Water flea disease is not something that you want to get into your home. Thesehighly adaptable insects can easily infest even the cleanest of environmentsand will find a way in no matter how hard you try to stop them. Oncethey are inside, they pose a number of risks to both humans and domesticanimals alike. To help protect your family from these pests, read on for some helpful tips on how to get rid of thewater flea and other insect infestations in your home.
What is Water Flea Disease and how does it happen?
If you have not yet encountered water fleas in your home, you may be living in lucky cir-cumstance. However, for the majority of people, the first encounter withthis highly-contagious insect will be as a guest in their own home. Water fleas are small, short-legged, and have four long, broad, and thin legs. Males aredarker in color than the females, although the two sexes are equally visible. Thesefleas feed on both people and animals, and the bite of a water flea can reach- sometimes even penetrate- the skin. They are not typically carriers of diseases, butinstead are vectors for a wide assortment of insects and diseases.
How to Know You Have Water Flea Disease
When you come in contact with water fleas, you’re more likely to experience twosymptoms- redness around the bite mark and a itchy, swollen feeling- rather than one. However, if you haveexperienced one or both of these symptoms, it is time to get to work on the grandset problems associated with this pest. First, looks. Water fleas are “mouth- MOOD-ers,” meaning they feed primarily at night, during which time they are at their most vulnerable. Therefore, if you find these pests on your clothing,woodwork, or other exposed skin areas, they are more likely to be a cause of your discomfort. Second, sounds. The intensity and persistence of water flea soundin your home can be an important clue as to the degree of infestation. While the frequencyof these sounds does not necessarily mean the intensity is high, the volume and nature of theseflea sounds is a good indication of the presence of water fleas.
Trapping Out Water Fleas
If you catch a water flea in the act, you’re likely to see it for- sure. Water fleas are social and commonly live in largecolony structures known as fleas, which can number in the hundreds or thousands. You can easilydiscern these insects by their characteristic “wheezing” sound. Additionally, look for theminside furniture, cabinets, drawers, and other dark, moist places. From what you’ve observed, the most likelylocation of these fleas in your home is in the kitchen, where they have established colonies.
While conventional wisdom states that water fleas are repelled bythe odor of chlorinated water, some studies suggest that this isn’t always the case. In some cases,the scent of chlorinated water actually attracts these pests. Fortunately, there are a number ofdisinfectants that will rid your water supply of this odor. One of these is sodium hypochlorite, commonlyfound in household bleach and water treatments. Another is a sodium bicarbonate productusually sold as baking soda. Other disinfestation products with names such as “D-King” or “Ultra-Bright” have also been provento work great against water fleas. Be sure to follow the directions closely- these products are very potent, so you should check thelabel to make sure you’re aware of all the possible side effects.
Steam Cleaning for Water Fleas
If you have an industrial steam cleaner, you may be able to rid your home ofwater fleas without using chemicals. Place the machine on the lowest speed and open the door widely to air outthe room. Then, use a liquid Bac relatives recommended for use against insects- in thiscase, 1 tablespoon of liquid dishwashing detergent mixed with 2 tablespoons of water. Apply this mixture to the stain and let it set for30 minutes. Then, use an appropriate removal product to get rid of the stain. It is importantto note that these procedures should be followed only when absolutely necessary.
While water fleas may not pose a significant health risk to most people, you should still be aware of these creatures so you can have a easier time getting rid of them. By following these steps, you can get rid of water fleas and other insects in your home. Keep your domestic animals (dogs, cats, and birds) and people clean and clutter-free. Restrict your pet’s access to water to prevent disease. Keep your house and other buildings well-ventilated where possible. Keep your bedding, furniture, and other such sensitive areas clean and dry. Protect your skin from unnecessary exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays by wearing sunscreen while outside and protective clothing when commingling in the sun.