The owners of pet-free homes are often surprised when they discover itchy welts appearing on their skin. Flea bites may be mistaken for those of mosquitos or bed bugs. If these other two common pests have been ruled out, fleas are probably the culprit. Homes can have fleas residing in them even without cats or dogs in the house. Here are some of the ways they are introduced to the environment.
Transferred on Clothing
A short visit to a pet-friendly home could provide the opportunity for a few hitchhikers to return with the house guest. The fleas may take up residence for a short period of time. Since they cannot reproduce without feeding on the blood of animals, the infestation would be short-lived. The exception is when repeated visits are made to the infested home and new fleas are consistently introduced into the environment.
Left by Others
A new homeowner or recent tenant to a home may discover the previous owners left behind an unwelcome gift. Fleas can live up to 100 days without feeding, so even empty apartments and houses could be a concern. Deep cleaning before moving any furnishings into a new home will help to prevent this uncomfortable situation.
Brought by Rodents
The squirrels in the attic and mice in the walls could contribute to a flea issue. The pests will feed off any warm blooded creature and becomes a problem for humans when it leaves its host while inside. Most minor rodent infestations are not severe enough to cause a serious flea issue but it is a potential problem if the animals are in the home frequently.
Included With Purchase
Second-hand soft furnishings are a risky purchase. Even furniture that appears clean could be acting as a vehicle for bedbugs and fleas. Leaving the items outside in the cold for a day or two is not enough to eliminate the risk.
There is usually nothing to worry about if there are only a handful of fleas in a pet-free home. Vacuuming thoroughly and washing all bedding reduces the risk of additional bites. Any stray fleas remaining will die out within a couple of months because of their inability to breed when only feeding on humans. The time for action is when fleas are suspected and a new pet is arriving. Their presence could provide the food source fleas need to multiply. This is when it is time to contact a professional pest control service.Share