For Atlanta homeowners, cat fleas can be particularly troublesome during the summer months, as warmer weather brings an increased population of strays — and their fleas — to yards. It can be a pesky problem, particularly as fleas make their way indoors and begin to breed and feed on anything they can get a hold of — cats, dogs and humans included.
Yet, cats are not always responsible for bringing these fleas indoors. In fact, cat fleas can be a problem even if you do not own a cat, as they often enter the home on a human host. As a result, prevention can be challenging, as flea and tick medication can only kill or repel the fleas that attack your pet and cannot prevent them from bringing this problem indoors. Treating cat fleas, then, is largely dependent on addressing the problem at the first sight of them.
If you own a cat or dog, pay close attention to their fur when grooming them. If fleas are spotted, be sure to take your pet to the vet for professional treatment and medication, as cat fleas can often lead to worms in both cats and dogs.
Treating your home professionally is also a must. Do-it-yourself methods are not foolproof because store-bought products typically do not address fleas within all stages of their metamorphosis cycle. So while off-the-shelf products may terminate the adult fleas, the untreated eggs and larvae may be left in the home to hatch months later.
To address this problem, professional pest control services use products that treat fleas in all stages of life. In addition, a follow-up treatment is typically conducted two weeks after the initial treat-ment to ensure that those fleas that were not killed the first time are terminated.
Homeowners are also asked to vacuum their carpet and upholstery before and after treatment to stimulate mature fleas to emerge from their pupa and quickly die. The bag and the vacuum should then be removed from the home and cleaned, as fleas can escape from the vacuum and reenter the home. Professional pest control services will also treat the yard, as well as entry points to the home, to decrease the likelihood that fleas will enter the home again.
It is a thorough process that requires diligence on the homeowner’s part, but one that results in few recurring problems. When your home and your pets are involved, that is the best possible scenario.
Chuck Gates is director of quality control at Atlanta’s Skyline Pest Solutions