How Do I Know If My Toronto Home Has Fleas?
When it comes to pets, there’s one thing that owners try to avoid at all costs: fleas. If you’ve ever dealt with fleas, then you know how miserable they can be for both animals and humans alike. These tiny pests burrow into a variety of surfaces in your home, from blankets to couches to beds. They take over the whole house, which is why identifying a flea infestation and treating it is crucial.
How do you know if you have a flea infestation? Read on to learn the signs to look for and what you can do to get rid of them for good.
Signs of a Flea Infestation
Your dog may be able to bury a bone in the yard that you can’t find, but they’re not very good at hiding the fact that they have fleas. The first thing you should do to see if you have a flea infestation is to check your pet and yourself.
Signs you and your pet may have fleas include:
Scratching and Biting
Fleas like to find places on an animal where they won’t get knocked off too easily, but that doesn’t stop your pet from scratching and biting the places fleas like to hide on their body. That’s why scratching and biting the neck, tail, head, groin, and armpits is usually a sign of a flea infestation in an animal. If you see them itching, look a little closer.
Loss of Hair
All that scratching and biting can lead to hair loss. If you notice your animal is missing patches of hair, then it’s important to check them for fleas.
Some animals are allergic to the saliva of fleas, which is transferred to them when they get bitten by the flea. An allergic reaction to flea saliva will result in red, irritated, and itchy skin which may even result in a large scab when there’s too much itching.
Another telltale sign of fleas is flea dirt. Of course, this isn’t really dirt… but rather the droppings that fleas leave behind. These will look like someone shook some pepper all over your animal’s fur and are usually found close to the root of the hair.
You Are Itchy
If your pet is suffering from itchy flea bites, it’s only a matter of time before you fall victim too. Fleas won’t live on you because you’re simply not furry enough, but they will take a bite out of you if given the opportunity.
If you notice small, itchy red bumps on your skin, usually on the feet or ankles, then it may be a sign you have fleas in your home.
What You Can Do
If you think you have a flea infestation, the first thing you have to do is start at the source. As long as they can hitch a ride on an animal, they will just keep coming, so you have to be proactive and treat your animal with medications that can help keep fleas away.
You may also want to use non-chemical repellents to help keep fleas out. You can give your pet a bath with Dawn dish soap to help kill fleas. It may take a few baths before the fleas are all gone.
After your animal is treated, then it’s time to treat your home. You should:
Vacuum at least every other day in order to get any eggs left behind by adult fleas.
Wash It All
Gather up all that can be washed in your home and throw it in the washing machine with hot water. Pillows, leashes, toys, blankets, and dog beds all need this treatment. High heat in the dryer will ensure that everything is killed.
Hire a Professional
If you need to have your home treated beyond the measures you can do yourself, then hire a professional to come in and get rid of the fleas with customised pest control solutions for your home.
About the Author:
Daniel Mackie, co-owner of Greenleaf Pest Control, is a Toronto pest control expert and a regular guest on HGTV. He is renowned in the industry as an innovator of safe, effective pest control solutions. Mackie and business partner Sandy Costa were the first pest control professionals in Canada to use detection dogs and thermal remediation for the successful eradication of bed bugs. In his free time, he is an avid gardener.