Fleas: One of the peskiest of pests

Adult fleas are reddish-brown parasites about 2.5mm long that draw blood from a host. They prefer to feed on hairy animals, both wild and domesticated (including cats, dogs and rodents), but they do feed on humans if there is no alternative. They have been known to carry diseases and can pass on a flea tapeworm if eaten by mistake.

Although fleas can’t fly, they can jump long distances. They lay eggs on the ground or in rugs, carpet, bedding, upholstery or cracks in the floor and most hatch within two days. They emerge as larvae, which spin cocoons about 5-20 days after hatching. The adult flea emerges only when conditions are right; the pupal stage can stretch for months if not. Spotting fleas in their immature stages can be difficult for the untrained eye.

In just 30 days, ten fleas can reproduce and multiply their numbers up to 250,000, so if you have fleas in your home, there’s no time to waste calling for help.

You can see adult fleas jumping, but other signs of their presence may be that your pets repeatedly scratch and groom themselves. In humans, attacks from fleas show up as itchy bite marks and can sometimes cause allergies or, less commonly, tropical diseases such as typhoid.

Contact a Pest Control Expert

How to Reduce The Risk of Infestation

Mostly, over-the-counter products for controlling fleas won’t solve the root causes of infestations. Pure Services’ management technicians know how to find flea eggs and pupae as well as mature fleas and can eliminate them effectively.

However, you can help to keep fleas out of your house and away from your pets with these simple measures:

  • Seal cracks, gaps and holes to keep rodents, feral cats or other potential flea hosts out of the house or ceiling and underfloor areas.
  • Use flea-control products on pets.
  • Regularly groom and bathe pets and keep their bedding clean.
  • If you suspect you’ve been bitten by a flea, ask your GP to inspect the bite to confirm its source. That way you can take action quickly.