Fleas live mainly on our pets, but they do bite humans and they leave nasty, itchy red sores.
if you don't mind using insecticides, for instance in a vacant house where the departing pet owning family have left nothing but the fleas, then eradication can be quick and complete.
thoroughly vacuum all rooms, taking care to vacuum into cracks and crevices and under furniture. If your pets use the chairs, vacuum under cushions etc.
wash all the pet bedding in a hot wash. Destroy any badly soiled bedding.
seal the used vacuum bag and remove from the house.
Treat infested areas and all contaminated rooms with a permethrin based product such as Indorex Defence Spray a Smoke Bomb.
Although there are hundreds of species of fleas, it is the Cat Flea that commonly causes problems.
the flea is very flat, side to side
reddish brown in colour
about 3mm long
hair-like bristles on the body aid navigation through animal hair
female flea lays approx 50 roundish white eggs per day, 500-600 over several months
eggs are laid on the animal, but are quite smooth, so they fall off onto carpet, bedding etc.
the eggs hatch after 2 days to several weeks depending on temperature
the larvae that hatch are about 6-7mm long and semi-transparent white
they have small hairs along their body and actively move
larval stage lasts 5-18 days depending on available food
larvae then spins a cocoon and pupates
the adult flea can stay in it's cocoon for only 5 days or for a year or more
stimuli such as warm ambient temperatures, high humidity, vibrations or carbon dioxide emitted from potential prey can all cause the adult flea to emerge
once on the prey, they have their first blood meal
the egg to adult cycle can take as little as 14 days in the optimum warm centrally heated conditions of a modern home
Fleas are mostly active through the warm summer months, but within a warm centrally heated house they may remain active over winter.
Fleas are found anywhere, indoors or outside, in association with mammals and birds.
Fleas require blood to survive and reproduce; that blood can be sourced from animals, birds or humans.
Fleas go deep into carpets, upholstery and pet bedding making it difficult to access them for control.
In the cocoon stage, fleas are protected from all but a few specialist sprays.
as a rule of thumb, at any one time only 5% of fleas will be on their hosts, whilst 95% will be on the ground as eggs, larvae or pupae.