Fleas are one of the most pesky pests around: they jump, they leave itchy bites and, worst of all, they transmit disease. The two main diseases associated with fleas are the plague and Flea-borne typhus (also known as murine typhus). California, specifically southern California, has had recent reports of flea-borne typhus. This disease is carried by the common flea. The flea can be found on stray or feral cats, dogs, rats, opossums, raccoons and skunks. The flea carries the bacteria that causes typhus in its feces. When fleas bite, they often defecate, and therefore, transfer the disease. Humans may scratch the infected flea bite and introduce the bacteria into their bloodstream or they may also touch the infected bite and then spread the bacteria through the eyes, nose or mouth.
Prevention, like always, is the best defense. Here is what you can do to protect yourself and your pets:
- If you have pets, make sure to use flea control products to keep your pets free of fleas.
- Do not make your home inviting to other animals.
- Don’t leave animal food or water outside overnight.
- Remove any debris or other items in your yard that may serve as a nesting spot for rodents or other animals.
- Keep your trees and shrubbery well trimmed.
- If you see dead animals in your yard, call animal control to remove them for you.
- Contact Accurate Termite and Pest Control right away if you suspect the presence of fleas in or around your home.