If you are a pet owner, you may be familiar with the problem of fleas. They are common parasites that feed on blood and their favorite hosts, are dogs and cats but also rabbits, guinea pigs, birds, foxes, rats and mice and any other furry animal.
Fleas are very agile insects, they do not fly but they can jump very far. In proportion to their size, they are champions in the long jump. This is how they pass easily from victim to victim including animals to humans.
Like mosquito bites, flea bites leave a red mark on the skin and are itchy. Some people can react strongly to flea saliva and trigger an allergy. therefor you need best treatment for fleas in house.
Already just at the thought of fleas, many people develop an itchy symptom. Fleas are often associated with poor hygiene and can cause inconvenience to your employees and customers. In the event of a flea infestation in your business, it is advisable to react quickly to avoid serious consequences and find best treatment for fleas in house, office etc. You risk losing sales and damaging your good reputation.
Table of Contents
- Kinds of Fleas
- What are Flea Bites & how to recognize them
- Do you suspect a flea infestation in the house? What are signs of flea infestation?
- Getting rid of fleas in the house – best treatment for fleas in house
- Fleas, a difficult problem to solve
Kinds of Fleas
There are different kinds of fleas in our regions, but usually dog and cat fleas are the most problematic.
We also sometimes hear about the bed flea, but this is a neologism. In this case, the insect in question has nothing to do with the flea but with the Cimex lectularis or bedbug.
The flea bites are distracting and stressful for both pets as for humans.
1. Cat Flea
- 2–3mm long, wingless.
- Narrow and flat body.
- Long legs allowing it to jump.
- They have both genital and pronotal barbs (ctenidia) which distinguish them from most other flea species in domestic animals.
- Fleas go through four stages of development: egg, larva, pupa and adult. The eggs are small and white.
- The sum of these steps represents two weeks to eight months.
- The adult flea is alerted to the presence of blood by detecting vibrations caused by the movement of an animal or man, heat, noise or carbon dioxide.
- The cat flea cannot complete its development by feeding on human blood alone.
- These fleas are often unable to determine if a host is suitable for them until they have bitten them. If the host is not suitable, it quickly breaks away.
- They make their nests where the host usually rests, for example, in a cat’s basket.
2. Dog Flea
- The adult is black-brown, but appears dark red after feeding.
- Adult fleas are 1-4mm long.
- The larva, without legs, is off-white and is up to 5 mm long.
- Fleas have a four-stage life cycle: egg, larva, pupa and adult.
- The larvae are longer than adults and feed on dried blood, excrement and organics collected from infested areas.
- The body is flattened laterally, which allows it to move easily in the fur of an animal. Its quills are directed backwards, which allows it to hold securely when the animal is cleaning itself.
- Adults feed on the blood of cats and dogs, and sometimes bite humans.
- The dog flea is a vector of the canine tapeworm, Dipylidium caninum, which can also affect humans.
- They can leap up to 15 cm, allowing them to move from one host to another. They can also infest lawns.
- A flea infestation can affect the general well-being of the host, causing itching, redness, hair loss, skin infections, or allergic reactions to the flea’s saliva.
3. Human Flea
- Fleas are black to dark brown insects with no wings.
- Adult fleas are 1 to 4 mm long.
- They have a long, thin proboscis that they use to pierce the skin of their host and suck blood from it.
- They move in characteristic leaps.
- The female flea lays 4 to 8 eggs after each meal and can usually lay several hundred eggs in her lifetime.
- The oval, smooth and clear eggs, measuring approximately 0.5 mm in length, are deposited on the body, bed or nest of the host without being firmly attached.
- The adult flea usually emerges within a week or two after passing through the larval and pupa stages, but under favorable conditions this second stage can last up to a year.
- Most often, fleas bite humans in the ankles and legs, usually two or three times in a row. The sting is felt immediately and can be painful for up to a week.
- As they move from one host species to another, they present the risk of disease transmission.
- Pulex irritans is also a vector of Yersinia pestis (plague).
- The human flea is also found on animals such as dogs, rats, pigs, deer and foxes.
4. Bird Flea
- Adult fleas are usually brown and are 1-8mm long.
- Their eyes and antennae are visible. Their mouths are well suited for pricking the skin and sucking blood; it is facing down.
- The poultry flea is the most common species of bird fleas.
- The fleas of the bird can only survive for a short time indoors, and inhabit only the nests.
- They reproduce during the nesting period when their host and / or their young are available for food.
- Adult fleas live in bird nests. When the birds leave the nest, the adult fleas must find a new host.
- If the nest is reused, the pupa develops, mates and continues the reproductive cycle.
- Bird fleas can multiply on a large scale in poultry houses, farms, etc.
What are Flea Bites & how to recognize them
Not very pleasant to have a flea infestation. Flea bites are not painful but it is the reaction to the flea saliva that causes the unpleasant itching. Dogs and cats are much more victims than men. In the event of an infestation, they are constantly scratching and biting their fur.
Flea bites are marked with a tiny dark spot surrounded by a red area, but the swelling is less pronounced than with other insect bites. A single flea often bites two to three times in the same area, looking for blood. Often you can feel the flea bite immediately, but it doesn’t really hurt. It is the irritation that results from the body’s reaction that causes the discomfort. Please refer to the biting insect treatment pages for more information.
Children are more likely to be bitten by fleas, especially when playing on the floor. They also tend to be more susceptible to flea bites than adults. Some people develop an allergy after several flea bites. This allergy manifests as a rash or eczema. If necessary, consult a pharmacist or doctor who will advise you on treatment.
Fleas are painful to humans, but pets are often affected even more by flea bites.
Do you suspect a flea infestation in the house? What are signs of flea infestation?
Bites, itches around the feet and calves, you suspect a flea infestation in your home. It is better to intervene quickly and call in a best flea treatment expert to prevent the problem from becoming unmanageable.
If your dog or cat is scratching constantly and keeps chewing on their coat then there is a good chance they are infested with fleas and suffering from flea bites. If you have fleas in the house something must be done and best thing to get rid of fleas.
Following options are available for best flea treatment for cats and dogs,
- Hire pest control service for best flea control for cats and dogs.
- Use best flea spray for cats and dogs
- Use best cat flea collar
- Use best dog flea collar etc.
Recognise fleas infestation
The most common types of fleas are dog fleas and cat fleas. Fleas in domestic animals prefer the blood of 4-legged companions but they can also bite humans for testing or because there is no better victim within jumping range. But they do not settle on the human body. Bites occur during contact with animals. The flea bites are mostly found around the feet or calves. Most of the time, more fleas are found in carpets and bunks than on the animals themselves, they jump on their victim when it passes very close to them.
Not always easy to detect flea infestation, the flea is only a few millimeters in size.
- Human fleas – Human fleas have evolved to specialize in different animals, but the human flea living on people (and some animals with similar skin) is rare in our regions. Exception: in the vicinity of farms, where human fleas can live on pigs and be transmitted to humans. Human fleas bite anywhere on the body, and are associated with irritation when the fleas move on the skin.
- Pet Fleas – Pet fleas bite humans, but do not live on their bodies. They itch your hands and body when treating your pets or cleaning their baskets, but more often they bite the feet and lower legs. Often more fleas are found living in carpets and baskets of pets than on the animals themselves; they jump and sting people when they approach.
Signs of flea problems
If you suspect a flea infestation, check for these signs:
- See something crawling on your pet’s coat? The fleas are red-brown in color and 2 mm long.
- Control your animal’s rear end and head. These are the places where fleas hide most often and where you can find signs of their presence.
- Check your pet’s coat and skin to see if there are any traces of excrement, tiny black spots. You can also pass a lice comb provided for this purpose through its hair and then shake it over a white paper. This makes it easier to observe what is in the coat of your 4-legged friend.
- You may also see this droppings on the dog or cat’s blankets or baskets, as well as on the flooring of the house.
Getting rid of fleas in the house – best treatment for fleas in house
Fleas are a common problem in homes, especially if there are cats or dogs. This problem is often encountered when moving to a house previously inhabited by a family with pets.
Fleas can transmit diseases, but this does not happen often in our regions. Rather, the main problem is the inconvenience that flea bites cause to people and pets.
Fight fleas in the house – best flea control
Fighting fleas in the home Fleas never go away on their own. Small flea infestations can be treated with insecticide or anti-flea products available in specialist shops or pet stores. But since fleas tend to spread quickly all over the house, it is best to seek professional treatment.
Rentokil offers a dedicated emergency service for dealing with flea issues and our technicians take your specific situation into account. Our service is fast, efficient and offers the highest level of safety for your family and pets. During the treatments our experts will be sure to give you valuable advice to avoid any re-infestation of fleas.
Effective flea prevention – best home treatment for fleas
Fleas at home is really not pleasant. You have to try to prevent a flea infestation from settling in your home. The best way to avoid fleas is to follow some simple safety precautions.
Pets, such as dogs and cats, are the biggest source of fleas in the home. If your pet has fleas, it will constantly be scratching and nibbling on its coat. Even with the utmost care, it is difficult to protect your pet 100% from fleas. Often brushing with a specific comb is sufficient to prevent flea nests from settling in the coat. You can also equip them with an anti-flea collar or have them treated very regularly with anti-flea products. Even indoor cats should be treated for fleas.
See your vet if you notice any signs of irritation in your pet.
There are many kinds of fleas, but most are 2-3mm in length and are red or brown in color. If there are fleas in your house, you will notice them thanks to a few obvious signs such as the behavior of your pet.
Adult fleas pierce the skin of mammals or birds to feed on their blood. But flea larvae feed on organic matter in carpets or beds; therefore, good hygiene can slow down their life cycle.
Flea cocoons can remain dormant for two years, and be awakened by vibrations. It is very common for a flea infestation to remain dormant in an empty house, but to be awakened by the arrival of inhabitants.
Tips to get rid of and avoid fleas – best thing to get rid of fleas
If you have pets, it is essential to prevent fleas from settling in carpets and animal baskets:
- Vacuum carpets and upholstery where your pets sleep to remove fleas and their eggs. Use maximum power if the fabric is strong enough. Then empty the vacuum cleaner, as the fleas will still be alive.
- Put a piece of flea collar in your vacuum bag.
- Shake or beat the rugs and animal cushions outside, in order to knock down fleas and eggs.
- Wash your pets’ cushions every week, ideally at over 50 ° C, to kill fleas.
- Do not spread the eggs of fleas carrying animal baskets and rugs.
- Place your animal baskets in areas without carpets (e.g. wood floors).
Fleas, a difficult problem to solve
- In the nymph state, between the larva and the adult insect, the flea can wait up to 2 years before completing its life cycle to wait for favorable conditions.
- The eggs are small (0.5 mm long) oval in shape and white in color. They are hardly noticeable on uneven surfaces, such as carpets or pet baskets.
- The life cycle of a flea can therefore vary from 2 weeks to around 8 months.
- Fleas grow very quickly. An infestation quickly arrived. It is therefore difficult to combat them without the help of pest professionals.