“I think I’m allergic to my new puppy.” Says my friend. “Every time I pick her up my arms itch afterwards and get little red bumps.”

It seemed as thought the puppy also had dry skin or an allergy problem, because she had red bumps on her belly and would scratched and bite her skin. The owner had tried special foods and lotions, but nothing had fixed the problems. It turns out she wasn’t allergic to the puppy, but was getting bit by fleas. By bringing home this bundle of wiggles and fur, she had also brought fleas home. These new residents had spread to the carpet, furniture, yard, and her other dog.

Fleas don’t have wings, but their back legs are strong, enabling them to jump from one victim to another or from grass or trees to you or your pet. The “allergic” reaction she was experiencing from holding her puppy was due to sensitivity to the flea saliva after being bit.

Adult female fleas usually live for several weeks on your pet. During this time the mama flea will suck the animal’s blood several times and lay twenty to thirty eggs each day. She may lay several hundred eggs over her life span. These eggs fall off of the pet into the yard, bedding, carpet, couch, and wherever else the animal spends time. Simply giving your pet a bath or vacuuming a couple of times a week will not do the trick.

Fleas commonly infest homes with infected pets in the Treasure Valley. They are very small, less than an eighth of an inch. They survive by finding suitable hosts and sucking their blood. Fleas lay eggs on their host and can hatch 20-50 fleas in 2-5 days. The hatched larva feeds on dried blood and adult flea excrement. 8-15 days later, they develop little cocoons from which they pupate and become adults. Infestations with fleas may end up transferring to humans, though rarely. Fleas will also inhabit pet bedding or areas where pets frequent.

Simply giving your pet a bath or vacuuming a couple of times will not do the trick. Treating your pets professionally is suggested to begin getting rid of a flea infestation. Safe pest control treatments around bedding, upholstery, carpets, and other infested areas are also needed.

Getting the areas in and around your home and your pet(s) professionally treated, will do the trick. Then clean, clean, clean, and vacuums, vacuum, vacuum! Those little guys like to hide in cracks and dark crevices between your carpet and wall, and between the edge of the cushion and side of chair. Empty the vacuum bag/container after each vacuum; those little guys jump! Remember, if you treat everything in your home but not the yard, you will re-infest your home. The same goes for treating your yard, home, and pet but not treating the couch.

It’s much wiser to get it all at once! Call Barrier Pest Control today!