How to evict fleas from your house
A flea infestation can be irritating for everyone as these nasty little parasites don't mind who they bite. Fleas are also notoriously difficult to get rid of once they've set up home so you need to know what you’re up against to really get on top of the problem and oust them from your home.
Fleas are tiny, wingless insects that feed on a host animal's blood. They can easily spread between animals and can often be tricky to spot. As well as causing intense itchiness, some animals can suffer from skin infections, hair loss and may even pick up diseases from fleas.
Adult fleas can lay up to 50 eggs a day on your pet which will fall off onto carpets, bedding and soft furnishings, where they’ll hatch into larvae. These larvae then go on to develop into new fleas that can reinfest your pet. Once they’ve arrived in your home, fleas can be very difficult to get rid of due to the rate at which they reproduce and the extent to which they can spread throughout the house. In fact, only around 5% of fleas in an infestation are found on your pet – the other 95% are scattered all around your home in their immature stages. Fleas love warmth, and they used to be much more of a problem in the summer, but modern central heating means that fleas are usually able to thrive all year round – even staying active during the winter. Dealing with fleas involves a double pronged approach- treating not just your pet, but also your home.
How to get rid of fleas in the home:
- Start by treating your pet and all other animals in the home. Even if you’ve only seen fleas on one pet, it stands to reason that your other pets will be being bitten too. It’s important that you maintain a regular treatment schedule long-term for each pet.
- Wash your pet's bedding with a hot wash
- Vacuum all the floors, carpets, rugs and sofas regularly and thoroughly, remembering to empty your machine after each use to stop eggs hatching inside.
- Use a veterinary approved household flea spray throughout your home, making sure you follow the instructions and treat everywhere your pet goes really thoroughly.
- Sofas, cushions and other bedding that your pet might have been in contact with will need to be treated too, either with a household flea spray or by washing in hot water.
- Cars and airing cupboards can also be flea hotspots and are areas that people often forget about. Hoover any fabric inside your car, and make sure your pet always sits on a blanket that can be easily changed and washed regularly.
- Even a dog's soft toys can harbour flea eggs and larvae so, if they can't be washed, they may have to be thrown away.
By far, the best way to help avoid a flea infestation is to keep your pet protected against fleas with a regular flea prevention protocol. There are a range of treatment options available that help to protect your pet against fleas, and keeping up with regular treatment is a lot less hassle than trying to evict fleas from your home!
Did you know…
In 2017 a police officer in the West Midlands got £12,000 in damages after he was bitten by fleas at work.1