side. They have specialized piercing mouthparts they use to hold onto their victims while feeding on their blood.

a flea clinging to dog hair

Are fleas dangerous?

Fleas are annoying pests to deal with either on your pet, in your yard, or inside your home. Many people and animals are allergic to their saliva. After bitten by a flea, those who are allergic develop a raised, red itchy rash. Fleas do carry and transmit some disease-spreading pathogens, although the spread of disease by fleas is not a significant concern in the United States.

A bigger concern for people in our area is that fleas are intermediate hosts for parasitic tapeworms, which they can transmit to both people and animals. Also, fleas populations can explode in a very short time, and they are difficult to control in yards and inside of homes, making them a problematic pest for any homeowner.

Why do I have a flea problem?

Unfortunately, living in North Carolina, the mild weather allows for fleas to be a year-round problem. Although most people think of fleas as a problem that only pet-owners have, the truth is, fleas can become a problem in any yard, home, or outdoor space. Wild animals like deer, skunks, rabbits, squirrels, and chipmunks are most likely to introduce fleas into a yard. Then, when you or your pets come into contact with them, they end up finding their way into your house.

Other than your yard, you can find fleas in places like the park, playground, groomers, dog park, and campground. Also, used furniture or rugs purchased for your home can harbor fleas.

Where will I find fleas?

Fleas spend most of their lives on the bodies of the hosts they are feeding on. Their flattened body and strong back legs allow them to maneuver easily through the fur of their animal hosts. When they’re not on an animal host, fleas will choose damp, shady areas to hide out in and wait for a new host to happen along that they can jump onto and begin feeding on.

Outside hiding areas include tall grass, under leaves, and in the dirt under decks and shrubs. Inside fleas hide in rugs, the cracks of floors, behind baseboards, in upholstered furniture, and bedding.

How do I get rid of fleas?

Eliminating household pests is a job best left to professionals. Get rid of fleas and other household pests from your Wilmington area home with the help of the local experts at Jay Taylor Exterminating. With over 80 years of experience in the industry, we know how to get pests out and keep them out! We deliver high-quality pest control and exceptional customer service that you can count on.

For homeowners looking to maintain a pest-free household, reach out to Jay Taylor Exterminating Co. and learn about our residential pest control solutions!

How can I prevent fleas in the future?

Avoid attracting fleas to your North Carolina property by implementing some of these flea prevention tips in and around your home:

  • Treat all pets, year-round, with a flea preventative product under the guidance of a veterinarian.

  • Vacuum your home daily, especially in the areas where your pets spend the most time.

  • Regularly wash pet bedding.

  • Do not purchase used rugs or upholstered furniture for your home.

  • If possible, keep pets off of upholstered furniture and beds. 

  • Keep grass cut short.

  • Cut back any overgrown vegetation on your property.

  • Remove bird and animal feeders from your property.

  • Keep locking lids on trash cans and compost to keep foraging rodents and other wild animals out.


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