Whether you own a pet or not, fleas could pose a real problem for your home and your yard. For those who don’t have a pet, fleas can easily be introduced to your yard from visiting animals or from a neighboring infestation.
Fleas thrive in an environment where they can feed and fleas feed on blood. This is why people associate flea infestations with animals. But humans can also become the feeding host for fleas.
What do fleas look like?
They are tiny black tubular bugs that can jump up to seven inches to find a suitable host. Adult fleas actively seek blood so they can reproduce. One flea can lay up to 20 eggs, which will cocoon and hatch to start feeding. This process can take a couple of weeks. Once hatched, an adult must feed within a week in order to survive. After that, fleas can go two to three years between feedings.
Fleas typically survive for about a year, though in an ideal environment a flea could survive for several years.
What do fleas do?
These tiny, long-lived insects are more than a nuisance to their hosts. Flea bites often resemble mosquito bites due to the raised red bump associated with a bite. The bite causes an itching and scratching response from its host than can lead to torn lesions or hair loss. Flea bites are often found in clusters or lines where a flea moved from one feeding spot to another until satisfied. Wikipedia provides several photos of flea bites on humans.
For pictures of flea bites click here.
What do I do if I find fleas?
For every flea you find on a dog, cat, in the yard or in the house, there could be dozens of other fleas that have yet to hatch. This is why more than a topical treatment of fleas is necessary to properly eradicate a flea infestation.