Flea infestations are a common pest problem that most pet owners are familiar with. However, when you find fleas in your home and you don't have pets, it can make you scratch your head—and other areas of your body. Today we're going to take a look at how fleas might get into your Nashville home even if you don't have a pet.
How Fleas Travel
First, it is important to point out a fact that might not be obvious. Fleas don't hop into your home. They don't hang out near your front door and hop inside when you open the door. They're also not going to enter your home by climbing in through gaps and cracks in your exterior. They just don't do this. This is how a flea will travel in each of its stages.
Stage 1: A flea begins life inside its egg. If an egg is laid on an animal, it can travel with the animal for a short time or fall off onto the ground. Once on the ground, it isn't going anywhere.
Stage 2: A flea hatches from its egg as a larva. In this stage, it looks like a little worm, not a flea. It does not have the ability to spring through the air and it isn't going to wiggle far.
Stage 3: A larva cocoons itself and develops into a pupa within the cocoon. It can stay in this stage for five to fourteen days. As a pupa, a flea doesn't travel anywhere.
Stage 4: A pupa develops into an adult flea within the cocoon. It stays in the cocoon until an appropriate host comes near. Fleas take a host animal, preferably an animal with fur. An adult flea can wait in this cocooned state for as long as five months for an appropriate host. While in the cocoon, it doesn't travel. If it breaks free of its cocoon and gets on a host, it will travel with the host. If it doesn't manage to get onto a host animal, the flea will remain in the general area looking for another host. Even as an adult with the ability to spring through the air, it won't travel far. Why? Because it takes energy to jump and a flea needs a blood meal to get energy.
So, as you can see, fleas don't travel far unless they get on a host animal. Once they find a host, they can go where the host goes. If that happens to be a dog or cat, they can go right into a home. When they get on a wild animal, they're limited by that animal. A skunk isn't likely to bring fleas into your home. But there are some animals that can.
Some animals will only get into outside voids, such as underneath your deck. Some animals will get into sheds and outbuildings. Some will venture into your garage. But then there a few that will actually get into your home. Animals that get into your home fall into two categories: Attic dwellers or free roamers. We made those terms up. They're not official. But you get the point. Some animals, like squirrels, will stay in your attic space. Other animals, like mice and rats, will move about your entire home. Here's what you can expect from fleas when they're brought into your home.
If an animal gets into a secluded attic space, the fleas are likely to remain in that space. They're not going to move about your home. The only concern with this is that, if you go up into that space and bring something down from storage, you could bring fleas down with you.
If an animal gets into a wall void of a finished attic space, this can lead to an infestation within that space. A bedroom in a finished attic space can quickly become a miserable place to be if fleas have been brought in by an animal.
If mice or rats get into your home, they can carry fleas into nearly every area of your home. This can lead to a widespread flea infestation in your common areas.
Apart from wild animals bringing fleas into your home, there is one other way you might acquire an infestation. Adult fleas aren't the only fleas that can be carried into your home. Fleas can enter your home as eggs, larvae or cocooned pupae. If you purchase used furniture, you could purchase a flea infestation.
No Matter How You Get Fleas
Whether fleas are carried in by a pet, a wild animal, or you carry them in by accident, there is one sure-fire way to get rid of them. Reach out to All-American Pest Control. We use residual products that break the cycle of infestation to arrest flea infestations. Get relief today. We will be happy to make your home flea free, once again!
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