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 to humans and pets.
Identification: 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/Damage: 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, often occurring in mass. To check pets, groom and clean the comb or brush over a white cloth. Infested pets will yield fleas and tiny, dark specks of flea feces.
Control: 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 by contact before they get inside:
- Sevin® Insect Killer 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. Provide thorough, uniform coverage of lawn and home perimeter areas. Then water immediately to release the active ingredients.
- Sevin®-5 Ready-To-Use Dust provides effective flea control in home lawns. Use the ready-to-use shaker container and sprinkle a thin layer of dust on lawn grasses. For best results, irrigate before you treat and then do not water for at least two days.
Tip: Never use lawn and garden pesticides, including dusts, on humans or pets. Treat your pets with veterinarian-approved preventive flea control products. These products kill fleas that feed on pets and help stop the cycle of infestation.
Always read product labels and follow the instructions carefully.
GardenTech is a registered trademark of Gulfstream Home and Garden, Inc.
Sevin is a registered trademark of Tessenderlo Kerley, Inc.