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Flea populations on the rise

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RALEIGH, NC (NEWS RELEASE) -- Fleas are the annoying pests that keep coming back again and again, and they can infest any home, even those without pets. According to the North Carolina Pest Management Association (NCPMA), pest management companies across the state are experiencing an increased number of calls related to flea infestations.

“Flea infestations come in cycles. We’ll experience periods where fleas are less noticeable statewide followed by periods where they are more troublesome,” said Lee Smith, entomologist and board member of NCPMA. “Thanks to the mild, warm winter that we’ve had this year, there was not enough cold weather to reduce the population sizes for many pests and insects such as fleas.”

Fleas typically attach to the fur of small animals such as dogs and cats and can quickly infest a home if not treated properly. Fleas can also enter homes through other pests such as rodents or by clinging to the clothing or shoes of a person after he or she has been outside.

Fleas can cause itchy red bumps by biting humans or animals and, in some cases, can carry and transmit serious diseases.

“If you have pets in your home, it’s important that you maintain a good flea prevention regimen by working with your veterinarian and pest management company. This will help to keep flea problems at a minimum,” Smith said. “Even if you don’t have pets in your homes, it’s important to be aware of how to treat and prevent such infestations. People don’t often realize that fleas can enter homes even without pets, so it is important that they maintain good pest prevention methods.”

NCPMA provides the following recommendations for preventing flea infestations:

· Clean and vacuum a home thoroughly and regularly, especially if pets are allowed outside and indoors.

· Visit a veterinarian regularly to ensure that all flea medications are up to date and properly applied.

· Groom your pet and maintain a pet’s fur to watch for signs of fleas or flea eggs.

· Keep your yard well-maintained to deter rodents and other animals and prevent the spread of fleas.

· Call a pest management company at the first sign of an infestation. A list of NCPMA member companies is available at www.ncpestmanagement.org.

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