When a flea lands on an animal, it will first eat, then reproduce, dropping eggs as the animal walks around onto carpets or furniture. Over the next 10-14 days the eggs goes through larvae and pupa stages before becoming a mature flea.
During the larvae stage the flea feeds on any organic material it can find, living in dark places to avoid sunlight. In thepupa stage, the flea waits for a food source before emerging. If there are animals nearby this happens very quickly.
Without a food source the flea remains in the cocoon until it feels a vibration – an indication of a food source nearby. A classic example is returning from holiday when the cat/dog has been in kennels and all of a sudden you are being eaten by fleas. Although fleas don’t really like human blood and they prefer cat/dog, anything is better than nothing to a hungry flea.
Empty properties often cause problems too. The landlord or property management company making their visits the vacant premises can be covered in fleas within minutes.
For pet owners, prevention is better than cure, so ensure that your pet is treated regularly. If you find fleas, contact us and we apply an insecticide to all the carpets in every room and ask you to wash all pet bedding at a high temperature.
In vacant properties, we treat and then ask for volunteers to do a ‘rain dance’ in all the rooms every other day. This ensures that any fleas either in or just out of the pupa stage suddenly think dinner is served only to emerge and come into contact with the insecticide.
Occasionally we are called to commercial buildings where people believe fleas are present. The common explanations are:
- Someone has brought fleas from home on their clothing
- A person has been bitten elsewhere where fleas or mosquitoes are present.
- A build-up of static from carpets can affect people like a bite