Living in Honolulu is idealistic. You have access to local hiking trails, the harbor, and excellent Oahu weather. However, there is one thing that can put a damper on living in this city: fleas. These parasitic insects plague both pets and humans with their itchy bites. For homeowners, fleas can become a big problem when they infest carpeting. Flea lifecycles can be nearly impossible to stop on your own as the infestations almost always spiral out of hand without the aid of a professional pest control company. A flea infestation can be hard to spot, but we have some tips on how to recognize an infestation and what you can do to prevent one from happening in your home.
How can I tell if I have a flea infestation in my home?
There are several types of fleas in Hawaii that Honolulu residents may encounter. According to the University of Hawaii at Manoa, the most common type of flea on Oahu is the cat flea. Don’t let their name fool you! Cat fleas are also the fleas that are responsible for dog itching and carpet infestations. In fact, cat fleas can attach to over 100 different animal hosts. The adults look like dark brown specks with a reddish hue, almost like coffee grounds, with sizable legs. They grow up to one-eighth of an inch and are impressive jumpers.
Fleas may find their way into your house by attaching to your pets, clothes, shoes, and even skin. In the majority of cases, fleas travel via a host. Flea infestations can be a result of a pet or could be coming from a wild mammal such as squirrels, raccoons, and feral cats. Flea activity in your home can also be a sign of a rodent or wildlife issue. If you think you have a rodent problem in your home, click here.
Even though fleas are particularly hard to find because of their minuscule size, you can still check for these warning signs:
- You find bite marks around on your ankles, feet, or lower legs.
- Your pets are scratching excessively.
- You find soil on your furniture or pet products. These brown specks may be flea dirt, the waste the insects leave behind. To test if it is from fleas, wet the soil on a white napkin. If it turns red, it is flea dirt.
- You see physical fleas jumping in your carpet around your pet and home.
Once inside your house, adult fleas lay eggs very quickly. These eggs fall into pet beds, carpets, or furniture crevices. After a few days or weeks, the eggs hatch into larvae, which also prefer to stay burrowed in dark places. The third stage of a flea’s life is the pupae stage, spent in a cocoon, which can last from a week to a year before they develop into adult fleas. Because they can stay dormant so long, it is essential to treat them to prevent long-term infestation.
How can I prevent fleas from living in my home?
Because of the consistently warm weather in Honolulu, fleas are a year-long concern. It is essential to take preventative actions several times a year to protect both you and your pets. Luckily, sand fleas in Hawaii do not survive long in your home, so you can focus on just tackling the ordinary cat and dog fleas. Here are some tips to protect your family:
- Wash your pets’ toys and bedding regularly.
- Deep vacuum rugs, carpets, and upholstered furniture regularly. If possible, get them professionally cleaned.
- Check yourself and your pets after a day outdoors.
- Ask your vet about flea prevention for your pet.
The best way to prevent fleas from infesting your home is with professional preventative pest control. To learn more about our flea control plans, click here.
Are fleas dangerous?
While cat and dog fleas do not stay attached to human skin, their bites can be painful and cause skin problems. Many individuals are allergic to the bites, which can result in large welts, dry skin, and painful scratching. The fleas pose a more significant threat to pets. If your dog or cat ingests fleas, they can get infected with the tapeworm carried by the insects. Additionally, a large or prolonged flea infestation can cause anemia. If you believe fleas are living on your pet, consult with your veterinarian.
How can Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions get rid of the fleas in my home?
There are several natural and DIY flea removal methods that you can find in stores and online. Still, there is no guarantee they will get rid of all the insects hiding in furniture and rugs, especially those pesky pupae that can lay dormant. Instead, call Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions for a free consultation! Call us or fill out the contact form on this page to get started.