Primary Pest Control - The Termite Specialists
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Fleas are a common problem in homes, especially those with 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 may also be carried on other, especially hairy, animals like rabbits, foxes, rats, mice and livestock such as pigs.
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.
All adult Fleas are parasitic on warm-blooded animals. The females lay their eggs after feeding on the infested animal. Female Fleas can live up to two years, during which time they can lay up to 1000 eggs. The eggs drop onto the floor and the animal’s bedding. After several days the eggs will develop into larvae. When fully grown the larvae spin well camouflaged silken cocoons. When fully developed the adult waits within this until it detects the vibrations caused by a potential host. Only then does it emerge. The complete lifecycle takes about a month in the summer.
Fleas are mainly active in communal rooms where pets sleep and where there is most activity. They are generally found to be living on pets, in carpets, pet bedding and upholstered furniture.
Adult Fleas feed on the blood of humans and animals. The larval stages live in the nest of the host and feed on skin, feathers and, most importantly, the blood-rich feces of the adult flea.
Whenever you see adult fleas crawling on your pet, it is only a symptom of a much larger problem. Current studies indicate that adult fleas account for only 5% of the total flea population in any given situation. Eggs account for 50%, larvae account for about 35%, and the remaining 10% are the pupa cocoons. That means that for every single adult flea living on your dog or cat, there are 10 eggs, 7 larvae, and 2 cocoons.
The best time to start a flea control program is in the late spring, prior to an infestation, since adult fleas comprise only 5% of the total flea population. To contain an infestation, fleas must be controlled at every stage.
How to prevent an infestation
Following the below tips can help prevent you getting fleas in your home:
Ensure pets are regularly treated for fleas. Spot On is a treatments can be provided by vets. Once applied to the animal’s skin it will provide protection from fleas (and other pests) for up to two months. A vet should be consulted for the correct treatment for your animal
Vacuum living areas including furniture on a regular basis
Regularly vacuum areas where any animals sleep (disposing of the bag / contents into an outside bin)
Wash bedding and animal bedding in a hot wash regularly
Signs of a Flea infestation
Pets constantly scratching may be the first sign, which can be confirmed either by seeing fleas or flea droppings in the coat of your pet. These signs are easily spotted in light coloured animals by brushing back the hair. In dark coated breeds it may be better to comb the animal over a sheet of paper to highlight any flea droppings as they fall. The identity of the black specks may be confirmed by adding a few drops of water, if they turn red, your pet has fleas.
Bites on you or family members usually around ankles and legs. In humans, flea bites can produce an irritating and allergic reaction. The typical symptom of a flea bite is a small red spot about 5mm in diameter.
If you have an active infestation, you may see Fleas jumping in your carpet and furniture.
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