Why Do I Have Fleas When I Do Not Have Pets

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Keith's Pro Tips

"If you get frequent animal activity in your yard, such as squirrels or neighborhood dogs, it's best to assume they could be carrying fleas. Treating the yard for insects and applying preventive pesticides inside the home can keep you flea free. In the meantime, do your best not to walk through the grass."

Why Do I Have Fleas When I Don't Have Pets?

Fleas are often thought of as a problem for pets and pet owners, but most people are surprised to learn that they can still have a flea problem without having any pets.

There are instances that a home will have a flea infestation even if the person living there doesn’t have pets. But how?

It is important to note that fleas are resourceful little parasites that possess an incredible ability to jump to new hosts.

Fleas have six legs which allow them to move quickly from place to place and jump from host to host.

Fleas without Pets

Fleas are able to jump spectacularly high for their tiny size, nearly 7 inches to 1 feet high, which is why some people often believe they have wings and are flying or gliding around.

That jumping height makes it easy for them to jump on your legs or ankles and unwittingly bring them inside.

You also need to consider that fleas are blood parasites and they do not exclusively feed on wild animals or pets. They will feed on you too, and once they found a host, they are unlikely to leave on their own. 

If you are encountering fleas in your home and don't have pets, there could be a few possible ways they may have found access to your home:

Rodents & Wild Animals

Wild Opossum

Did you recently encounter a mouse or rat on your property? Maybe a raccoon was found near your trash cans or a squirrel was foraging in your yard. Or maybe a feral cat likes to patrol your yard at night.

It's safe to assume that these wild animals are a host to all kinds of diseases, as well as fleas.

If the animal scratches or rubs its fur in the grass or on walls or even picks its way through your landscaping, the fleas, eggs, or pupae that rode in with them may have jumped or been rubbed off.

The animal may be long gone, but their fleas were left behind. Then the next time you walk through your yard or work in your garden, the fleas jump on you and are introduced to your home.

A Neighbor's Pet

Scratching Pets

Even the most resposinble pet owner has to deal with fleas on their pet at some point in their lives. It is not uncommon for flea infestations to go unnoticed until the population is out of control.

With that in mind, it is possible that a neighbor walking their dog introduced the fleas to your property.

A neighbor is walking their dog, the dog sniffs around in your yard, they scratch and leave behind some fleas or flea eggs and pupae. Then you walk through the yard, track them in, and next time you vacuum the fleas are stimulated and you have a flea problem.

Infested Secondhand Items

Living Room with Upholstered Furniture

Found a deal for a couch or other neat item for a bargain?

Chances are it was such a great deal because they had a great deal of fleas, pupae, or eggs hiding in the nooks and crannies of the item.

This is why it would be wise to either buy new, thoroughly inspect before buying an item, or giving the item a detailed cleanup before it ever enters your home. This will keep you from bringing in fleas or, even worse, bed bugs.

It can even be leftovers from previous homeowners.

Fleas can live for several months without a meal so if you recently moved into an apartment or house and are seeing fleas, then it could be an accidental house warming gift left behind by the previous occupants.

You Spent Time Outdoors

Standing in Grass

Did you take a stroll at the park recently or went hiking?

If so, you may have brought home with your the gift of fleas, if not ticks. Fleas are opportunists and wait in areas with tall grass and weeds, eyeing the right moment to jump onto a potential host passing by. That host may have been you.

These are just a few of the ways that fleas can be introduced into the home of a person that doesn't have pets so don't rest easy and think you are immune to flea problems just because you are not a pet owner.

Once you are certain that you have fleas, spring into action and treat the problem with our professional-grade flea control products.

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