If you have pets then there’s no question they spend a lot of time in your yard. Whether it’s tossing a ball to your four-legged family member or just having them by your side while you’re spending time outdoors, you enjoy that time with them and want to feel confident they’re safe.
If you’ve ever considered what’s lurking about in your backyard, then you may be spending more time worrying than you’d like. Among the various pests that may be taking up residence, fleas are a serious concern. All they have to do is catch a ride from a rabbit or a mouse that is passing through and suddenly they’ve found a home in your lawn—and soon, on your pet.
You ought to be able to enjoy your lawn without having to worry about fleas! The last thing you want is for your pet to accidentally bring them into your house.
We understand what a burden fleas can be and don’t want you to have to worry about them. Let’s explore 10 vital facts about fleas that you should know, including how treatment will keep you and your pet protected.
1. Fleas Are Excellent Jumpers
While the average flea can jump a horizontal distance of 8 inches, some have been recorded jumping as far as 20 inches. A lot of it depends on the flea species. Dog fleas, for instance, jump further than cat fleas.
It is the flea’s ability to jump that makes it such a threat to your pets. The flea uses its shins and feet to push off the ground or grass blades and jump onto its host. If that happens, fleas can eventually be carried into your home as well.
2. Fleas are Tiny
Fleas usually measure between 1 to 3 mm in length, making them difficult to spot. Unfortunately, most people do not realize they have a problem with fleas until it’s already an infestation. While fleas may start out on your pet, their eggs may roll off and end up throughout the lawn, spreading the problem. Just a few fleas can easily turn into a total infestation.
3. Fleas Eggs Take Anywhere From 2 Days to 2 Weeks to Develop
A flea’s eggs will hatch when the environmental conditions are just right for them to thrive. Flea eggs found in the lawn will do well in warm and humid weather and will hatch in as quickly as just 2 days. However, if the temperature is cold and the air is dry, the eggs could take as long as 2 weeks to hatch.
4. Fleas Breed Like Crazy
A female may lay as many as 2,000 eggs in her lifetime. The lifecycle of the flea begins when an adult female lays eggs following a blood meal from the host (aka, your pet). Females cannot reproduce without blood. The eggs are laid in your pet’s fur in bunches of 20. Eggs rarely all stay on your pet but instead roll off and end up in your lawn or even your home.
5. Fleas Will Live One Week Without Feeding
The average flea lifespan is generally between 2 and 3 months, however, with an ongoing food supply, a flea can live up to 100 days. Without a meal, fleas will only live about 1 week.
6. Fleas Rely on Blood Their Entire Life
It’s gross, but true—fleas are one of the few insects which rely on blood throughout their entire lifespan. Fleas live on their host and use their mouthparts to feed on blood through the host’s skin.
7. Fleas Prefer Animal Hosts
There are different species of fleas including cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis) and dog fleas (Ctenocephalides canis), however, despite their names, cat fleas are capable of affecting dogs as well as a variety of other animals.
Dog fleas are most commonly found in Europe. If your dog or cat is exhibiting signs of fleas (itching or sores), they most likely have cat fleas. While fleas can bite humans, it’s extremely rare for them to live on the human body. They prefer the blood of your four-legged family members. If you’ve discovered flea bites it’s likely they’re living on your pet.
8. Fleas Prefer Areas That are Shady, Moist, and Humid
The truth is, most pets become infested with fleas when roaming outside. There is mixed information in terms of whether fleas live in the grass, but most researchers agree that fleas do prefer outdoor areas that are shady, moist, and humid. When these conditions are right, fleas are thought to be able to thrive in a lawn.
The other problem is that a lot of wildlife carry fleas. Raccoons, opossums, deer, coyotes, skunks, stray cats, and various rodents all commonly carry fleas and can deposit eggs and larvae in your yard. Considering fleas are such excellent jumpers, it will be easy for them to make your pet their new host. This makes it important to be treating the lawn for fleas.
9. Spraying Lawn for Fleas Also Works on Ticks and Ants
Using a lawn flea control product that also works on ticks and ants will provide your family with a strong barrier of protection. While ants are more of a nuisance (but still one you don’t want to deal with), ticks are a pest to take seriously considering they can harbor diseases such as Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
A program that takes care of all of these pests at once is ideal.
10. Lawn Flea Control Doesn’t Last Forever
A lot of people ask why they would need multiple treatments if the flea control products kill fleas. It’s important to recognize that even though the first application will kill the majority of the fleas in your yard, even a few remaining fleas can start reproducing and start the cycle all over again. On top of that, you have to remember that wildlife can continue to bring new fleas into your yard.
This is why it’s vital that each application of product builds upon the treatment before it. This is important as the product does start to wear off over time.
Because these products are safe, they also don’t last forever. You must continue spraying the lawn for fleas with a product that is environmentally responsible and safe for kids and pets to play on. At Oasis, we perform 4 rounds of Ant, Flea & Tick Control from late spring until early fall to cover the full season of these pests.
Working With Lawn Pest Control Companies
The truth is, it’s not enough to just treat your pet for flea protection—although you should absolutely be doing that, too. We always advise following your vet’s recommendations. However, since these pests can continually make it onto your lawn from outside sources, you want to have the best protection possible. That means spraying your lawn for fleas.
At Oasis Turf & Tree, our Ant, Flea & Tick Control program will take care of the majority of these pests so that you can get rid of your worries and feel confident that your family members, including the four-legged ones, are all fully protected. This will allow you to go back to enjoying your lawn instead of worrying about what’s creeping around inside of it!
If you’d like to learn more about our pest control services for your Cincinnati, Dayton, OH, or Northern Kentucky home, call us at 513-697-9090 or get your quote online, and help us find the program that is best for you, then sit back and relax.
Image source: Flea