A mild winter is to blame if you have fleas. Here’s how to fix that

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Notice a sudden “itch” you just can’t scratch?

Are your pets feeling the same way?

Well, it just might be fleas.

Shara Ware is the manager of James Pest Control. She said the company has been facing an increased need of outdoor treatments for yards.

“Typically we spray in the early spring and summer,” she said.

Dr. Karl Kroenlein at the Colonial Veterinary Clinic said the mild winter from earlier this year could explain why fleas have been rampant.

“The fleas you see actually only make up 5% of the flea population in your house. The rest are larvae and eggs,” he said.

For flea infestation, Ware said the best course of action is more active than reactive.

It takes about 14 days for flea eggs to hatch, so James Pest Control will come to spray twice, within that time span.

If the flea infestation is bad, then James Pest Control will come to spray monthly.

“The treatment also lasts between 85 to 90 days,” she said. “And we will do yards twice a year.”

Indoor and outdoor treatments for fleas are relatively the same, Ware said.

Treatment involves using a residual spray. Ware said they usually ask homeowners to vacuum and clean all floors and upholstery before vacating the house for a few hours to allow the spray to work.

The treatments last longer outdoors if the yards are mowed before spraying, too.

When seeking treatment for pets, however, Kroenlein said it’s important for the owner to use one they can stick to.

“I really like the oral tablets. The collars work pretty well, but we’re seeing the drops are less effective,” he said.

“If you experience a flea problem, the best thing to do is have all the animals treated in the house. Flea problems can last about three months,” he added.

Even if you don’t have pets, Ware said fleas can also jump from person to person. She added those living in apartment buildings can get flea infestations if neighbors have had one recently.

Keeping living spaces clean and pets up to date on flea preventatives can help, she said.

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