Controlling fleas in the home setting is not a walk in the park. These wingless jumpy creatures can easily hide in hard-to-reach cracks and crevices to avoid pesticides.
When in the pupal stage, they can hibernate or become dormant for even one year until you forget about their existence.
However, just like some few pests, fleas do have predators. These predators can reach them in their hideouts, kill and eat them hence controlling their population.
Here is a list of 6 natural fleas predator that can help you with their control and extermination.
Nematodes are microscopic and multicellular insects featuring smooth and unsegmented bodies. The genera Nematoda consists of hundreds of species with a wide range of habitats.
Popular residence for nematodes include plant parts, soil and bodies of other animals such as insects.
Two species of nematodes can be used to control fleas. The first one is steinernema carpocapsae. Denoted as SC, these worms are very effective when dealing with highly mobile surface-adapted fleas or the larvae.
The second species of nematode used for controlling fleas is the steinernema feltiae. These organisms reside mostly in the soil. They are also effective for soil-based fleas.
Steinernema feltiae feeds on fleas mostly in their larval and pupal stages. They parasitize fleas that are above the ground stages of larvae and adult. In the process, they hardly harm the aquatic lives or any other animals that reside in the soil.
Both SC and SF use the same technique to kill fleas. They normally get inside the fleas’ system through the pores and body opening such as mouth and anus.
Once they are inside, they release a certain type of bacteria that kill the pets. However, this bacterium hardly affects them. Once their hosts are dead, they grow and reproduce fast to give birth to other young ones.
2. Frogs and Toads
Frogs and toads are 75% carnivores. This means they depend on meat from main insects to survive. Depending on their size, frogs can eat small-sized insects such as flies, mosquitoes, fleas and moths.
The bigger species of frogs eat bigger animals such as snakes, mice, turtles and even their smaller counterparts.
Toads are 60% waterborne. They spend their childhood lives in the water before migrating to dry land. Moreover, even with that, they still find their way back into the water.
Just like frogs, they toad’s mean meal is flesh. They prefer to live flesh from worms and insects. In the dryland environment, they munch on fleas that crosses by.
However, frogs and toads population is usually very low in a dry land environment where fleas reside mostly. This makes them hard to use to exterminate fleas.
The images of spiders in Halloween stores usually make several people squirm. However, they are not as dangerous as you might think.
If your home is heavily infested with fleas, then this is good news. Spiders predate on the tiny critters.
Normally, a spider will kill anything that ends up in its web. However, under some circumstances, it can also search for the prey. This is the same case with fleas.
When a flea crawls into a spider web, it automatically gets held on the web. This will then induce motion and vibration on the web that signifies the spider about the existence of such prey.
The spider will then move around the web while at the same time releasing a loser thread.
Having reached the prey, the spider will roll a loose thread around it and use the two fangs to maul on it. However, not all spiders use this technique on their prey.
Venomous species of spider distribute a special poison on their prey. This poison kills most of the prey in two hours, after which the spider can tear and munch on them.
Have you ever wondered what attracts lizards in some households? Lizards are naturally insectivorous. They move from one place to another in search for insects such as snails, spiders, caterpillars, and other crawling insects that traverse the home side setting.
Alongside these insects, lizards also feed on flying insects such as crickets, mosquitoes, termites and flies. They cling on the walls and capture those insects that fly nearby.
Otherwise, where there are no insects, lizards feed on fruits and plants as an alternative. These types of food also keep them hydrated.
Just like spiders, lizards feed on both the larva, pupa and adult fleas. They catch the jumping or crawling fleas. Some lizard species swallow their prey whole. Whereas other species bite into their prey before ingesting them.
Beetles are small insects with amazing characteristics. They feed on almost everything including fleas and other small insects. However, in the thousands of species of beetles, some variants do not eat insects. Rather, they depend on plant parts for their survival.
Most species of beetles are active at night. They fight the almost nocturnal species of fleas such as cat fleas. But not all species of beetle feed on fleas.
For example, there is a sub-family of beetles called the flea beetles, known for their smallish body and jumpy character. This group of beetles do not scavenge of fleas. They depend on plant parts such as foliage and roots for survival.
The last in the list of flea predators are the ants. Naturally, ants feed on almost everything consisting of either plant parts or insects. They come in large species some of which feed on other types of species.
The only ant that is popular for eating insects is the army ant. This species of ant hunts, kills and prey on lizards, spiders and worms. They are the only species of ants that feed on fleas.
Just as their name goes, army ants walk in large troops. They feed on whatever thing that comes their way. So programmed are the ants that they will “go matching” lead by a ring leader. However, army ants are not popular in the household environment.
You can find them around grasslands and roadsides. This makes them effective predators for fleas found in the yards and lawns. Or, any other outside environment.
Do birds eat fleas? Yes, smaller birds do eat fleas. Birds are also great for naturally control fleas population, you just need to attract the birds into your yard.
To encourage birds coming to your yard, you need to setup a bird feeder or a birdbath.
Birds will help get rid of fleas and other pest insects such as ticks, aphids, cockroaches, fly, mosquito and lice.
Having birds in your yard is great for other reasons as well. They are fun to watch and their chirping is really pleasant.
How to Protect Fleas Predators in Your Yard?
Probably the easiest way to get rid of fleas in you yard is to use pesticides. However, this method will also get rid of ants, spiders, beetles and other natural predators of fleas.
So, in order to protect these beneficial animals in you yard, you need to avoid using any harmful chemicals. Also consider providing hiding spaces and other food sources for these animals.
Lizards and beetles love hiding between wood piles, frogs love wet environment, and spiders will feel comfortable where they can build webs and will not get destroyed. Lizards like to warm up sitting on stones and need lots of hiding places.
So, if you can create a natural habitat for all these animals, fleas will be under control.
Predation is one of the most commonly used techniques in controlling the population of fleas. This method is chemical-free and cost-effective.
Additionally, the method is highly convenient since you will hardly be required to monitor the process of predation.