Fleas are more than just an annoying pest that makes our dogs a little itchy. A recent outbreak in L.A. shows the severity caused by fleas. Bacterial diseases in humans can reach epidemic levels when flea treatment is not taken seriously.
Buzzfeed first released the article in October 2018 regarding the flea problem among the homeless population of L.A.:
Flea-borne Typhus Outbreak Spreading Through Los Angeles
In 2018 alone there have already been 63 cases of typhus in the county, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
Typhus refers to a group of infectious diseases, which can be spread to humans. Symptoms mimic the common flu, but usually start 2 weeks after exposure, making it difficult to diagnose. Buzzfeed continued to explain the severity of this condition:
There is currently no vaccine for Typhus and in extreme cases it can lead to more serious complications such as organ damage, pneumonia, or even death…The homeless population in parts of downtown Los Angeles, such as Skid Row, has been primarily affected in the outbreak. As a result, health officials approved an emergency plan to tackle flea-borne typhus that involves increased pest control and sanitation efforts, such as trash cleanups, in homeless camps.
For more information, read the full article.
Typically, there are approximately 60 cases of fleas per year, this number has more than doubled in recent months. The flea epidemic continues to affect the homeless population in L.A., spreading like wildfire.
By February, it was not just the homeless population that was affected. Elizabeth Greenwood, an employee at the City Hall building in L.A. contracted the disease from the rats, trash, and homeless encampment near her office.
CBS Los Angeles reported on her symptoms:
Typhus Outbreak At City Hall Had Attorney Believing ‘I Was Going To Die’
I had the worst headache I’ve ever had in my life. I couldn’t move my head. I lost my equilibrium. I had a 102-degree fever,’ Greenwood says.
[Herb] Wesson (City Council President) says his staff jumped into action by ripping out all the carpet and calling pest control. ‘Our paramount concern is for the safety of our staff and all of the visitors that we get in Los Angeles,’ he said. A city spokesperson told [the CBS Reporter] that they have been treating for pests and picking up trash more often in and around City Hall.
Read the entire story here.
Picking up trash and cleaning up is a good start, but according to All Good Pest Solutions in Georgia, it doesn’t take long for fleas to take over regardless of where you live.
As the weather gets warmer, effective flea treatment will only become more critical:
Summer Fleas in Georgia Making You Feel Anything But Fine
Most bugs and insects awaken in the summer when the temperatures rise and the humidity ramps up. The flea is no exception and thrives in the summertime. The females lay eggs every day during their adult lives and can survive both indoors and outdoors. A flea feeds on blood, attacking humans and animals like cats and dogs.
Read the rest of the story for more information.
Effective flea treatment is the best way to keep an outbreak at bay in your area. You can control your home from a flea invasion with a few simple home pest control tips from the National Pest Management Association:
Flea Pest Guide
Homeowners should clean and vacuum frequently to help remove flea populations and prevent the laying of eggs. It’s also necessary to keep the lawn groomed to avoid rodent habitation. Pet owners should practice active flea management by keeping dogs on a leash when outside, bathing and grooming pets regularly, visiting a veterinarian annually, and using flea treatments according to direction. If you suspect a flea infestation, it is important to hire a flea control professional to rid your home of rodents and fleas.
For more tips, read the complete guide.
Fleas are difficult to control once they make their way inside. Within just a few weeks they can multiply and a small problem is now an major pest control problem. Professional flea treatment is often the best course of treatment for a proper inspection, elimination, and prevention.