Flea Control: Get Rid of Fleas in Homes
Fleas are small insects that live by biting and sucking the blood of their host, which can vary according to the flea species. Species found in the UK are the cat flea, dog flea, bird flea and human flea.
Human fleas are relatively rare in the UK, although they may persist in areas where humans congregate in crowded, insanitary conditions. Or farming areas where the fleas can survive and feed on livestock.
Bird fleas live and feed on wild birds and domestic hens. They feed on the birds and are prevalent in overcrowding conditions. A nest is essential for eggs and larvae to mature.
Dog fleas found on domestic dogs but may also be present on garden lawns, foxes and other fur covered animals. Congregating around the dog’s hind quarters, dog fleas are difficult to remove by routine grooming.
Cat fleas are the most common fleas found in the UK today. Although cats are their preferred host, they can live on many fur covered creatures including foxes, rabbits and dogs. They need cat or dog blood to survive, although they may still bite other animals and humans.
Signs of flea infestation
Flea infestation can be difficult to discover if you don’t actually see the adult fleas on your pet’s fur. Things to look out for include:
- Flea droppings, which have the appearance of coarse ground black pepper.
- Small, whitish coloured fleas’ larvae in pet bedding, soft furnishings, carpets and your pet’s fur.
- Excessive scratching in your cat or dog.
- Bites on pets or humans, which are red and often itchy.
Fleas can breed profusely and a female flea can lay many eggs in her lifetime. Flea control involves all stages of the flea’s life cycle. Like with many insect pests, eradicating the adult is not usually the end of the problem.
Fleas have a typical insect life cycle; egg, larvae, pupa, adult. Cat and dog fleas can only complete their life cycle by feeding from their preferred host, even though they may bite and feed from other creatures.
Flea control measures include:
- Vacuuming carpets, beds, furniture, particularly cracks in skirting and floorboards where fleas and their immature forms can hide. Larvae feed on organic matter, including adult flea droppings, so removing this potential food source is important to break the life cycle.
- Washing pet bedding and other areas pets sit on, regularly and at temperatures above 50°C.
- Treating areas regularly with a household flea insecticide.
- Grooming pets with flea combs regularly. Treat with vet recommended flea treatments.
Expert pest control assistance
If the suggested flea control methods are insufficient to control your flea infestation, you should seek advice from a qualified pest control expert to identify and destroy your flea infestation completely. Knowledge of different flea types and their habits is essential to effectively treat a flea infestation.
For expert advice and assistance controlling fleas, please give Speedy Pest Control a call on 0800 690 6920 or fill in our online form for a no obligation quote. We can provide pest control services in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds and London.
Fleas Pest Control
Fleas are insects that form the order Siphonaptera. They are wingless, with mouthparts adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood. Fleas are external parasites, living by hematophagy off the blood of mammals and birds.