Fleas are bloodthirsty insects that feast on both animals and human beings they find. As a result, they are often attracted to places where they can hide or hitch on rodents and other pests.
If your home is infested with pests, fleas have likely come along with them. If you wish to get rid of them, you must find out what is causing them and how they got into your home.
Fleas may find their way into your home by accident. For example, they could fall off an infected item, a visiting dog, or a cat.
However, they will only thrive if you let them.
- Fleas stay close to water sources. It could be a puddle, water bowl, or gutter.
- Overwatering your plants is an invitation to fleas.
- Tall blades of grass could serve as good covers for fleas. Since they aren’t very big, it will be hard to notice them at a glance.
- Fleas lay eggs in large numbers and could spread and hatch anywhere, including your car and clothing.
In the following headings, we will discuss the most common causes of fleas and things that may create a flea infestation in your home. We have also provided more answers to common questions in our FAQ section.
5 Common Causes of Fleas
Like most creatures, fleas move around in search of either food or better living conditions. In addition, they are attracted by light, movements, and carbon dioxide, which warm-blooded creatures possess.
Their attraction to warmth leads them to cool, shaded areas to hide and any animals around them to feed on. This includes rodents, raccoons, skunks, rats, cats or dogs, and even humans.
The real question is what brings fleas close enough to find you. Do they track the trail of your pets, or do they choose fancy-looking homes?
Here are the most likely causes of flea appearances in your home or area.
1. Other Pests
When raccoons and rodents rummage through your bin to steal whatever leftover they can find, they sometimes leave a thing or two behind. Sometimes it’s their nasty smell; other times, it’s fleas.
When choosing a host to feed on, fleas aren’t very picky. They feed on both pets and pests.
So if a rat with fleas on its body comes to an area, whether it’s a visit for food or their hiding place, it could shed off some of these fleas. Or if the flea has laid eggs, some could get blown away and hatch in dark corners.
2. Overgrown Bushes
Fleas thrive by attaching themselves to plants with moisture-rich soil. The coolness of such areas also helps them to breed quickly.
So, if care is not taken, you may find yourself breeding your flea poultry. This could happen when you overwater your plants, thus giving fleas an atmosphere to grow in.
The excess water could create small pools in which fleas and flea eggs would stay close. They could also hide under tall bushes and jump at unsuspecting animals.
Chances are that a piece of the stick isn’t the only thing your dog picks up when it tumbles down to play fetch with you or when it gets a sunbath. It’s easier to manage contact with fleas in your yard than out on a field or in the park.
When pets get fleas, it doesn’t reflect immediately. Instead, it may take a few days to notice the unusual itching or flea bites on their skin.
In that short period, the fleas could have laid eggs in your home and spread. So, even if you treat your pets for fleas, you may still have a few wandering about your home, looking for a chance to latch on again.
4. Contact With Infested Objects
Unless your Goodwill furniture or clothing comes with a certificate that says it’s free of fleas, you should be careful. Fleas can stay hidden in upholstery for up to ten days.
Apart from adult fleas, flea eggs could also be nestled inside clothing. In such cases, the best remedy is to run the clothes through a wash with hot water and soap or use a steam cleaner.
Fleas could also travel with you. They could hide in your luggage or in the clothes you wear.
So, watch out for fleas when visiting motels, new places, or even when moving to a new house.
5. Unattended Garbage Piles
Both adult fleas and flea eggs or larvae like to stay in dark, undisturbed places. What better place to hide than underneath a pile of rubbish that you have probably forgotten about?
Fleas could also hide inside your garbage cans or crawl into them in search of cool darkness. Once a flea finds a comfortable place to settle, it could start laying eggs, and more fleas would be hatched.
On the other hand, keeping your garbage properly tied up or sealed would restrict their access. So be careful when handling your garbage so that fleas do not sneak into your shoes or clothes.
Fleas grow and multiply when they are left undisturbed. Better yet, fleas increase when you do not take care of your home and its surroundings.
Although you may have fleas in clean environments, the chances are much less. Also, it’s easier to notice fleas and shedding hair on your pets when you keep them clean at home.
In general, fleas are caused by dirty or cluttered spaces, transfer from pets, pests, or infected items, or in overgrown yards.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Causes Fleas in a House Without Pets?
Fleas can use any living creature as a host. That includes pests and human beings, including you. So you could unknowingly bring pests into your home, and so could other pests like rats and mice.
They can also live for over a week without being attached to a host. So flea eggs could spread into your home from infected objects like furniture and begin another race of fleas.
What Kills Fleas Instantly?
Fleas cannot stand high degrees of heat. So, dipping your bedding in hot water or using a steam cleaner on your carpets or rugs should do the trick.
Another method that works instantly is using a high-powered vacuum cleaner on your chairs or other upholstery.