Why Fleas Are Dangerous to Pets in Oklahoma
July 17, 2019
What’s black and white and leaves red bumps all over? You guessed it, flea season! As summer progresses and the weather continues to stay humid, everyone's least favorite pests come out to find new hosts to hitch a ride on.
Female fleas lay over 50 eggs per day and can turn any home into an itchy nightmare within a matter of weeks. No pet owner is truly safe from these 2-millimeter insects. Jumping distances over 150 times their body length, any unwitting creature that happens to pass by the flea's hunting ground may find themselves riddled with sharp, angry bites.
Fleas may be considered an inevitable household pest for pet owners, but what many people don’t realize is that a flea bite may cause more serious concerns. Some immune systems develop flea allergies, which leads to large, swollen pustules that may persist for days at a time. Continuous scratching may end with an infection requiring a professional evaluation and treatment.
Then, of course, there are also flea-borne diseases to be concerned with, even within the United States. It was the humble flea that carried the infamous bubonic plague, which was responsible for killing over 25 million people during the Middle Ages. Other potential illnesses that these insects carry include Tularemia, Murine typhus, and Tungiasis, many of which can be found right here in Tulsa and Oklahoma City. Dogs, cats, and other pets are susceptible to these diseases as well, including certain strains of parasites. Many of these diseases are treatable with proper medical care and antibiotics, but unresolved sickness may lead to chronic issues, blindness, or death.
The climate around Oklahoma allows fleas to thrive, putting pets and pet owners at risk for infestation all summer long.
Much like their close cousin the tick, some of the most significant environmental factors for flea infestation are tall grasses and shrubbery, Shady glades with plenty of stagnant water pools offer the flea larva the perfect areas to hide and thrive. When triggered by vibration, pressure, and carbon dioxide, the larvae will spin themselves into cocoons and enter the pupa phase, alerted to the presence of a potential host.
While conditions throughout the year can bring about small armies of these blood-sucking insects, temperatures climbing past 85 degrees Fahrenheit will cut the flea's average two-month developmental time down to three weeks. High humidity also encourages fleas to breed while locations with little to no moisture can quickly kill off large populations.
Fleas are highly susceptible to extreme temperatures, light, and dry spells. Humidity lower than 70 percent often sends fleas to shady, brushy areas. Once the weather drops below 45 degrees or raises above 95 degrees, adult fleas are no longer be able to regulate their body heat and will succumb to the weather. However, younger stages of fleas are unaffected by temperature and will enter dormancy. If an adult flea has found a suitable host, it may survive through the winter with few issues. Once a flea finds a host and enters a home, it may be challenging to eliminate.
Dandi Guaranty Has Your Back
Fleas are some of the most numerous pests your home can face, spreading diseases that may affect both you and your favorite furry friends. Tiny and nearly invisible to the untrained eye, flea infestations can crop up in any home. If fleas have taken hold of your property, professional pest control services may be needed to protect your home from the dangers they cause.
Call Dandi Guaranty today to schedule a free flea inspection and consultation for all your pest control needs. Family-owned and operated, Dandi Guaranty has served the Tulsa and Oklahoma City areas for over 60 years with tailored service. Our highly trained staff have the experience necessary to remove pests quickly and efficiently. Here at Dandi Guaranty, we’re passionate about protecting you.