Do you have fleas in your home or workplace? Sometimes pets bring home a few unwanted friends in the shape of these small, bloodsucking pests, which you’ll want to get rid of fast. Even the thought of having fleas in your home can make your skin crawl, but you can easily reduce your chances of an infestation, and it’s possible to get rid of fleas yourself without having to call in the experts.
How you can tell if you have fleas in your home
- Your pet – usually dogs and cats – may be scratching more than usual
- You may find bites on your body: a tiny dark red spot surrounded by a reddened area, usually below the knee
- You will be able to see fleas hopping around your home, on yourself or your pets.
How to get rid of fleas
What you can do before calling in the experts:
- Vacuum carpets, furnishings, cracks in the floorboards and anywhere else fleas may hide, and do this regularly. This will get rid of adult fleas, their eggs and larvae. Larvae feed on organic matter which collects in carpets and rugs, so it’s important to remove their food source. Once you have done this, empty your vacuum cleaner carefully and outdoors to stop the fleas hopping back in again
- Give all bed sheets and pet beds a good wash in the machine on a high temperature to make sure there are no fleas, eggs or larvae lurking there
- Groom pets regularly with a flea combe, and if scratching continues then ask your vet to recommend a good a flea spray or powder.
If the fleas still keep coming back, or you would a professional fumigation for your own peace of mind, then give Masons Pest Control a call and we will send round a BPCA-qualified technician to get rid of your fleas quickly and safely.
Want to know more about fleas and where they come from?
Fleas are external parasites, living off the blood of mammals and birds. The most common types are cat fleas and dog fleas; human fleas do exist but are becoming increasingly rare. Fleas are between 1.5 to 3.3mm long, agile and usually dark coloured, and look to the naked eye like a small, hopping black dot.
Adult fleas live as parasites on warm-blooded mammals. They lay their eggs in batches of around 20, usually on the host. This is why areas where your pet rests and sleeps can become a real hotspot for fleas – a flea nursery for eggs and developing young.
Cat fleas cause most infestations, so make sure you keep their bedding as clean as possible. If your cat has fleas, there could be as many as ten times that number in other parts of the house. Wall to wall carpeting, bedding and central heating in a home create ideal conditions in which flea larvae can develop, so keep your flea combe handy!
In the UK, fleas rarely transmit disease. However, they’re not always just itchy unwanted pests: some people suffer allergic reactions to flea saliva resulting in rashes. A flea bite looks like a slightly swollen itchy spot with a single puncture point in the middle. Bites often appear in clusters or lines of two bites, and can remain inflamed for up to several weeks. If you find you have flea bites then an antihistamine cream may help reduce the irritation.