If you have to ask yourself, “Do I have a flea infestation?” then the answer is probably going to be a resounding yes.
When it comes to resilient insects, fleas are right up there with the best of them, and once they’ve made your home their own, they’re staggeringly hard to get rid of.
Did you know that the fleas that you see pestering your pet make up a mere 5 percent of the total flea population in your home?
If you’re sufficiently grossed out then let’s examine why flea infestations are such a bore, and what we can do about them.
Facts About Fleas
Fleas are most likely to be brought into your home via your pet. Anything with fur can carry these feisty little parasites, and left unattended, the population can soar at an alarming rate.
What these little brown specks lack in size, they make up for in raw skill and sheer numbers! Consider these facts:
- An adult flea can jump to around 150 times their own length. That’s like an average-sized man being able to jump 250 meters straight up in the air!
This super-power allows them to transfer easily between pets and people with relative ease. And it also accounts for the ‘now you see ‘em now you don’t’ situation.
- Female fleas can lay an astonishing 50 eggs a day – 2000 or so in her relatively short lifetime.
This incredible volume is one reason that makes a flea infestation tough to deal with.
- Flea eggs have the amazing capacity to remain dormant until the right environment rolls around.
An article from Watford Borough Council says, “Flea eggs can lay dormant for long periods of time but will be stimulated by vibration and heat. This is why people can experience flea bites when they move into a property that has been vacant for some time.”
- An adult flea can live for approximately 100 days without a meal! But when they do start to feed, they can consume around 15 times their own weight in blood.
Do I Have a Flea Problem?
What should we be looking out for to determine if we have a flea infestation, and exactly how bad it is?
- It’s likely that your first clue will be agitated pets which scratch more than usual.
- A closer look at our furry friends may show small black dots which look like dirt trapped in their fur close to the skin. (This is dried digested blood, courtesy of our little parasites.)
- It’s very likely that you and your family will experience itchy little bites on your body.
If left untreated, you will find that your family will suffer more and more bites, and your pets will be increasingly unhappy as they try to counter the bites and itching from the fleas.
Sadly, this is one problem that isn’t going to go away on its own.
Fighting a Flea Infestation
As with any pest infestation, prevention is always better than cure.
With a flea infestation, in particular, you will find that a single treatment may offer a temporary respite but won’t solve the problem.
A successful ‘de-flea’ treatment of your home will require dealing with all four stages of this pesky little insect’s lifecycle.
Fleas on your pets can be treated with various shampoos, topical treatments and sprays which will help to control the adult population.
Eggs and larvae present in your pet’s bed, your bed (Ew!) and your carpets can be controlled by regular vacuuming and washing of bedding in warm water. (Be sure to empty your vacuum cleaner afterwards as the larvae can hatch inside the bag and continue the cycle.)
Foggers and other insect sprays can also work but need to be used with caution.
Treatments need to be repeated in 4-6 weeks to catch the next batch of young, hungry fleas and preventing another flea infestation.
Is It Time To Call In The Professionals?
There’s no way around it – the fleas must go.
There’s nothing cute or fluffy about these parasitic insects, and their breeding rate and resilience make them formidable enemies of comfort in our home.
If you see one flea, you can bet your kitty toys that there are 100 other lurking nearby. Of course, if you are suffering the discomfort of constant bites and you’ve not managed to stem the tide, then perhaps it’s time to call in a pest control company.
We know exactly where these fast and furious fleas hide, we understand how they breed, and we know how to rid you of them.
Please feel ‘flea’ to call Warren and his team for advice or a quote to deal with your flea infestation once and for all.