Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control recently received a call from a customer who was complaining about fleas in his home. These sorts of calls are nothing new for us, but this one was peculiar for a number of reasons. In most cases, a flea infestation can be traced back to a pet that serves as the host. Strangely, this particular homeowner had no pets, and no previous flea problems in the three years he has been living in the home.
Fleas are external parasites that survive on the skin of their host and feed on their blood. The cat flea is the most common type of flea in North America and prefers to live on furry animals. Despite their name, cat fleas can also survive on dogs and while they aren’t likely to live on humans they can and will bite people. When competition for food on the pet becomes too fierce, some fleas will begin to look for alternate targets usually biting the lower legs and ankles. Flea bites can be extremely itchy and can also spread disease to humans.
The first step to solving any pest problem is taking the time to speak with the customer and performing a thorough inspection of the property. When jobs go sideways you can almost always trace it back to a misdiagnosis of the original problem. That’s why it’s so important as a wildlife professional to take the time to understand each customer’s unique situation. You have to know which questions to ask and listen carefully to the answers.
In speaking with the homeowner about their predicament we began to talk about wildlife. We discovered that he had previously seen a raccoon on the roof near his chimney, but had thought little of it because both his chimneys had protective screens. Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control knows just how clever raccoons can be, so we decided to climb up there and see things for ourselves.
Sure enough, the thin-gauge wire mesh installed on the chimneys to keep animals out was no match for determined raccoons. These flea-bitten masked bandits were living on top of the fireplace and were the source of the flea infestation inside the home. Fleas and mites are more likely to be found on raccoons, birds, squirrels and mice than they are on a dog or cat. Anytime wildlife infiltrates a home, there is the possibility that they have brought parasites with them.
Armed with this knowledge from the customer, we had an immediate leg up on the situation. We got started by evicting the raccoons and re-screening the chimneys with heavy-gauge galvanized steel. With over 24 years in business, Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control chimney screens are guaranteed raccoon-proof.
Once the raccoons had been removed we were then able to treat the home for fleas, secure in the knowledge that they would not be coming right back in on a raccoon. As the saying goes, we have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Effective wildlife and pest control always starts by listening to and understanding your customer.