FLEAS (DON'T GET RIPPED OFF WITH MULTIPLE VISITS!!!!)
Updated: May 13
WHY YOU SHOULD ONLY NEED ONE TREATMENT.
There are lots of pest control businesses out there that will happily keep coming out to treat your flea infestation, also pet shops will happily sell you 'flea treatments' over and over again. The one that really gets our hackles up though is the vets that sell people cans of flea treatments at stupidly inflated prices!!! Vets, after all, really should know, or act in a better and more professional manner!!!! And here's why!!!!
FLEA LIFE CYCLE
The Cat Flea (its nearly always the Cat Flea infesting your home, you and your furry animals. Even if you don't have a cat, and only have a dog!) has a life cycle that takes 3 weeks. As the life cycle takes 3 weeks, that's how long the treatment will take to cure your flea infestation. THERE IS NO WAY AROUND THIS, NO MATTER WHAT PEOPLE MIGHT TELL YOU!!!!! The treatment takes 3 weeks from start to finish, I'd love to make it a shorter process, but science and nature rule our world as far as flea eradication is concerned. Anyone who tells you differently is either trying to take advantage of you, or wrongly informed. Either way, if these people are supposed to be professionals, they should know better!
The life cycle is basically this:
An adult flea gets onto your pet.
She has a feed of its blood (the Cat Flea is the only flea out of thousands types of flea that can live off other animals other than its host animal, for example, a Dog Flea can only feed and reproduce off dog blood, Human Flea can only reproduce off human blood. Whereas a Cat Flea can feed and reproduce off a dog or human hosts blood!)
The Flea then lays eggs, this can be 30-50 eggs! Some eggs stay in the pets fur, some drop off into carpets and cracks or crevices in your home.
The eggs hatch out after 1-10 days as larvae and feed off, amongst other things, the fecal droppings of the adult fleas that gather in the fur or in the carpets. What a lovely diet, eh?!?!
The length of time (flea eggs can happily stay dormant for 200 days!!!) that this hatching takes is dependent on two things, the temperature (this is why fleas are prevalent in the summer months), and vibrations. (This is most profound if you enter a property that's been vacant for a long time, but is full of flea eggs. If the temperature is high enough, all the flea eggs need to start to hatch out is vibrations. As you go into the house your footfall will alert the flea eggs that there is a potential blood lunch available, within seconds the young adult fleas will be running across the carpets and jumping on your skin for their first meal of blood!!!).
Then the life cycle starts all over again!
This is a much simplified version of the Cat Flea life cycle, but for the purposes of treating your flea infestation, this will suffice.
Another important point to make here is why shop or vet bought treatments seem to work at first, but then in a few days you are back to square one. Pretty much all aerosol or flea powders are not residual insecticides, in other words, after a short period of time the insecticide stops working, and as we've already learned, the flea eggs can't be killed by any insecticide. So basically the treatment kills the adult fleas, but when the unaffected flea eggs hatch out, there is no insecticide there to kill them before they start the lifecycle all over again.
Last summer we went to a lady living on her own with only her pension to live on. I noticed on one of her window sills there were 22 cans of 'flea treatment', she had been sold these by her vet at a cost of £24 per can!!! When we explained why the treatment worked for a few days and then she was back to square one, she was horrified that she had been ripped off by the vets she had been going to for the past 20 years, and rightly so!!!! The Vets should know better eh, or perhaps they do and are in the business of making money off easy targets, so please don't be their next easy £££'s.
So, I hear you ask, how do we get rid of this flea infestation?
We have to 'BREAK THE CYCLE', as our tagline says.
The first step is to get any furry animals in the house a flea treatment that keeps working for at least 3 weeks. There are lots of 'spot treatments' out there (where you put a drop of insecticide on the neck of cats and dogs), but please don't get ripped off here either!!! I used to go to my vets and spend a fortune on flea treatments for my dogs,but, being the inquisitive person I am, I looked at what the active ingredients were on the vet bought treatment and then compared it to one I picked up in a branch of Wilko's pet section. Guess what!!! Yes you've guessed it, they had exactly the same chemicals in exactly the same amounts in both treatments!!! You know what the only difference was? The only difference was the packaging and the cost!!!! The one i had religiously gotten from my Vet for years was 5 times as expensive for exactly the same product!!!! People, even so called trained professionals, see fleas on pets as a great source of income.
Secondly, any pet bedding needs to be either thrown away in an outside bin, or washed at 60 degrees and tumble dried if possible. This heat will kill eggs, larvae and adult fleas.
Thirdly, you need to have a thorough vacuum of the whole house. Make sure you use the nozzle attachment around the edges of carpets (this is the fleas favourite place to live), and vacuum the rest of the house as normal. Please make sure that as much of the carpet is vacuumed as you possibly can, so if you've got things under your bed for example, lift these things up onto the bed, vacuum, and then leave the things on the bed until after we have treated your house. MOST IMPORTANTLY, make sure the vacuum cleaner is emptied into an outside bin, this is because you don't want these eggs to hatch out in the coming flea free months to escape from the vacuum bag and re-infest your home!
Fourth, you call Pest Interceptors to book a treatment time, we come out and spray your home. You, your pets, fish, children, will need to be out while we do the treatment, and stay out until it's dry (usually around 5 hours).
Fifth, you move back into your property. You MUST NOT under any circumstances vacuum your home for 3 weeks!!!!!!!! This means 3 weeks, not 2 weeks and 6 days, it's 3 weeks, no less! If you do vacuum early, the treatment simply won't work, so please, even if you've not seen a flea for a week, DO NOT VACUUM FOR 3 WEEKS!!!!!!! Another thing you must not do is use other treatments during this 3 week period, if you do the chemicals will interact and the treatment will fail. In fact, in 10 years of treating fleas, I've only ever had a few call backs, and everytime the flea treatment didn't work because the preparation work wasn't carried out properly or the after treatment advice wasn't followed. During the 3 weeks you are likely to see fleas, this is nothing to worry about and is all part of the process.
Another thing to bear in mind, especially in an empty property, is the fact that the flea eggs need vibrations to enable them to hatch out. So if it's an empty property, someone will need to go to the property at least twice a week for the 3 weeks and have a good old stamp around! My advice here would be to put a bin liner over each leg and pull up waist high, so you don't take any fleas home with you!!!!!
If you follow our instructions to the letter, you will only need one treatment, not two or three that other pest control companies may tell you that you need. If you need help get in touch with our team today at Pest interceptors, based around black country pest control.
For a more extensively detailed blog on Fleas, click here.
-Team at Pest Interceptors.