“HOW COULD WE POSSIBLY HAVE FLEAS IN OUR HOME?”
By Chris Williams on December 4, 2018.
Help! We just found out that we are being bitten by fleas in our home and we don’t even have a pet! We did have houseguests more than a month ago and they brought their dog, Jake. We assumed Jake had been treated for fleas but could it be his fleas that are biting us?B. K., Boxborough, MA
It could be the offspring of Jake’s fleas that are biting you. If you’re certain the bites are from fleas and not from something else like bed bugs, the visiting dog is probably the most likely source. A professional pest inspection could rule out other possible sources for the fleas such as a feral cat or other animal living in your crawlspace, or raccoons or squirrels denning in your chimney or attic. And this is assuming that you have not owned a dog or cat for several months since new fleas can wait for months in the pupal stage, or that you have not recently moved into a previously vacant house, again for the same reason.
FLEAS STAY ON THE PET, BUT THEIR EGGS DROP OFF
If Jake had fleas, those fleas almost certainly would have stayed on the dog while he was in your home. Adult fleas rarely leave the animal they are feeding on. But female fleas lay eggs on an ongoing basis and those eggs fall off of the pet and into your carpeting or the pet’s sleeping area. The wormlike larvae that hatch from the eggs will eventually pupate in tiny cocoons and adult fleas will later emerge to look for a new animal to feed on.
FLEAS COULD BE FROM A CRAWLSPACE VISITOR
If the fleas are instead from a wild animal nesting in or under your home, removing the animal and any young and treating the den area should solve the problem. Just as with pets, fleas usually won’t leave a wild animal unless it dies. It’s possible that the denning animal has even moved on, leaving behind flea eggs or larvae that developed into hungry adult fleas.
At least you won’t have to worry about the other necessary part of flea control which is treating the pet to kill adult fleas on the animal. Once we treat your home to eliminate adult fleas and flea larvae, and remove any wild animals in residence, your flea problem should be gone for good. And our flea work is guaranteed.