Who’s Coming for Dinner? How Fleas Can Enter Your Home

You are planning a get-together with family and friends. Depending on your guests, you may find yourself having to deal with some uninvited and very unwelcome visitors that may inadvertently insert themselves in your home. Simply put, people can bring fleas into your home. And of course, the same applies to any canine visitors that you may have invited for a play date with your dog.

If your home has been flea-free prior to entertaining guests, and you are suspicious when a family member suddenly has an itchy spot, or your dog or cat starts to obsess about a certain part of their body, scratching and/or biting themselves, they have been bitten by a flea brought into your home environment by a guest.

And they can breed quickly!

One of the easiest ways to see fleas is to walk about the home (and the yard) in a pair of long white socks or pants as it will be easy to spot them when they jump on you. (And don’t forget to instantly secure the socks and pants in a plastic bag and carry them directly to the washing machine for a hot wash.)

It’s not a bad idea to ask guests to leave their shoes outside the front door. Of course this won’t help if the fleas are clinging to their trouser legs, but it’s a start.

Fleas can be a huge problem if you have indoor cats. This is one of the reasons that I am personally very cautious about inviting doggie guests into my home unless I am absolutely sure that they are flea-free as a result of regular flea treatments and visits to the groomer.

Where you reside is directly related to the flea problem you may encounter as they thrive in hot and humid climates. Thus the Gulf Coast states—from Florida to Texas—have a year-round problem. This can apply to certain parts of southern California, too. Infestations can also occur in areas that border major lakes and rivers like the Mississippi.

For the rest of the country, where the weather is governed by four definite seasons, the summer months and the fall (from May through September) are the worst. Thus the northwestern parts of the country are least likely to have any major problems.

Another way that pests can inadvertently move into your home is via wild birds that may nest on balconies or overhead rafters. Birds, such as very common pigeons, carry lice and mites, which can also infest your home. Mites can cause an extremely itchy rash on humans. And of course they can infect domesticated pet birds, too.

However it’s important to note that the head lice that often affect children in schools is considered species-specific and pets in the household are not at risk from catching the lice or hatching eggs from your kids.

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