Fleas

Tiny, acrobatic and hungry for blood: fleas are not fun to deal with!

Fleas can establish themselves in a property a number of different ways: your dog might have brought them in, or you may not be cleaning up often enough. However they arrived, it will be a tiresome and labour intensive job to make your fleas leave. Failing to get rid of them early on will only allow the problem to get worse, not to mention keep you exposed to the potentially-disease-carrying pests.

To make sure that your property is free of fleas, your best bet will be to hire an experienced local pest controller. They will have the equipment and experience not just to thoroughly solve your problem but also to help you understand how you can keep fleas out of your home in the future. Importantly, a professional pest controller should also be able to offer a warranty for their work, in case the fleas return after the treatment.

A key stage of the process will be to make sure that your property is completely clean to help remove and discourage the fleas. To make sure that the job is done thoroughly, you may also want to consider hiring a professional local cleaner.

Hatched flea larvae will be content to hide away and eat until they can become adults, at which point they will be able to lay 50 eggs a day!

Hoover

Does my home have fleas?

‘Fleas’ are tiny parasitic (blood sucking) insects which usually grow to about 2-3mm in length. One of the easiest ways to identify them is by their leaping ability; adult fleas can jump 100 times their body length. If it gets to the stage where you can see fully grown fleas jumping around your home, then you know you’ve got a serious problem on your hands. Look around for their tiny white eggs, as well as grown fleas: together they will produce a visible 'salt and pepper effect'.

Tiny red bite marks around the wrists, ankles and midriff will be another important sign to look out for if you suspect that your property has fleas. Remember, these insects can carry and transfer potentially dangerous illnesses. If you suspect that you have an infestation, it is wise to speak to a pest controller as soon as possible.

Flea

Finding fleas

Finding fleas in your property is not just a matter of brushing them out of your pet’s fur. In fact, the fleas you find on your pet will only represent around 5% of the population in your home!

Fleas might be tiny, but they are very tenacious. Hatched flea larvae will be content to hide away and eat until they can become adults, at which point they will be able to lay 50 eggs a day! In other words, you will need to be very thorough in your search:

  • Carpets - Flea larvae could be hiding comfortably above or below the carpets in your house, where there will be plenty of matter for them to munch on while they grow. Depending on the extent of your problem, you may want to consider booking a professional carpet cleaning service.
  • Wardrobes, clothes, bedding, upholstery, and washing baskets - Fleas like to hide anywhere warm and dark, which makes the places where you keep clothes and bedding prime targets!
  • Birds nests - It might sound silly, but a discarded birds nest on your property could be the perfect place for fleas to hide and grow. There may even be an old nest on your roof or in your loft.
  • Pet beds - if you have a dog or a cat, then you will not be able to stop them from coming into contact with fleas. If you keep up with treating your pets for fleas, then this should not become a problem. However, if your furry friend brings fleas into your home then they could spread them everywhere before you even realise what has happened. Look for adult fleas, larvae and eggs where your pets sleep, as well as any areas where they spend a lot of time lounging around.
  • Rodents - If you have mice or rats in your home then they could be the ones bringing in the fleas. Speak to a local pest controller about how you can make your property completely pest free.

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Flea

How to get rid of fleas in the home

If you have pets, then the first step to take to get rid of the fleas in your home will be a trip to the vet. They will let you know whether your pet has fleas and how best to tackle them. Be careful and be sure to follow the vet’s instructions closely, or the problem will just keep returning. The next step will be to thoroughly clean your pet’s bedding, blankets and even their toys (plastic and rubber toys included). Anything that cannot be properly cleaned should be thrown away

Your belongings are next: put your clothes and bedding in the washing machine on a high temperature (ideally around 60°, though you should check your labels first).  Items which you can’t wash, such as cushions, soft toys or delicates, should be put in freezable bags and stored in your freezer overnight. The cold temperature will kill any flea eggs, larvae or adults hiding inside. To be completely safe, you may also want to consider a professional cleaning service for your mattresses and curtains.

Flea

Now comes the labour intensive part: cleaning your house! As we have already mentioned, fleas can spread around a property quickly and there are so many places for them to hide that you cannot afford to take any chances. Vacuum your home thoroughly, paying special attention to your furniture and carpets. Unfortunately, the inside of a hoover can also be a great place for fleas to thrive, so be sure to empty your hoover after every cleaning session until you are sure that the pests are gone. You will also want to sweep and mop any other flooring in your house, making sure that you use a strong cleaning brand.

Once your property is filth free, it will be time to get direct. You can purchase flea spray or powder from a local DIY store. Making sure that you follow the instructions carefully, apply it around your home, including your furniture and carpets.

To ensure that you remove all of the fleas in your home, you may need to repeat this process more than once. Work hard to keep your property as clean as possible so that the fleas cannot re-establish themselves.