Some (but not all) of the main factors as to why flea problems are are more prominent now than in the past, are the changes in patterns of home ownership, cultural changes and changes in pest management responsibilities have all exerted a modifying influence on the prevalence of domestic pests in high population density metropolitan and urban environments. This is especially true for bedbugs and fleas.
Fleas have muscular limbs and can jump up to 135 times their own body length in one jump, and up to 10,000 times in succession in an effort to latch onto a suitable host.
Adult fleas live as parasites on warm blooded animals and although they show a host preference they will feed on any other sources of blood in the absence of their normal host.
The lifecycle of a flea from egg to adult is under normal conditions approximately 1 month, it is virtually impossible to kill the flea when still in its egg stage, but with the aid of various chemicals only available to the trade, the Larvae will not reach full maturity because of its feeding habits.
A cats bedding area can house up to 8000 pre-adult and 2000 adult fleas.
Each adult female flea can lay between 4 - 8 eggs after each blood feed, and can lay 1000 eggs in her short 2 year life span.
Treatment of this pest requires urgent action when it is first noticed.
75% of the fleas that we treat is the cat flea. Most pet owners tell us that the cat has been treated, and its not their cat that has fleas.
As a pest controller I have heard it many times before, but then if your cat has not got the fleas and your cat is the only cat indoors, how did they get here.
It seems that most cat owners do not realise that if the cat associates with an untreated cat outside the property the fleas will jump from one cat to another and your cat will have them on it when it comes in for its food.
Or the cat flap that does not lock will allow other stray cats with fleas into your property.
Early thorough treatment is essential, as well as to keep any animal with fleas in one area of the property until treatment has taken place, preferably in an area with no carpets.
If you have a flea problem call us and we can help, we have several different treatments all at their own prices, the choice will be yours.
Fleas are small biting, jumping insects that live in the fur of many different animals.
Cat and dog fleas are the most likely fleas to affect humans, though rats nesting in a home can also carry fleas.
While their bites can cause severe itching and skin infections, they can also spread diseases such as cat-scratch fever, typhus and plague to people.
Bites from fleas on wild animals should be avoided in rural areas by staying away from animal burrows where fleas breed.
If you've ever had flea bites, you've probably wondered whether fleas can live on people.
The good news is cat & dog fleas don't live on people, with very few exceptions. Human fleas (Pulex irritans) prefer to feed on humans or pigs, but these parasites are very uncommon in homes and more often associated with wildlife.
The fleas that invade our homes and feed on our pets are nearly always cat fleas, Ctenocephalides felis. Despite their name, cat fleas are just as likely to feed on dogs as they are on your cat, although generally speaking a cat flea prefers to live on a cat and dog fleas on dogs, we normally reckon fleas to be host specific where possible.
And while they don't usually live on non-furry hosts like humans, they can and do bite people.
In either case - cat fleas or dog fleas - the adult fleas are built for hiding in fur. Their laterally flattened bodies help them navigate between pieces of fur or hair. Backwards-facing spines on their bodies help them cling to the animals fur when the host is on the move.
Our relatively hairless bodies don't make great hiding places for fleas, and it's much harder for them to hang on to our bare skin.
People living with pets will eventually find themselves faced with a flea infestation.
As they multiply in number, fleas are going to compete for feeding space on your pet, and may begin biting you instead, this normally happens when the pet has been removed from the property.
Flea bites are irritating, they itch causing you to scratch them which in turn can result in blood poisoning, the bites are normally found on the ankles or lower legs.
While fleas rarely take up residence on human skin, they can and will live happily in a human home with no pets present. If fleas find their way into your house and don't find a pet on which to feed, they will use you as the next best thing.
Ask any estate agent that frequents empty buildings, fleas are known as the estate agents nightmare
General unbiased advice to householders regarding flea treatments
1 Vacuum all areas thoroughly before the arrival of the pest controller.
2 Ensure that all edges of carpets and floor coverings are thoroughly vacuumed.
3 Empty the vacuum outside in the bin, immediately after use so that fleas cannot exit vacuum and re-enter property.
4 All pets must be removed from the building for at least 24 hours.
5 After treatment occupiers must vacate the property for at least 4 hours to allow chemicals to settle.
6 No vacuuming or washing of floors is advisable for at least 4 weeks so that the flea can emerge from the egg and into the IGR sprayed into the cracks and crevices.
7 The IGR will without a doubt stop the insect from becoming an adult; this stops the life cycle of the fleas.
8 After treatment fleas may be seen but they will only be small juvenile insects and cannot carry on with the lifecycle.
9 There is certainly no way on this earth after a complete treatment with the chemicals and methodology that we use that fleas can survive, and become adults.
10 If fleas are still biting after 4 weeks, it is because they have been reintroduced from an outside source.
The chemicals have a proven track record, which is why we use them.
There are only two ways that fleas will be in the property after a treatment from us,
1, the floors have been vacuumed or /and washed before the treatment has finished its job.
Most customers that complain about seeing fleas after a treatment do indeed vacuum or wash the floors, even though they wont admit to it, we can tell due to the residual of the chemical left behind and where it should be.
2 They have been re-introduced to the property.
Our treatment methodology has a 100% track record spanning back to the start of our business. (many years ago)
Remember ALL visits for pest control is chargeable, we do not carry out free re-treats (apart from wasps & hornets) as we carry out the work in the proper manner and we use the chemicals as per manufacturers advice for product use.
We never cut corners, which is why we have a good track record.
IGR is short for insect growth regulator, it stops the insect from reaching maturity, therefore causing a break in the lifecycle and reproduction rate.
It is our company policy to never treat for fleas without an IGR added to the treatment, thus ensuring that you have the maximum protection possible against a re-infestation.
TO RE-ITERATE THE ABOVE
A concern with fleas is their ability to transmit disease organisms. This ability is enhanced by their promiscuous feeding habits as they move from one host species to another. For example, the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis, readily attacks humans, dogs, rats and foxes.
The human flea, Pulex irritans, can be found on dogs, rats, pigs, mice, badgers, deer and foxes.
Infestation by fleas may also cause severe inflammation of the skin and intense itching.
The potentially long pupal stage, and the fact that adult fleas can live without food for remarkably long periods, accounts for the fact that people may enter a house after it has been unoccupied by humans or pets for months, yet be rapidly and severely attacked by fleas.
Fleas most often bite people about the legs and ankles, and there are usually 2 or 3 bites in a row.
The bites are felt immediately, but tend to become increasingly irritating, and are frequently sore for as much as a week
Common name: Cat Flea, Length: 2mm,
Colour & description:
Adults are small, brown insects and are wingless. They are laterally compressed and they have stout, spiny legs, adapted for leaping. Have piercing-sucking mouthparts developed for feeding on blood.
Habits & habitat:
Are parasitic as adults and are found on dogs, cats, rats, foxes etc. Eggs are laid on the body but are often detached. Larvae are usually found on floor or bedding of the host and often feed off the faeces of adult fleas. The adult can remain in the cocoon for long periods until vibrations indicating the presence of a possible host stimulate it to emerge and become active.
5 weeks – 1 year dependant on conditions
Female fleas lay 4 to 8 eggs after each blood meal and may lay several hundred eggs in their lifetime. These may hatch in 2 – 3 days and given an adequate supply of food, larvae should pupate and weave a silken cocoon within 3 - 4 weeks, after completing 3 larval stages. Under favourable conditions, the adult emerges in a week or two, but under adverse conditions, the pupal period may be prolonged to as much as a year.
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