How to get rid of fleas

Sometimes your pet cat or dog brings home these small, bloodsucking pests which you’ll want to get rid of fast. Fleas rarely carry diseases in the UK but their bites can cause an uncomfortable, itchy rash and some pets can develop allergies to flea saliva.

Fleas are not only transported by cats and dogs, they can also be carried by other furry animals like rats, mice, rabbits, foxes and squirrels. You may also discover you have a flea problem if the previous owners of your property had cats or dogs.

What do fleas look like?

The most common types are cat fleas and dog fleas. They are between 1.5 to 3.5mm long, usually dark coloured and look to the naked eye like a small, hopping black dot. Adult fleas live as parasites on their host animals and usually lay their eggs there, which means where your pet sleeps can become a real flea hotspot.

Signs of a flea infestation include pet cats or dogs scratching more than usual. You could find bites on your body – usually below your knees – which look like a tiny dark red spot surrounded by a reddened area. You may also see fleas hopping around your home, on yourself or your pets.

How to prevent a flea infestation

Try to avoid a flea infestation in your home by making sure you groom your pets regularly with a flea comb and keep their bedding as clean as possible. It’s also a good idea to vacuum carpets and furniture regularly to get rid of any eggs and larvae waiting to hatch.

Scientific name:


Life span

Undisturbed and without a blood meal, a flea can live more than 100 days. On average, they live two to three months.

Did you know

Fleas are amazing jumpers, and use their powerful back legs to leap up to 20cm high and 30cm horizontally. That’s around 100 times their own height and length.

How to get rid of fleas

If you think you already have fleas then try vacuuming 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. Once you have done this, empty your vacuum cleaner carefully outdoors to stop the fleas hopping back in again. You should also wash all bed sheets and pet beds in the machine on a high temperature to make sure there are no fleas, eggs or larvae lurking there.

Preparing for a flea treatment

If you prefer a safe, targeted professional flea treatment then follow these steps before our visit to make the treatment as effective as possible:

  • Clear access to all areas where fleas are found.
  • Clear all carpeted floors and rugs and vacuum thoroughly, then empty the vacuum cleaner straight into a dustbin or change the bag.
  • If possible move furniture away from the edges of the room.
  • People and domestic pets must leave the rooms being treated and not return until at least four hours after the treatment. Cover fish tanks and all electrical appliances.
  • Do not vacuum the carpets or clean the treated area for at least 14 days to allow the insecticide to work.
  • One treatment may not be sufficient to control the infestation, but the products used carry on working for some weeks. The fleas should die off gradually after coming into contact with the insecticide. If there’s still a problem after 14 days after the original treatment, please call us on 0208 9776894. Unfortunately we cannot offer any guarantee of completely eradicating fleas.
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