Planning a Vacation? Treat for Fleas Before You Go!
By Chris Williams on May 22, 2014.
We’ve seen this scenario happen more than once. A family goes on vacation. They close up the house and board the family dog and cat. When they return a few weeks later and settle back in to their home, they are attacked by fleas. What happened? They didn’t have fleas in their house when they left.
Well, they did have fleas in their house before they left but they never really noticed them because they were on the pets. Flea larvae develop, usually unseen, in carpets, under sofas, in pet bedding—wherever your pets rest. The female flea living on your pet lays eggs that drop to the ground. The larvae that hatch feed on feces that drops from the adult fleas (it’s mostly digested blood). When they’re fully grown, the larvae pupate inside a small, hidden cocoon. When the flea inside its cocoon senses heat, vibration, or carbon dioxide indicating a nearby animal, it emerges from its cocoon and immediately jumps onto your pet.
But when there is no pet available to feed on, and the house is dark and quiet, the scenario changes. While you’re gone, those flea eggs in the carpet, under the sofa and in your pet’s bedding will still hatch and the larvae will still feed and mature. But, the adult fleas will remain in their cocoons until they get that stimulus that says there is a host nearby. When you and your pets walk back into the house, fleas suddenly appear from everywhere. Fleas prefer to feed on cats and dogs, but when they’re hungry and when there’s lots of them, they can attempt to feed on people as well.
Stop the Mail! Stop the Fleas!
So what can you do to prevent this from happening in your home? A week or two before you leave on vacation, have an exterminator treat the flea “hot spots” in your home to keep flea larvae from developing while you’re gone. If your pet is going with you, have your veterinarian treat your pet for fleas before you go. If you are boarding your pets at the vets while you’re gone, arrange for them to be treated during that time. If your pet isn’t treated when your home is treated, the pet can reinfest your home with fleas after you return.
Add Colonial Pest Control to your pre-vacation checklist. Call us to schedule a flea treatment before you leave, or to schedule one while you’re gone. It’ll be one less thing to worry about.
photo credit: Patti’s Pet Perfection via photopin cc