Fleas: advice and information
- One flea will lay up to 25 eggs per day (approximately 800 in its life)
- Fleas develop from egg to larvae to pupae to adults in 18-26 days (depending on temperature)
- Fleas can only lay eggs after taking blood from the host animal they are living on
- Approximately 90-95% of the fleas are cat fleas
- Flea eggs and pupae are not affected by insecticides - this last fact is very important to understand after your home has been treated
If you have a pet or pets, you must treat them. Speak to your vet about the appropriate treatment for your animal. Although fleas lays up to 25 eggs per day, good pet and house management can reduce this. For example:
- Animal grooming: pets will eat/swallow eggs when they clean themselves
- Vacuuming and cleaning thoroughly (including furniture)
- Treating your pet/s: get advice from your vet for advice
- Outdoor activities: eggs will drop off when pets are outside, so groom them outside
- Special attention to pet bedding and favourite nesting areas: wash the bedding regularly
Can you have fleas in your house if you don't keep pets?
There are several reasons why you may have a flea infestation even if you don't have pets:
- In the summer months fleas can survive outside and be carried into the house
- If you visit friends who have fleas in their homes you can transport them back to yours
- If you visit a public building that has a flea infestation you can transport them back to your home
- If you move into a new house or flat you can inherit a flea problem (fleas in the pupae stage can remain dormant for up to 9 months and hatch when you walk into an empty property)
By the time you are aware of an infestation, you will probably have had fleas for some weeks or perhaps months.
The most common method of treating a property for fleas is to spray with insecticide.
Before spraying you should:
- Thoroughly clean, vacuum or sweep your premises prior to treatment
- Cover or properly store all exposed foodstuffs
- Ensure that all pets (cats, dogs, birds, etc) are removed from the areas to be treated and do not allow them back until the rooms have been ventilated
- Remove or cover and seal fish or reptile tanks, the insecticide may be harmful to them. If not adequately protected the pest control officer may refuse to treat the premises.
We recommend that:
- The premises must be vacated for a minimum of 3 hours
- On your return to the premises, windows should be opened to ventilate the treated rooms
- You do not vacuum, wash or clean for 2 weeks after treatment
The floors of your property will be covered by a layer of insecticide which is odourless and invisible. It has a very good residual effect which means that it will continue to work for some time if left undisturbed. Adult fleas will be killed within a few days but the floor should not be vacuumed, swept or washed for at least two weeks after treatment because there will still be eggs which will continue to hatch.
As eggs hatch and develop, you might find fleas reappearing 10-14 days after treatment - this is quite normal and provided the insecticide remains in place it will kill them. This is why it is important not to carry out cleaning which might remove insecticide.
If you do have a pet it should also be treated for fleas immediately, using a treatment recommended by your vet.
If you find you still have fleas four weeks after this treatment please contact us and we will arrange for a Pest Control Officer to investigate.
If you do find that you still have a flea infestation after treatment, the possible causes are:
- The premises was cleaned or vacuumed prior to 14 days after treatment
- It is possible that someone or a pet has picked up fertile fleas from other locations
- Your pets were not treated for fleas satisfactorily
- Poor house management
- The insecticide treatment is effective for approximately 6 weeks (depending on house management)
For these reasons we do not guarantee 100% eradication of the flea infestation. It is essential you understand the life-cycle and do not vacuum or clean within the 14 day period. Remember that fleas will still be developing even after treatment, whether it be your own fleas or the ones that are brought in.
Our pest control information and charges page has the fees for all our pest control services.
Hastings Borough Council's Pest control service
- Food Poisoning - advise us of an incident
- Food Hygiene - business premises complaint
- Make a noise complaint
Got a question about environmental health?01424 451079
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