Flea Problem Stop it before it Starts:
What are fleas?
Fleas are a parasitic insect and a specialized bloodsucker, yes as we all know they feed on blood. They will feed on animal and human blood; it will depend on what meal source is around at the time as to which they will turn to.
Fleas belong to the Order Siphonaptera, which has some 2380 different species worldwide. Here in Australia, we have about 90 species.
When the conditions are right for flea growth an infestation can occur in a very short space of time. If an infestation occurs it will need the expert help from a well-trained pest controller to help get rid of them.
Fleas undergo what is called a complete metamorphosis, their life cycle start as an “Egg” then goes into the “Larva” stage, then the “Pupa” stage and then finally into an “Adult” flea.
It’s only as an adult that fleas start their biting and bloodsucking routine. An adult female flea can lay 4-8 eggs after a blood meal, this can mean up to 700 eggs during her life; egg laying can only be done after a blood meal.
The eggs will hatch somewhere between 2-14 days and this will greatly depend upon the conditions. The temperature and an available blood meal are essential for the cycle to be completed.
The flea larvae will generally feed for around 15 days, but if conditions are not desirable, the Larva stage can last as long as 7 months.
Fleas prefer warmer conditions; during the summer months is when pest control companies have the most calls for flea problems.
An adult flea male or female can live for between 100-500 days. A female flea that lives for 500 days can produce a huge amount of blood-sucking baby fleas “Yuck”
Because of the number of eggs the female can lay during her lifetime, it’s important that a flea problem is treated as soon as possible; before it gets out of hand.
How Does a Flea Problem Start?
A flea problem can start in a few different ways, but the most common is a family pet coming in contact with another animal that has fleas.
The other common way for a flea problem to start is from wildlife passing through our gardens or harbouring within our homes.
Wild animals such as rats, possums and even birds can carry fleas, and if they are nesting around your home, the fleas can easily be passed onto the family pets.
In some cases where pet owners take their dog to the dog park, fleas can be picked up there, especially if other pet owners don’t have their dogs on a flea treatment program of some kind.
How Do You Know You Have a Flea Problem?
If you have a flea problem, whether it’s big or small you will know about it, the first signs for humans are bite marks on the lower legs.
As far as pets go they will start to scratch, and as the flea problem grows the itching will intensify, this can result in severe skin problems for pets if not dealt with fast.
Flea bites can become infected on both humans and pets, this is usually when a flea problem has been left to go for too long before a treatment is started.
Now For My 4 Free & Easy Natural Tips on How to stop a flea problem from happening
Mow Your Lawns:
Ok now, this may seem a bit odd, as a way of stopping a flea problem from starting in the first place.
But regular mowing is the best and easiest way to help stop a flea problem from starting, any insect that can survive the vacuum and chopping of mower blades deserves a medal.
Keeping the lawns at a well-maintained height will not only stop flea problems but will also stop other pests, such as lawn Grubs from harbouring in lawns.
One of the things we ask our customer here at Sunnystate Pest Control to do when we are called out to do a flea treatment; is that they must mow the lawns the day before we arrive.
This helps disturb the fleas and get them active, and also allows our liquid sprays to penetrate deeper into the grass, where the fleas and their eggs are harbouring.
Active fleas are much easier to kill than if they are still at the “egg” stage.
Vacuum Your Carpets Regularly:
I can’t express this enough; regular vacuuming is paramount if you want the best chance of never having a flea problem.
This is even more important if you have pets, especially long-haired cats and dogs, as these types of pets are more prone to getting fleas.
The carpets in a home or office should be vacuumed at least 3-4 times per week, and in some cases, they should be vacuumed every day. Regular vacuuming makes for an undesirable environment for fleas and their eggs.
As I mentioned earlier in regards to the lawns having to be mowed before we arrive to do a flea treatment at a home. The same applied for carpets; they must be pre-vacuumed before a flea treatment is carried out.
Flea Treatments for Your Pets:
The obvious and easy way to help you from ever getting a flea problem in your home is to have your pets put on to a flea treatment.
Your local vet can either do an injection; for fleas that will last for some time, or there are drops that can be placed on pets.
The most popular flea treatments for cats and dogs are “Advantage or “Frontline” but these days there are plenty on the market.
Flea treatments for pets should be applied every 2 weeks during the summer months and then monthly in the cooler months when fleas are less active.
You should always read the label to see exactly what dosage your pet needs to be on, as they do change as better products are developed.
Keep Pets & Wildlife Out From Underneath a House:
Here is another important thing to look at to help prevent fleas from occurring, and that is to stop your pets and importantly also stop the wildlife from getting under your home.
Now, this obviously doesn’t apply if you have a slab on the ground house. But if you have a home that is raised and has a dirt area underneath; it’s best to try and keep it free of pets and pests.
The dirt underneath a house is an ideal breeding ground for fleas, and they can lay dormant under there for well over 12 months.
Fencing the area off is the best and easiest way to keep your pets and wild animals out, and intern this will help to prevent a flea problem from occurring.
Flea Bombs Do They Work:
The good old flea bomb, do they actually work, I’ve been called out to many customers houses; where they have had a go at getting rid of fleas using the supermarket flea bombs.
In most cases flea bombs don’t work, one of the problems being is people just don’t understand the harbouring habits and the life cycle of fleas.
If you are going to go down the track of using a flea bomb; make sure you buy a lot of them. Many people that give a DIY flea treatment a go; underestimate just how resilient fleas are.
One treatment may not be enough to bring a flea infestation under control, especially when using a product from the local shops, as the active ingredient just isn’t strong enough in most cases.
The time to use a flea bomb; is going to be at the very first sighting of fleas in the home; if it’s left any longer it’s best to just call in a professional pest control company to deal with the problem.
What Do I Know About Fleas?
So you may be thinking; well what does he know about fleas and that this blog was probably written by someone that’s not even a pest controller.
Well, I can tell you I wrote this blog from start to finish, I’m Jason my photo is at the bottom of this page.
I’m also a licensed pest control technician and have been servicing customers throughout Brisbane, Ipswich and the Gold Coast for over 20 years now.
All of my website content is unique content written from my years of experience in the pest control industry.
I like to help people out with the best information about all pests that Australia has to offer. If you have found this blog interesting please feel free to post a comment down below.