Fleas are an extremely common problem in the home, especially those with domesticated pets. You may discover a problem with fleas even if you do not have pets, if previous owners of your property kept cats or dogs.
Fleas can also be transported on clothing and bedding from property to property. As parasites, the greatest concern about the presence of fleas in your home or business comes from their bites.
Although these are not painful, they can result in an uncomfortable itch or rash. Your pets could also develop allergies to flea saliva. When moving into a new home, inspect carpets and flooring carefully for signs of eggs or ‘flea dirt’. If the previous owners had pets the flea larvae might be waiting for you.
Many aspects of adult flea morphology are closely correlated with their parasitic lifestyle. They are small wingless insects, usually less than 5mm in length, with a heavily sclerotised and distinctive laterally flattened body.
Females have a downward sloping abdomen, males have an upward pointed abdomen. Their colour can vary from light yellow to almost black, and are generally shiny and with varying numbers of bristles. The presence of backward pointing combs in some species helps the flea retain itself in the feathers or fur of its host, and prevents easy removal from the host's body by preening or grooming.
Flea cocoons can remain dormant for two years. They only hatch when conditions are right, eggs are oval and white. They are almost impossible to see against rough surfaces like carpets, rugs and pet bedding.
A flea’s lifecycle can be anything from two weeks to about eight months. In the correct conditions fleas can breed quickly. This makes it difficult to prevent fleas completely without professional help.
The most common cause of fleas are from cats, but dogs and other long hairs animals can also get fleas. Check the hind-quarters of your dog or the head and neck of your cat if they seem in discomfort and are constantly scratching or biting their fur. These are the areas that are targeted and where you might see signs of flea activity, especially near their collars.
Carefully look at your pet’s skin for fine black droppings. This is ‘flea dirt’ or adult flea faeces and looks like ground black pepper. A good way to spot it is to use a flea comb over a sheet of white paper, which makes it easier to see the small black specks. Another sign of a problem is flea dirt on pet bedding, carpets or rugs. It is advised that pet bedding is washed on a weekly basis, ideally at above 50°C.
- Clear as much floor space as possible and clean the floors with a vacuum cleaner if possible.
- All fabric sofa cushions and soft furnishings are to be removed (We do not treat leather furniture) Remove all furniture from the perimeters of the room to allow the best possible access to all areas.
- Remove all pets including cats, dogs, birds and aquatic life.
- Treat all pets using an approved veterinary product and keep them out of the property during treatments.
- Vacate the property during treatment, and do not return until the property is completely dry.
- Do not vacuum for 14 days after treatment, if wet treatment has been used, as this will remove the insecticide residual deposit on carpets and floor coverings
- Only bring pets back to the property once treated (if required) or when surfaces are dry.
- Clean up and dead fleas on surfaces and floors and dispose of in external bins.
- Monitor dwelling and pets for re-infestations.
- Carry out periodic flea treatments on all pets.
The treatment process can be effective for a 6 week period after treatment. Due to the nature of the treatment in occupied furnished dwellings and responsibility of the home owner to undertake the pre and post treatment measures recommended above, we are not able to guarantee treatments and re-infestations.
All follow up treatments are chargeable.