Every year, fleas cause itching and other discomforts for millions of people and their pets. That is not the worst of it, however, for fleas can also transmit bacterial infections such as cat scratch fever and the plague. Being able to recognize a flea infestation in your home or elsewhere is vital so that you can get rid of these insects and avoid the problems associated with fleas. Several key signs may indicate a flea infestation in your home.
Fleas will go after your pets first, so your pets will show the earliest and clearest signs of a flea infestation. You may have a problem if you see these things with your pets:
- Scratching and Biting: A cat or a dog that spends an excessive amount of time scratching and biting may be suffering from fleas. In particular, cats tend to scratch their heads and necks a great deal if fleas are present, while dogs will scratch and bite their hind quarters.
- Red or Black Flecks: An abundance of red or black flecks in your pet’s fur may indicate a flea infestation. These flecks are the droppings that fleas leave behind.
- Red and Irritated Skin: As you groom your cat or dog, pay close attention to the skin under the fur. Red and irritated spots on the skin may mean that fleas are present because the skin of pets reacts to flea bites and to all the scratching and biting animals do to get relief from fleas.
There are also signs of a flea infestation that manifest on people. The following may indicate a flea infestation:
- Skin Bumps and Irritations: Small red bumps that itch and other skin irritations can be a sign of a flea infestation. Pay close attention if skin irritations appear suddenly and do not respond to ordinary over-the-counter treatments, for such things may mean that the irritations are caused by flea bites.
- Lower Extremity Rashes: Not only are skin bumps and irritations a sign of a flea infestation, but the location of these things on the body can show that fleas are present. Pay special attention if rashes or other irritations are evident on your lower legs, ankles, and feet, as this is where fleas are most likely to bite people.
The clearest signs of a flea infestation are the fleas themselves. Though fleas are tiny, they can be seen with the naked eye. If you see them in your pets’ fur or catch them hopping on your curtains, carpets or other flooring, you likely have a flea infestation. The best way to address this problem is to hire a qualified professional such as Pinpoint Pest Control. Our safe and effective treatments for flea infestations in North San Diego County have eliminated fleas in many homes.