Fleas: Tackling Summer’s Pesky Parasites
Fleas can be a common pest during the summer months in the UK, especially in households with pets. It is important to gain knowledge and understand pests in order to effectively deal with them.
There are an estimated 2,500 species of fleas worldwide. In the UK we may see 3 types of flea:
- The Cat Flea Ctenocephalides felis – The most common flea type in the UK
- The Dog Flea Ctenocephalides canis – The second most common flea species present in the UK
- The Human Flea Pulex irritans – The rarest flea type in the UK
All of the above flea types are small, wingless insects that are typically dark brown, light brown or reddish-brown in colour. Adult fleas are between 1-3 mm in length and have a flattened body, allowing them to move easily through the fur of animals. Fleas are known for their ability to jump long distances. FLEA FACT – Fleas have the remarkable ability to leap distances of up to 13 inches, which is approximately 200 times the length of their own bodies.
Understanding the flea life cycle. is crucial for effective control. Fleas go through four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The eggs are laid on the host (e.g., pets) but often fall off and accumulate in carpets, bedding, or furniture. Larvae and pupae develop in these environments before emerging as adult fleas.
Signs of Infestation
Signs of a flea infestation may include excessive scratching or biting in pets, small red bites on humans, flea dirt (dark specks resembling black pepper) in pet fur or bedding, and occasionally sighting live fleas.
Prevention and Control
- Regular pet grooming – Regularly comb your pets with a flea comb to remove adult fleas and flea dirt. Bathe them with flea shampoo or consult a veterinarian for appropriate flea prevention treatments.
- Vacuuming – Vacuum your home thoroughly, especially areas where your pets spend most of their time. Pay close attention to carpets, rugs, pet bedding, and upholstered furniture. Dispose of the vacuum bag or empty the canister in an outdoor bin.
- Washing bedding – Wash your pet’s bedding in hot water to kill fleas and their eggs.
- Garden maintenance – Keep your outdoor areas well-maintained by regularly mowing the lawn, removing leaf litter, and minimising outdoor areas where fleas may thrive.
Prevention for Future Infestations
It is important to take preventive measures to avoid future infestations. This includes regularly using flea prevention treatments on your pets, maintaining cleanliness in your home, and taking precautions when your pets interact with other animals or outdoor environments.
An Uphill Struggle
Due to the flea lifecycle, they are notoriously difficult to control. It is recommended to contact a professional pest control company who will have in depth knowledge, experience, and expertise to effectively deal with your flea infestation. At Avon Pest Control we tailor our treatment to target fleas at all life stages and use specialised products which are more effective than over-the-counter solutions.
Fed up with fleas? Call Avon Pest Control today on 01926 632 929, and let us handle your pest problem for you.