The Diary of a Pest Interceptor - Fleas Edition
Updated: Sep 24, 2021
The order Siphonaptera, more commonly known as Fleas, are a pest of which almost
all pet owners will encounter; due to their transmission and kind taking to the blood of both us, and our furry friends.
The frequency in which individual households encounter Fleas means that there is an extensive range of ‘remedying’ solutions that simply do not work. Whatever the product or ‘prestigious’, ‘trusted’ brand name is selling, if there is no considerable stress on the vitality of the 3 week life cycle of Fleas, you are fundamentally going to waste your money. The Pest Interceptors are industry leaders in ridding Flea infestations; we have a 100% success rate - given that you strictly adhere to both our pre and post treatment rituals.
Our following blog consists of expertise regarding how fleas live: their behaviours, risks and our effective treatment. Should you have become accustomed to housing these advancely adapted and invasive blood-suckers, it is time to be rid of them for good and let the Pest Interceptors do what we do best - ‘Break the Cycle!’.
How to identify Fleas
Jumping: Fleas transport by jumping as far as 13 inches.
Appearance: Fleas are a reddish-brown colour and are approximately 2mm long.
On you: Fleas will grip onto your legs mostly, as they have been on the floor.
Bites: Flea bites are typically small, red and considerably itchy.
In your home:
‘Flea Dirt’: commonly mistaken for normal dirt, fleas leave behind droppings that will be evident on carpets, rugs and your pets coat. Using a damp towel, wipe over the ‘dirt’ specs, if it is flea droppings there will be red-brown streaks.
Eggs: using a magnifying glass, run your gloved fingers over the carpet. The eggs of fleas are very tiny, white in colour and oval shaped.
Itching: among one of the most obvious of indications!
Red skin: as they continue to scratch a certain area, their skin can become inflamed.
Patchy hair: as our pets scratch then can accidentally pull out their fur.
Combs: these handy tools can help to find fleas amongst the fur.
Although identifying what tiny blood-sucker is looming in your property isn’t easy, the way in which Flea’s jump is a key incriminating indication they’re responsible. Investing in an array of flea repellents or solutions that merely kill adults is what nearly all customers immediately turn to; this will ultimately make the infestation worse and is a waste of time and expenses due to the following behaviours:
The Behaviours of Fleas
The Life Cycle of a Flea
The lifecycle of a Flea has four stages; eggs, larvae, paupe and adult. The optimum temperature for the lifecycle to complete is between 21°C and 29°C. Fleas are particularly rife over the summer months due to the lovely warm weather; however, should your house be filled with central heating, the fleas will continue their life cycle all year round, due to the perfect conditions.
In order to produce eggs, a female adult flea needs a blood meal. Do not be mistaken in thinking that starving the fleas will break the cycle and kill them, the adults will die but those in an earlier stage of life will simply lay in a comatose state. When breeding, the female Fleas can breed between 20-50 eggs a day - eggs make up approximately half of the entire population of Fleas in the property. The eggs will be laid approximately 0.5mm in size, making them incredibly difficult to see; particularly amongst the carpet of your house.
In property infestation, larvae compose approximately 35% of the total population of Fleas.
Larvae are around 5mm long, are nearly transparent and do not yet have legs. Flea Larvae are negatively phototactic, meaning they move away from direct sunlight; this is why they bury themselves deep into property fabrics and materials; such as pet bedding, carpets and furniture. As they are yet unable to directly feed off of a host blood source, flea larvae will survive through the consumption of everyday dirt, dead skin cells and most predominantly, the bloody faeces of the adults.
Paupe is when the Flea is at the point in its lifecycle when they are in a cocoon state in order to be protected whilst they develop into adults - this stage makes up 10% of the infestation of a property. Depending on the exterior conditions, this stage can complete between a number of days or upto a few weeks. Should conditions be too cold, the paupe will simply remain in its cocoon stage, surviving for months until it is an optimum time to emerge.
Paupe remains hidden deep in fabrics and carpets due to their sticky outer layer; this protects them from the suction of vacuums and shields from ‘flea killing’ chemicals. Amongst the importance placed in killing adults, it is most vital to kill the paupe. Despite being ready to emerge, the paupe will only shed into an adult upon sensing a hosting food source nearby. These insidious pests utilize the vibrations, body heat and carbon levels of pets in order to instinctively know when to emerge and fee.
Upon sensing a blood source and hatching from their paupe state, the now adult fleas will seek to feed within a matter of hours. A freshly-hatched flea will appear small, dark in colour and flat; after a blood feed, they will grow into a more pronounced shape and appear lighter in colour. The fleas will continue to feed and lay eggs for weeks, whilst being transmitted around by our pets. Ultimately, adult fleas only make up for 5% of a property infestation.
Frequently, the adult fleas will be satisfied with feeding on pets alone, should they grow more hungry they will then feed on humans too. Without a food source the fleas will be unable to reproduce and will later die; it is those in an earlier stage that will survive and repopulate the infestation upon your return.
Whilst Fleas will cling to a food source, such as yourself or your furry pets, in search of blood, the sticky characteristic of eggs means they too will be transmitted throughout a property and beyond - ultimately worsening an infestation.
Although living simultaneously with these petite, parasitic blood feeders is not something many endure, turning a blindeye to their inhabitants will ultimately worsen the infestation over time and can develop the following health implications:
The Health Risks Fleas Pose
The risks to your health
Whilst for the most part a Flea bite will cause nothing more than an itchy and irritated bite on your skin, there have been some cases where a bite has developed into much more. Bites have the possibility to become infected; ultimately leading to swollen glands, excessive redness and extreme pain and sensitivity surrounding the area. For a small volume of unfortunate individuals, this can subsequently lead to hair loss.
Fleas do have the potential to transmit disease through their bites; these can include typhus, flea-borne spotted fever and cat scratch fever (this has the potential to be fatal to those that are seriously ill). Additionally, fleas can transmit tapeworms to humans.
The risk to your Pets
Our furry friends will unfortunately suffer the same as us when it comes to being bitten by Fleas; ultimately they will suffer more bites! Flea bites can be a serious threat to pets that are older, younger or more frail - losing their blood to feed fleas can cause them to become extremely weak, this can even lead to death.
When it comes to sourcing a monthly Flea treatment for your dog or cat, ensure that you choose one that kills flea, rather than repels them. A quality treatment does not have to be expensive, the £3 solution is the exact same solution as the £15, just without the pricey packaging!
Unlike a lot of pests, there are no laws or legal protections regarding the ridding of fleas; it is just that 95% of the remedies and solutions fundamentally do not work.
There is no instant fix for Fleas; this is due to their lifecycle - if you are being told otherwise you are being lied to.
Is your skin crawling more with every word you read? Let us rid you of these awful blood suckers for good.
If Fleas are a familiar pest in your house, it is likely that you never fully rid the property of their inhabitants the first time. Next to no DIY method or online purchase treatment solution combats the entirety of the lifecycle of a Flea - meaning they will return. If fleas have begun to reappear after a few months of your property seeming ‘flea-free’, this means they have either been in their comatose state due to unideal temperatures, or they have had adequate feeds from your pet alone.
The Pest Interceptors have extensive knowledge of both Flea behaviours and their lifecycle; we are able to utilize our expertise to offer a treatment that has a 100% success rate.
Pest Interceptors - Flea Treatment
24 hours prior to the arrival of the Pest Interceptors to the infested property, it is vital that the following steps are completed in chronological order.
Refrain from using ANY flea treatments; these include aerosols, powders, smoke bombs and sprays.
Apply a spot treatment to your pets; one that states it kills fleas, as opposed to a repellant. Should your pet have already been treated recently, that which has been applied needs to be both in date and guaranteed to be working 3 weeks from the date of our treatment.
In 60 degree heat, or hotter, wash all pet bedding; if you can tumble dry these items at a high heat, please also do. If you opt to buy new, fresh bedding for your pets instead, please ensure that the old bedding is thrown outside into a secure bin.
Moveable items such as storage boxes, toys, clothes storage, and shoes are to be lifted from the floor and placed onto beds - these will be able to be returned to their space after the treatment.
Move large furniture from the walls; a couple of inches will suffice, we just need to be able to access the space with our sprayer nozzle.
Any towels, clothing or soft toys that have been in contact with the floor ought to be washed and treated as described in step 3.
The most vital step, vacuuming. All floor surfaces, from wood to carpets and rugs must be hoovered. All cracks and crevices must be thoroughly vacuumed to ensure all dust and debris is collected; as these can considerably compromise the effectiveness of the chemicals we use in our treatment. We encourage the use of all nozzle attachments, as they enable you to reach all kinds of spaces. Anywhere a tiny flea will be able to access needs hoovering.
The contents of the vacuum needs to be emptied into an outside, sealed bin.
Everyone residing in the property, from humans to fish, insects, amphibians and reptiles, must exit the premises upon it being treated, until the wet spray treatment solution is dry to touch. Depending on the temperature outside and if you are willing to leave on the central heating, this will take around 5 hours.
All steps are now complete. Your cooperation is vital and will be a major contribution in making sure those fleas do not return - now, it’s time to leave the rest to us!
Upon consultation we will be able to further guide you through the breakdown of the flea life cycle, in the 3 week period between our treatment and when you are able to vacuum. Just as vital as the pre-treatment rituals, are the post-treatment rituals. The Pest Interceptors would like to again emphasise the significance of this being a 3 week cycle; not 2 weeks and 5 or 6 days.
Before you allow pets back into the property, ensure that all carpets, surfaces and flooring are dry to touch. As our pets can absorb the harsh chemicals through their paw pads, it is important to ensure everywhere is dry so that they are not at risk.
There is to be absolutely NO vacuuming for exactly 3 weeks - this is imperative! Even if it has been two weeks and six days, do not be tempted. Many customers that have not seen a flea by a certain amount of time decide to hoover; this ruins the entire treatment.
No other flea treatments are to be used during this 3 week period; they mix with our chemical solutions, compromise them and cancel them out therefore they neither will work.
Do not be alarmed if you encounter a flea or two within the 3 week period, this is all part of the process. Previously, customers have come face to face with fleas on the last day of treatment, but we guarantee that they will not again after the three week threshold!
If the property is empty, an individual must enter and move around the property every 3 days. Walking disruptively around each room of the property will emit vibrations which will hatch the eggs and pupae; they will then come into fatal contact with our treatment.
If you are the lucky individual with the duty to disrupt the breeding ground of the Fleas, we strongly advise that you secure bin bags over each leg, around thigh height as you move about the property. Without the protection of bin bags, the hungry and hatching fleas will be swift to bite you; often leaving with you as you exit into your car and return elsewhere.
If you don't do this stamping in an empty property it is very likely the treatment will fail.
Trust the Pest Interceptors. Our extensive expertise and experience in this field means we are able to utilize these treatment rituals so that they are 100% effective each time - assuming you adhere to all pre and post treatment instructions.
The Pest Interceptors are extensively experienced in the field of eradicating Fleas from a property, adhering to our grueling pre and post treatment steps guarantees all will be terminated; in a way that is considerably more cost effective than spending money on useless sprays and solutions. Enquire regarding our pest control services to take the first step towards being Flea free.