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Fleas

Don’t you wish you could eat 15 times your body weight every day and not gain a single pound? I would be in Heaven…watch out all you can eat buffet, this gal is getting her eat on!!!

In all seriousness though, let’s talk about the crazy little insect that can claim the above fact…. the flea! They actually do consume 15x their body weight in blood every day and still keep active enough to jump 6 whole inches high. That may not sound like much until you consider how tiny these pests are! Even more impressive (and scary) is the fact that the adult females will lay 40-50 eggs per day! Even scarier yet, is where those eggs end up which is on your couch, carpets, pet beds and even worse…. if your pet sleeps with you on your bed, chances are you have fleas and eggs on your bed as well. That is not what I want to curl up with on Friday night!

Once the eggs hatch, they emerge as tiny little worm-like larvae that feed off of the expelled blood from the adults…yup… blood-poop! Yum! The larvae then transform into pupae which grow inside of a silk-like cocoon. This cocoon isn’t your normal little comfy, bed. It is completely impenetrable and impervious to insecticides!! That’s right…like their own personal little bomb shelter! Once they have matured, the adult flea emerges and the whole cycle starts over again!

So how do you get rid of fleas?

1. First of all, treating your pets is the first requirement! Visit with your vet on the most effective treatment for your dog or cat.

2. The next step is to remove all items from the floor to ensure a thorough treatment can be applied. This includes children toys, blankets, pet beds, shoes, pet bowls etc.

3. After that is done, you will want to place all pet bedding, blankets, fabric items and anything that can be laundered in a large garbage bag and burn it… just kidding!… no, wash it!!! Wash and dry twice to eliminate any live fleas on the fabric.

4. Next, vacuum all carpeted areas thoroughly!!! This is so important because of a couple of reasons! By vacuuming, it allows carpet fibers to be lifted up which allows treatment to reach into those fibers. But also, it warms up the fibers which causes eggs to hatch earlier, thus allowing them to come in contact with the treated area. Lastly, because it will help remove some of the fleas as well! Be sure to use the attachment and reach the tough areas under furniture and around floorboards. When finished, empty the contents into a garbage bag, seal it up and dispose in an outside garbage receptacle.

5. You are now ready for your favorite company, Barrier Pest Control, to come in and apply the first application of the flea treatment. Yard treatments are also recommended and you can ask about adding it as well.

–  Written by Marie at Barrier Pest Control

CC image by Michael Wunderli at Flickr