To be such small pests, fleas sure can cause big disruptions and major dismay for your tenants if an infestation breaks out. They can also be frustratingly difficult to control, sometimes spreading quickly. In addition, flea bites can cause itching and skin irritation for some people and for pets. It’s important for property managers to know how to help protect tenants from fleas, and what to do if an infestation occurs.
Learn About Fleas Yourself
In addition to being minuscule in size (only about 1/6th of an inch long and flattened), fleas also jump around quickly, making them difficult to spot. Although they may appear black, they are actually reddish-brown. Fleas are ectoparasites, which means they live on the outside of animals to feed on their blood.
Fleas are hard to control. In certain stages of their life cycle including the egg, larva and pupa stages, pesticides are often ineffective. Integrated Pest Management must be relied on rather than one method of treatment.
Communicate With Your Tenants
For effective flea control, you’re going to need the cooperation of your tenants. Most flea infestations start with pets, so it’s important that any pets who live on or visit your property receive regular grooming and treatment with effective flea control products. Urge your tenants to consult with their pets’ veterinarian for the appropriate flea and tick treatment methods.
You’re also going to have to communicate and coordinate with tenants to properly prepare their space for flea treatments, including steps like removing toys, clothing and pet food from floors, washing or replacing pet bedding, vacuuming carpets and rugs thoroughly and sweeping and mopping uncarpeted floors. For existing flea infestations and to help prevent future ones, it’s also important to clear clutter and to wash pets’ bedding frequently and regularly.
Prevent What You Can
Many pets acquire fleas from outside. The infested pets can then bring a flea infestation into your property where it can spread. If your property has nuisance wildlife or signs of nuisance wildlife around, address the problem with commercial pest control help as they may be bringing fleas around your property, as well as potentially causing other issues.
Be sure to also keep grass cut and eliminate leaves, unnecessary wood piles, pine straw and other items that could potentially attract and harbor fleas.
Ask for Help
Trying to control fleas yourself can be frustrating, time consuming, expensive and often ultimately unsuccessful. Effective flea treatment requires knowledge, training, the right materials and the proper equipment to adequately distribute products safely and efficiently. A professional commercial pest control partner with experience in treating fleas and property management locations, like Terminix® Commercial, can help you and your tenants with both preventative and control solutions.
Know What to Expect From Treatment
Flea control can involve four essential steps, including preparation (handled by you), pet treatment (handled by a veterinarian), inside treatment (handled by a pest control company) and sometimes outside treatment (also handled by a pest control company). When treating inside, a pest control professional will likely focus applications on areas where pets often rest or sleep. Outside, treatment is usually applied in shaded areas and beneath shrubs, decks or places where pets frequent.
As with most pest infestations, it’s important to act quickly at the first signs or reports of a flea problem. Don’t try to make fleas flee by yourself – get help from the pros at Terminix Commercial.