Flea Pest Control & Extermination
If you have a flea pest control problem, Essex & Suffolk Pest Solutions can help. We offer fast and effective flea pest control services to domestic and commercial clients in Suffolk and Essex including the eradication and extermination of fleas.
We work to strict health and safety legislation. Emergency appointments are available on request. Our pest control operatives are CRB checked and qualified, to at least BPCA RSPH Level 2.
Our flea pest control and extermination services are discreet and confidential and if required, we can arrive in unmarked vehicles.
Fleas are very small and agile creatures, usually measuring 1.5 to 3.3mm. Normally a red-brown colour, they are flightless but have very strong hind legs, enabling them to jump up to 8 inches vertically and 13 inches horizontally. This gives them the ability to move great distances and spread very quickly. Some of the most common flea species include; the Cat Flea (Ctenocephalides felis), the Dog Flea (Ctenocephalides canis), the Human Flea (Pulex irritans), the Northern Rat Flea (Nosopsyllus fasciatus), the Oriental Rat Flea (Xenopsylla cheopis) and the Rabbit Flea (Spilopsyllus cuniculi).
Fleas can live on any warm-blooded animal, but some have developed to specialise in particular hosts. They are parasites, feeding on the blood of their hosts, but they can also be found in shoes, clothing and bedding. Best known for helping to spread the Bubonic Plague, they are also responsible for the spread of Typhus from rats to humans. Their saliva can cause allergic reactions in both pets and humans and their bites can cause painful and itchy red bumps on the skin.
Fleas are more than just irritating little biting insects; they can cause infection and spread disease. What’s more, they breed at an alarming rate. A female flea can lay 500 hundred eggs during her adult lifetime, creating up to 250 potential breeding pairs; so as you can imagine, a flea problem can soon escalate out of control. Fleas are a pest all year round, but last year’s mild winter, followed by a long, hot summer has been said to cause a big rise in fleas bedding down in carpets and soft furnishings. They are extremely hardy creatures too: surviving up to two months without a blood meal and withstanding immense force and impact (up to 100GS). So, if you find your home or business infested with fleas it is best to contact Essex & Suffolk Pest Solutions – flea extermination experts in Colchester, Ipswich and throughout Suffolk and Essex for effective flea pest control. Essex & Suffolk Pest Solutions are experienced in eliminating pests and vermin, including biting insects, so you know you can count on us to eradicate a flea infestation.
The life cycle of fleas
Fleas have a four-stage life cycle, moving from egg to larva to pupa and then on to adult. The eggs take from two days to two weeks to hatch and given an adequate food supply, larvae will pupate and weave a cocoon within 1–2 weeks. After another week or two, the adult flea is fully developed and ready to emerge from the cocoon.
Flea larvae are pale and worm-like, with bristles covering their bodies. The larvae feed on organic matter, commonly the faeces of adult fleas and since the adults feed on nothing but blood, this gives the young larvae a taste of what is to come.
The flea larvae then pupate. During this phase of the flea’s development, it is enclosed in a silken, debris-covered cocoon until it emerges as a fully-fledged adult. Upon reaching adulthood and emerging from its cocoon, its primary goal is to feed. The newly emergent flea has enough stored energy to last for one week before it must feed but, assuming it is able to feed in time, it can then survive for up to two months before it needs to feed again.
Any flea population is permanently unevenly distributed which ensures its continuation. At any one time, half the population will be in the egg phase, 35% will be flea larvae, 10% are pupae, and 5% are adults.
Their total life cycle can take as little as two weeks, but if conditions are unfavourable this may be lengthened considerably. Female fleas can lay 500 or more eggs over their lifetime allowing for phenomenal growth rates.
Professional Flea Treatment
Fleas are tough; their bodies are able to withstand great pressure. Even hard squeezing is usually not enough to kill them. Prevention, in this case, is far easier than flea removal. To prevent fleas from becoming an issue, clean and vacuum the home or office space regularly. Protect your pets from infestation by cleaning their bedding. Keep dogs on leads when you take them out and ensure regular visits to the vets for check-ups.
Abandoned birds’ nests can harbour fleas. It may be necessary to remove them and treat the home with a residual insecticide. It will usually take at least two treatments to combat the problem.
When treating flea infestations, we endeavour to use the most environmentally friendly flea pest control products. We ask customers to vacate their property for a few hours while the flea treatment is carried out to allow any residual insecticide spray to dry.
Contact us now for friendly and effective assistance with flea pest control.
Do fleas bite humans?
Yes, they can, as they feast on pets and humans. Even if you don’t have pets it is possible to get fleas in your home. Larvae and eggs can remain dormant in carpets, curtains, clothes, bedding and sofas and adult fleas can live for long periods of time without sucking on blood. Fleas can come from friends or neighbours’ pets, or even from parks or gardens.
How can I tell if I have been bitten by a flea?
A flea bite looks small and red and might appear in a line or a cluster. They can appear on folds of skin such as armpits or waist areas, or legs and ankles and get very itchy, although too much scratching can cause a secondary infection. Fleas can consume up to 15 times their body weight in blood and can bite up to 400 times a day, so you may have several bites at a time. So, if you have a flea infestation, it is important to call Essex and Suffolk pest control experts, Essex & Suffolk Pest Solutions.
Can fleas pose a health risk?
Yes, some major diseases were caused by fleas. There are hundreds of different types of fleas worldwide, and it was the rat flea that was responsible for spreading the Black Death (also known as the Bubonic Plague) in the Middle Ages. Other diseases from fleas include Murine Typhus (usually passed on by rats), and fleas can also cause allergies.
What conditions do fleas need to breed?
They need warm temperatures and a host to thrive, so centrally heated homes create the perfect environment all year round. Contrary to what many people believe, fleas don’t die off in winter; instead, they lay dormant.
Can fleas be found in businesses as well as homes?
Fleas spend much of their time off the host (pet or human) and infest homes as well as commercial businesses. It is possible to bring them home from a flea-infested pub or hotel, or you could move into a new home with an existing flea infestation. The cocoons can survive in an empty home for as long as 12 months.
How will I know I have a flea infestation?
If your pets or you are scratching frequently, you will know you have got a flea infestation. You might also be able to spot these bugs – a scattering of black dirt like specs on the skin of pets is one sign or they can look like tiny brown lines from above. The flea larvae look like small white grubs with a dark centre.
Are fleas easy to get rid of myself?
If your home or business is infested with fleas, it is important to get the problem treated straight away as they breed so quickly. There are over the counter treatments, but they only have limited effectiveness. Vacuuming will help to rid carpets of the eggs and washing pet bedding and sheets in the washing machine will also help control the flea population, as will taking your pets to the vet regularly.
How do I successfully tackle a flea infestation?
While the above precautions can help to prevent flea numbers getting out of hand, if the problem persists or infestation is widespread, the only way to successfully deal with a flea problem is to call in the pest control experts, Ipswich and Colchester. Essex and Suffolk Pest Solutions are experienced in pest and flea elimination and use environmentally-friendly products where possible. You would need to leave the property for a few hours until treatment is complete.
What is a flea?
Fleas are small, wingless insects with mouthparts adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood.
Where do fleas live?
Adult fleas will live on dogs or cats, feeding on their blood, which is required by the female flea to produce her eggs. The female flea will ingest about 15 times her body weight in blood and lay about 25-50 eggs per day. The eggs are laid on the animal but will fall off onto the ground or into your carpet, usually close to where your pet spends most of its time. Eggs usually hatch in about 2-12 days depending on temperature and humidity.
The larvae that emerge from the eggs have no legs and can only crawl a short distance, so most will be near your pet’s favourite resting place.
The flea can remain as a larva for 2-20 feeding on organic material. The larvae change into adults after spinning a cocoon (pupa), which may take from 7 days up to 1 year. The adult fleas emerge from the pupa and jump onto your pets to begin the cycle all over again.
How do I know if my pet has fleas?
The feeding of the fleas will cause irritation so your pet will be constantly scratching and biting itself. You may also observe the fleas in your pet’s hair, see them on your carpet or be bitten yourself. A severe flea infestation can make your pet very miserable and can lead to allergic dermatitis and anaemia. Fleas can also transmit tapeworm parasites to your pet.
How can I keep fleas out of my house?
Fleas can be difficult to eliminate, but if you are vigilant and use the correct chemicals in a safe and effective manner, you will be victorious. Just be sure to treat all the areas where your pet spends time, including the car.
- Kill the fleas on your pet by treating as recommended by your vet.
- Vacuum regularly, paying special attention to the areas where your pet spends the most time.
- Wash or replace pet bedding. Spray with spot killers.
- If you have a severe infestation call in the professionals for a full spray treatment of your property.