A flea free home is a happy home
Flea bites can be the very real indication of a flea infestation in your home, (cue the creepy crawly shudder) Now, we all know that flea bites itch like crazy so we all want to avoid a possible flea invasion in our homes.
You may not know this but there are many different types of fleas, There are dog fleas, cat fleas, rabbit fleas and human fleas. All of which are quite happy to live on any species, not just the one they are named after.
Before we touch on exactly what flea bites are and why fleas decide to bite humans and animals, let’s talk more about the actual fleas themselves.
As an example, cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis), are the ones most likely to infest dogs! If you’re sitting reading this article scratching what you think are dog flea bites, the likelihood is that those are actually cat flea bites!
So How Do I Get Rid Of Them?
The main reason that people have difficulty getting rid of fleas, is because if they treat the problem, and don’t follow up, then the flea lifecycle is very hard to break!
The key steps to getting rid of fleas for good are as follows. Of course, you could call a professional exterminator, but with a bit of perseverance you could achieve the same results for a lot less money.
- Treat pets with a good flea treatment
- Vacuum the house
- Spray all the carpets in your house with a flea spray
- Spray all the curtains in your house with a flea spray – fleas have strong back legs and can jump very high!
- Change all human bedding Take pet bedding, wash it and spray it. Vacuum the house
The main thing to do is, vacuum, vacuum vacuum! The house should be vacuumed at least once a day, for at least a month after your house and pets have been treated. As can be seen from the flea lifecycle, fleas are extremely resilient. You will most likely kill the adult fleas on the first treatment, but if any eggs are left they will hatch and re-infest your home.
Products We Recommend
Frontline Spot On
Frontline comes in packs of either 6 or 3 easy to use pipettes, the 6 pack is a bit easier on the wallet in the long run, it is an effective product at removing and prevent fleas and ticks, rated a lot higher than standard sprays and powders, it requires once a month application to the scruff of the cat or dogs neck to prevent the animals cleaning the area.
Using Frontline and a good flea spray for the home is an effective cost-effective way of controlling fleas.
Indorex Household Spray 500Ml
A highly effective spray for carpets, wooden flooring and furniture, recommended by most vets, it does not leave behind a nasty smell that lingers like other sprays.
Safe for both humans and pets it is the No.1 UK Household flea spray and 1st choice for pet owners. One 500ml can covers 79m2, which is the equivalent of an average size three bedroom semi. with protection against egg and larvae development lasting for 12 months.
The 3 active ingredients are Permethrin, an inseciticide, Piperonyl Butoxde - reinforces the activity of the Permethrin and Priproxyfen, a long lasting insect growth regulator which prevents eggs and larvae developing into adults.
Groomers Ridasect Flea Shampoo 1 litre
1 Litre Ridasect Anti-Flea Shampoo Specially formulated as a natural anti-flea and tick apllication, a large bottle which will last a long time as a small amount goes a long way Mix well with water and gives a brilliant lather. can be used for both dogs and cats and leaves a long lasting fragrance.
Gotcha STV020 Flea Killer Trap Electric
Fantastic chemical free product. The trap works by attracting fleas using gentle heat to mimic that of host animals. The adhesive disc within will trap the fleas as they jump on
Leave it in an empty room and the fleas will become stuck on the disc, a great product if you don't want to use toxic sprays all over the house. The other benefit is that you can monitor the fleas you are removing from your home whereas with the sprays you have to assume that it has worked.
Johnsons 4Fleas Room Flea Fogger Twin Pack
Johnson's 4Fleas Household Twin Room Fogger has been expertly developed to kill fleas and other insects such as ants, cockroaches and earwigs in one treatment. This product comprises of two 100ml aerosols and is the perfect solution to a suspected infestation of fleas or other insects.
This easy to use spray is not only effective in killing the live insects, but prevents the development of eggs hatching as well. It also provides protection for your home's furnishing's and most importantly, your pets bedding, for up to seven months.
it's important to remove plants, children & animals from the rooms you are spraying for at least 2 hrs. 100ml treats an area of 35 square metres.
To understand the best flea treatment for your home and pets, is to understand the flea life-cycle.
The Flea Lifecycle
Step 1: The flea lays eggs (Day 1)
A female flea will lay eggs after she’s feasted on a nice meal of human or pet blood. After her meal she will usually stay on her host and lay about 20 eggs.
These eggs are smooth and oval shaped. They usually drop off the host and into the environment. This generally means your house or garden. In the home, the eggs usually fall into the carpet or floor cracks until they’re ready to turn into larvae.
Step 2: Eggs turn into larvae (Day 12)
The flea eggs hatch within about 12 days, if the temperature is warm enough. They will then burrow into carpet and cracks in the floor. They eat the flea dirt (flea faeces) that adult fleas drop after feasting on you and your pets.
Step 3: Larvae turn into pupae (Day 19)
The larvae spin cocoons and turn into pupae. This takes about 8 days. The pupae wait for the right time to hatch, when the temperature is warm enough. They can stay in this state for up to 12 months, waiting for the right conditions to hatch!
Step 4: The cycle is complete – flea hatches (Day 26)
Once the temperature is warm enough, the flea hatches and looks for it’s first meal. The cycle starts again.
What exactly are fleas?
Fleas are a very small ‘holometabolous’ insect who are blood suckers in description. These specific insects feed off of animals and humans, depending on the species, the bites that fleas do afflict on humans and animals not only produce annoying itching, but also severe inflammation and in some cases they can even be the culprit for spreading serious diseases.
What do flea bites look like?
In a good number of people, flea bites only cause minor symptoms and some of these symptoms do range from the appearance of small bumps that are red and can be very itchy in feeling. These red itchy bumps can hang around for several days and prove to be an annoyance.
The areas that fleas mostly bite people are on the lower legs, the ankles, and around one’s waist. They also tend to bite those who are wearing tight clothes, or in places where elastic bands are worn snug against the skin.
Flea bites are not usually a major health issue, but there are some cases, in which they can cause severe reactions. Some of these severe reactions can range from developing a rash with severe itching to hives with a red halo being around the bites themselves.
Children are also highly likely to developing these kind of severe reactions and flea bites on animals have the very same kind of symptoms that occur with humans.
Flea bites for both humans and pets are not something that they ask for, they just happen, and often this is because there is a flea infestation either inside the house, outside, or even both in some cases. Signs of an infestation can take on many forms, but one of the most evident is if you notice your pet scratching uncontrollably all the time.
This is probably an indication that your pet is loaded with fleas, more often than not you can physically see them on closer inspection of the stomach after parting the fur, also, if the pet is visibly losing their hair and are still scratching themselves very severely this may also be a confirmation that the beloved animal does indeed have an infestation of fleas on its body.
Now, as far as fleas inside of the home, If you notice fleas jumping up on you from out of your carpet, or in certain areas of your home or if your pet has a special bed it sleeps in and there are fleas here and there. This also is a grave indication that you do indeed have a very real infestation.
If so, you need to get treatments to eradicate the presence of these fleas. Though it is sometimes not an easy task to truly get rid of fleas, it is possible with multiple treatments to get it handled properly. This also means that you should have your carpet cleaned, all animal bedding, furniture, and anything else that is necessary to destroy the fleas. Your pet will also have to be treated with a flea treatment / shampoo regularly.
Fleas can jump from 14 to 16 inches into the air so sometimes they can be very hard to see. However, when they do decide to bite a human or a pet their presence is something that is surely made known with lots of real uncomfortable feelings indeed.
Therefore, when you do experience flea bites, it is best to wash the bites off with an antiseptic soap first. This will help to reduce the chance of infection, with these particular kind of bites if there is any swelling around the area apply a cold ice pack to them for relief. If there is the hindrance of lots of itching, it can be lessened by using an over the counter hydrocortisone cream, calamine lotion, or other anesthetic cream to do the job. Nevertheless, if you or a child do experience any further severe reactions, do see your doctor right away for a check.
If you are experiencing constant flea bites, do make a conscious effort to break the cycle by treating your home your pets with specialist treatments to get rid of fleas. This usually means purchasing flea spray/drops, carpet shampoo, flea collars and alike.
For natural home remedies and treatment for fleas click here.