After yesterdays news story reported by Leslie Rhodeon KXAN TV, concerning Typhus in the Austin and surrounding areas the phones have been ringing. Fleas and ticks can both be vectors for the spread of this desease. Flea control Austin style is also a hot topic these days to the warm wet spring we have had.
The once rare disease is here to stay in Austin, Texas. Murine typhus is caused by a bacteria transmitted by fleas that carry the illness from animals like rats, opossums, cats and dogs to humans. The number of cases reported to The Texas Department of State Health Servicesis tracking higher this year than last. 15 cases were reported in Travis County in all of 2010. Recently, there have been 26 cases reported.
If your dog or cat gets infected, they usually don’t show symptoms, but they could pass typhus to humans through a flea bite. Some people are very sensitive to flea bites, but even for others scratching can cause a wound or infection. If you develop Murine typhus you may feel malaise with nonspecific symptoms. Muscle aches and joint pain are common as well as fever and headaches. Doctors treat murine typhus with antibiotics.
Flea season can last for 4 months or can be a year-long problem. The lifespan of a flea is 1 year. So they have the potential to infect for a long time. Also, high humidity and heat means more fleas. In America there are over 200 different types of fleas and are capable of jumping from 14 to 16 inches. Females can begin to lay eggs after just 48 hours of their first blood meal.
Flea control Austin: The best prevention is to do what you can in your yard and house to keep fleas away. Flea control should begin as flea prevention.
- Eliminate food sources that might attract wild animals to your neighborhood.
- Keep your yard clear of heavy undergrowth and debris that might serve as a nesting place for animals.
- Limit your exposure by avoiding places that may be infested with ticks/fleas and wear heavy clothing (long sleeved shirts, long pants, socks and shoes)
- Keep pets out of your bed Vacuum rugs daily.
Once fleas invade your home your best option is to contact a pest control specialist. They can treat for fleas inside of your home and in your yard where your pets and children play.