Common House Pests - Ins and Outs

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Fleas

  • Despite its diminutive size, fleas are carriers of typhus, tapeworms and the Bubonic Plague
  • 3,000 identified species of fleas – most common, cat flea, found on cats, dogs and people
  • If you encounter fleas, thorough vacuuming, twice a day for several weeks, is recommended
  • Noted abilities: jump hundreds of times their own height and carry loads hundreds of times their own weight
  • Can remain frozen for a year and survive
  • Leave bites on exposed areas, wrists and ankles
  • Flea eggs will hatch on the ground, in nests, carpet, bedding, upholstery or cracks in the floor

Lice

  • Lice infestations are one of the most common communicable conditions suffered by children
  • Head lice indifferent to environmental conditions beyond their natural territory (more common in women than men)
  • Can’t fly or jump; direct bodily contact or through sharing personal items – combs, hats, sweaters and towels
  • If lice infestations are discovered, special shampoos and chemical treatments can be used
    • Specialty fine-tooth combs to help pick lice and eggs from hair
    • Bedding and clothes should be well cleaned and perhaps discarded

Dust Mites

  • Although many people credit pollen and animal dander with triggering allergens, dust mites are the primary cause of year-round allergens and asthma.  Nearly 10% of the population is affected
  • Feed on flakes of human skin and the proximate cause of allergic reactions is a protein found in the dust mite droppings (each mite produces several thousand over the course of 4-5 month life – and millions of mites inhabit the average house)
  • Washing sheets and clothes regularly in hot water can kill large numbers
  • Dehumidifiers can also help control dust mite colonies (to achieve devastating effects – humidity below 40% must be maintained for an extended period of time)
  • Anti-allergenic covers for pillows and beds can offer significant relief
  • Regular vacuuming is absolutely imperative

Bed Bugs

  • Small flat parasitic insect that feed solely on blood of humans and animals while they sleep
  • Often hide in seams of mattresses, box springs, bed frames, inside cracks/crevices, behind wallpaper, headboards, dressers, nightstands, or any other clutter or objects around the bed
  • Live more than a year without eating
    • Can ingest 7 times their own body weight in blood, which would be the equivalent of an average sized male drinking 120 gallons of liquid in one sitting
    • Doesn’t matter if room is clean or dirty – only care about dark holes to hide and access to humans
    • Pest controlled with professional pest control company