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Summer is here, and with the warmer months come biting insects. Unfortunately, it’s not enough just to apply bug spray before you leave the house; it’s also important to protect the inside of your home from certain biting pests. According to pest control exterminators, the biting insects most commonly found inside the home are fleas and bed bugs, each of which pose health risks to their unsuspecting human roommates.
Fleas are parasites that feed on blood. They are usually a dark, reddish-brown color, roughly cigar-shaped, and range in size from one-twelfth to one-sixth of an inch long. The most common way that fleas make their way into the home is by latching onto household pets such as cats and dogs, but they can also hitch a ride on shoes, pant legs, and picnic blankets. Wild animals such as raccoons and opossums might bring fleas into the yard, which then find their way into the house. Treating your yard with regular pest control services can help prevent these unwelcome visitors.
Flea bites are at best a nuisance and at worst a serious health concern. Flea bites are itchy and painful, and excessive scratching can further damage skin and invite secondary bacterial infection. Fleas can also spread disease ranging from the bacterial disease murine typhus to the rare bubonic plague, and serve as intermediate hosts for tapeworms.
Flea bites show up as small, red bumps with a circle around the center. They usually appear in clusters of three or four, or in a straight line. Unlike other insect bites, flea bites do not grow bigger or inflamed over time. Humans usually find flea bites around the ankles or legs, on the waist, groin, armpits, and in the elbows and knees.
The most effective method of preventing fleas is by practicing active flea management. Bathe and groom family pets regularly, take them to annual veterinarian appointments, and use a flea treatment. In the home, vacuum regularly and keep bed linens clean. Because fleas prefer to hide in tall grass, lawns and yards should be well-maintained.
Once fleas have made their way in the home, the infestation needs to be treated by professional exterminators.
For many people, the idea of a bed bug infestation is enough to strike fear into their hearts. Bed bug control is a notoriously time-consuming process, with properties requiring frequent treatment, but our team of bed bug exterminators in Jacksonville is dedicated to eliminating bed bugs with as little disruption as possible to your home and schedule. Like fleas, bed bugs feed on human blood. They get their name from their habit of making their homes in and near beds, allowing them easy access to sleeping, human hosts. However, bed bugs can also be found behind baseboards and wallpaper, in picture frames and electrical switch plates, and in living room furniture such as couches and loveseats. Full-grown bed bugs are roughly one-fourth of an inch long, a mahogany or reddish brown color, and have flat, oval bodies that become swollen after feeding.
In addition to bites, there are a number of other signs to keep an eye out for that might indicate a bed bug infestation. These signs include:
Bed bugs are good at hiding, but they are visible to the naked eye. If you look carefully, you may be able to spot the bugs themselves.
Some people never develop noticeable symptoms of bed bug bites. In cases in which symptoms do develop, bites appear as itchy red bumps with a dark spot in the center. They generally appear in lines or clusters. In some extreme cases, bites may develop into fluid-filled blisters. While bed bugs bite any part of the body, they usually bite areas of the skin that are exposed during sleep, such as the face, neck, arms, and hands. Bed bug saliva acts as a natural anesthetic, so victims won’t feel the bites right away. Some people develop an allergic reaction to bed bug saliva.
Bed bug control requires thorough cleaning of any areas where bed bugs live. This means cleaning bedding, linens, curtains, and clothing in extremely hot water and drying on the highest setting. Items that can’t be washed, such as stuffed animals and shoes, can be placed in the dryer set to high for 30 minutes. It may be best to replace any infested mattresses with new ones. Because bed bugs are notoriously hard to get rid of, the best option is to invest in bed bug treatment from a professional bed bug exterminator. This will prevent the infestation from reappearing in a few weeks or months.
If you suspect you might have an infestation in your home, our qualified exterminators in Palatka are here to help. Contact us today to schedule a free property inspection and receive a complimentary service estimate.
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