Windows and doors are supposed to keep pests outs. Window screens have long been the best way to let fresh air in and keep unwanted bugs out. The fine mesh of the screen is suitable for stopping all kinds of critters but can it stop everything? Do screens keep out fleas?
How Do Fleas Enter A Home?
Fleas are tiny and can leap 7 inches up. Their agility and size provide plenty of opportunities to enter a home. Houses with dogs and cats have a much higher likelihood of flea infestation.
Adult fleas can enter a home by clinging to clothes or hair or can jump in whenever an entrance is found. They are small enough to fit through screens and can hide anywhere once they get inside. Curtains, carpets, and furniture are fleas’ favorite hiding places.
Once fleas enter a house, they try to attach to the skin and fur of an animal, then lay their eggs. Flea eggs and flea larvae require a warm host to survive. female fleas need a blood meal to lay eggs, and pets make great potential hosts.
Common ways fleas enter homes:
- Pets or animals in the yard or under the house
- Used furniture, carpet, or clothes brought in from a flea-infested location may contain flea eggs
- Hopping in through gaps and cracks during rain and weather changes
Can Screens Stop Fleas?
Screens can’t stop fleas, but what can? Fleas can get through almost anything. Floor cracks, gaps in the door, and any fabric brought into your home are a quick path to a flea-infested home. Fleas are too tiny to be kept out from anything other than solid barriers like walls and doors. If there’s a gap, they can squeeze through.
What to Do if Fleas Are in Your Home?
If fleas are in your home, there’s no need to panic. In most cases, they will die out in a few months if no suitable host is found. If you have dogs or cats and they are treated for fleas, then you won’t need to worry about them breeding.
If you see fleas jumping around, there are a few things you can do to handle the problem and speed up their demise:
- Assess the extent of your flea infestation
- If it’s a small number of fleas, you can vacuum thoroughly and clean fabrics in the infested room
- For a larger infestation, do step two, and then spread diatomaceous earth in areas where infestations are prevalent
- Wait until the infestation has subsided and then vacuum up D.E.
- Repeat until all fleas are gone
Fleas Cause These Problems
Fleas suck. They bite, and they breed fast when the conditions are right. In days a room can be completely uninhabitable due to flea bites. They are not something that should be ignored, and any signs of these pests should be addressed immediately.
Not only will they bite you and make you miserable any pets will scratch fiercely. This results in fur loss and can sometimes break the skin and lead to infection. Your pets need protection from fleas and ticks.
Fleas can also be indicators of more significant problems in and around your house. Larger pests and rodents can become breeding grounds for fleas that enter your home when the weather gets worse. All these problems can really get out of hand, so it is best to deal with fleas swiftly.
How to Identify, Stop, and Prevent Fleas
Fleas are small, and it can be challenging to identify them before the infestation gets out of control. You have to pay close attention to spot fleas to be able to determine how bad the infestation is. If you do not catch it in time, you may need to vacate your house for several days to bug-bomb it. That can be expensive and inconvenient.
Usually, the first indicator of fleas is bites and marks on your skin or visible distress from your pets. Once you notice the scratching and itches, you can pay attention to surfaces with light solid colors. If you watch long enough, you will see little black specks landing and jumping out. When you see this, you have fleas.
Once you are aware of the presence of fleas, you need to determine where they have spread to and how infested the house is. An easy way to tell where the fleas are is to place a sheet of white paper on the floor and watch for black specks. The number of specks you see in a minute can determine the size of the infestation.
When you have fleas, you have to do something about it, or it can get worse. Calling an exterminator and putting a tent up is a last resort and can cost a lot of money. Before you do that, you can try a few things. Vacuum all the fabrics and pieces of furniture and treat any pets with flea killer. Clean up debris around entry points to your house and make sure no mammals are living in your crawlspaces.
After you vacuum, you can spread diatomaceous earth (D.E) in any area where the infestation is severe. When fleas touch D.E., it cuts them and drains them of moisture. They dry out and die very quickly. Once you no longer observe the fleas jumping around, you can vacuum up the D.E.
The best way to make sure you never have to deal with fleas is to prevent them. Treating your pets with flea treatments can prevent them from becoming hosts for flea larval stages. Keeping your yard and attics, crawlspaces, and structures free of rodents and pests can prevent flea nests from forming.
Regularly bathing and cleaning your animals is another way to prevent fleas. Vacuuming fabrics and changing furnishings can help prevent areas from becoming cluttered and inviting fleas.
|Bites from fleas and red marks
|Clean all fabrics
|Flea treatment for pets
|Check solid surfaces for specks
|Clean debris and remove rodents
|Vacuum and clean regularly
|Vacuum rugs and furniture