Hundreds of flea species live in the United States, but only a few cause significant problems for people and pets. These tiny, biting, wingless creatures create turmoil indoors and out. Fleas are ectoparasites, meaning they live and feed on the exterior of their animal host. Even with names like "cat flea," these pests aren't particular. They'll feed on cats, dogs, rodents, wildlife and people. Fleas can also transmit viruses that cause diseases in humans and pets.
Common fleas grow about 1/8 inch long, with large, powerful hind legs made for jumping. Their semi-translucent, reddish-brown bodies are flattened from side to side. After feeding, their blood meal can be seen inside.
Signs or Damage of Fleas
Fleas hatch from eggs and pass through wormlike larval stages. Problems start when they mature and seek a host. Signs of flea infestations include scratching pets and human flea bites, often at ankle height. Flea bites are small, round and very red, usually occurring in masses. To check pets, groom fur and then clean the comb or brush over a white cloth. Infested pets will yield fleas and tiny, dark specks of flea feces known as "flea dirt."
How to Control Fleas
Effective flea control involves killing adult fleas and their larvae to create a protective perimeter around your home. GardenTech brand offers highly effective products to kill fleas before they get inside:
- Sevin Insect Killer Lawn Granules kill and control fleas by contact and keep protecting for up to three months. Apply the ready-to-use granules with a regular lawn spreader at the recommended label rate for flea larvae and adults. Cover lawn and home perimeter areas, then water immediately to release the active ingredients.
- Sevin Insect Killer Ready to Use2 kills fleas on contact in lawns, around home perimeters, and on outdoor surfaces around your home. Just shake the sprayer container and adjust the nozzle to spray wide or narrow. You can kill outdoor fleas and reduce the potential of fleas entering your home. For best results, remove leaves and other plant debris around foundations before you spray.
Flea Control Tip: Never use lawn and garden pesticides on humans, pets or pet bedding areas. Treat your pets with veterinarian-approved preventive flea control products to kill fleas that feed on pets.
Always read product labels thoroughly and follow instructions, including guidelines for listed plants and pests, application frequencies and pre-harvest intervals (PHI) for edible crops.
GardenTech is a registered trademark of Gulfstream Home and Garden, Inc.
Sevin is a registered trademark of Tessenderlo Kerley, Inc.