Cat And Dog Fleas Are On The Increase

Flea Infestations

Cat And Dog Fleas Are On The Increase

Fleas Are Becoming Resistant

To Flea Treatments

Many people in our area of operation are reporting flea infestations in their homes despite regularly treating their pet cats and dogs with over-the-counter flea preparations.

Experts are of the opinion that some populations of fleas are becoming immune to the active ingredients in flea treatment products available to the general public.

We ourselves have noticed that this seems to be a localised problem especially in the Liverpool area but it is becoming more widespread.

The increase in the number of urban foxes in our towns and cities also appears to be increasing the numbers of flea infestations reported as urban foxes always carry a cargo of fleas to share with local cats and dogs.

Contrary to popular opinion cat & dog fleas do not live on their chosen animal, they merely jump onto their host at feeding time, and dinner for a flea of course is blood.

In nature the fleas live and breed in the nest of animal they feed on, in reality of course in a modern house the ‘nest’ becomes the carpets, rugs and soft furnishings.

Flea (Ctenocephalides felis & canis) infestations are becoming much more prevalent in recent years, centrally heated homes provide an ideal environment for the life cycle of the insect, which can be completed in as little as 16 days.

The well fed flea lays its eggs in the nesting material, carpets in a modern dwelling, which hatch out into larvae which crawl away from light and hence are to be found deep in the pile. In the egg and larval stage they are also pretty resistant to insecticide which is why it is rarely possible to cure a flea infestation with one treatment.

The larvae eat the blood rich droppings of the adult flea before pupating to emerge as a young, hungry flea

Human beings do not taste especially nice to fleas and our blood is not of sufficient quality for them to breed, but in the absence of a cat or a dog we will do!

In the absence of a host the immature flea can go into a dormant state without feeding for up to a year or more and then revive within seconds on feeling the vibration from the footfall of a potential meal. For this reason properties which have been empty for a while often provide a little surprise for the new owners.

Often the family holiday is the time when people notice they have a flea problem, having put the family pet in kennels for a couple of weeks the resident flea population is starving and eager to greet them on their return.

There is however a dangerous side to fleas, we all know they were responsible for transmission of plague and thankfully we don’t have that to contend with anymore but they can set off serious skin irritations in susceptible people including dermatitis.

They also have a more sinister side. The flea is an intermediate host for tapeworm.

When the flea dines on an animal infected with tapeworm it can ingest the worm eggs which pass into its guts. These infected fleas can then be ingested by a cat or dog during self-grooming and the worms infect the new host.

Worse still it is easy for a human baby or toddler to accidentally ingest these fleas when crawling on flea infested carpets.

In order to clear a flea infestation it will be necessary to treat both the animal and the carpets and soft furnishings of the property and outdoor areas where the animal may frequently visit. A professional pest controller will often use both an insecticide and a growth retardant hormone to interfere with the flea life-cycle. The cat or dog will need to be treated at the same time by a veterinary surgeon.

Some people attempt to deal with a flea infestation using small cans of flea spray bought from a vet or over the counter.

These sprays rarely solve the problem as there simply isn’t enough insecticide. On an average three bedroomed house we would probably use around five litres of insecticide, work out the cost of how many cans you would have to buy to use the same quantity.

A house must be properly prepared before a treatment which means everything must come up off the floor which isn’t furniture, giving us sight of as much of the carpets as possible.

You must vacuum all carpets prior to the treatment and then refrain from vacuuming carpets or mopping floors for a period of 21 days after the treatment.

You will need to vacate the property, taking any pets with you, for a period of about four hours after the treatment.

As a guide to cost you should count up the total number of rooms in your home, count the hall, stairs and landing as one room and include all rooms no matter how small. For houses with up to eight rooms we charge £95 and for 9 – 12 rooms we charge £125. Over 12 rooms please ring for a quote.

Providing you have properly prepared your home and have had your pets treated by a vet we guarantee our work and we will return free of charge if you are still seeing live fleas after 21 days, although this rarely happens.

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