How to Limit Fleas Getting Into Your House
Many of us have had the unfortunate issue of solving a flea problem of sorts in or around the home, and sometimes worst still an infestation.
There are some ways that home owners and tenants can stop fleas or at least limit the chances of getting a problem with fleas in the first place.
When a customer calls us up that has a particular problem with fleas, they want to know how to get rid of them how long it will take and where did they come from, and how did they get into my home.
I can help you better understand why you may get fleas and where they come from and how they find their way in your home, but first a little bit about the dreaded flea, where it harbours and what it needs to survive.
A bit about the Flea?
Ok let’s try and get an understanding of this little pest, the Adult fleas grows to about 1.5-4.0mm long, so not this biggest of pests but they do pack a punch with their bite that causes animals and humans to itch like crazy.
An adult female flea lays about 3-8 eggs once they have had a blood meal, blood is what they need to survive and reproduce, and they can reproduce at an alarming rate.
The eggs hatch within 2-14 days this will depend on the weather conditions, they are better known to cause problems for pets and home owners during the hotter months.
The larvae feed on organic matter found in and around where they hatch, such as pet beds, carpets, furniture and dry soil outside.
The larvae stage feed for about 15 days, but this period can be as long as a few months several in fact.
Once the feeding is done the larvae will spin a silken cocoon, dust particles will stick to this and this help to protect it during the next stage of its metamorphosis, (this is the cycle of the flea from egg to adult it’s called Metamorphosis).
The larvae pupates within the silken cocoon and this takes around 7 days if the conditions are right for feeding, if not they can stay dormant in this pupa stage for up to a year.
The flea can live for between 100 to 500 days, that’s a long time and a lot of blood sucking.
So How to Control Fleas?
Ok so now you know a bit more about the flea, as you can see from its life cycle I’ve described above, it is a very well adapted pest and can cause all sorts of problems for home owners.
The best way to control fleas or get rid of fleas is to not get them in the first place, wouldn’t that be great, but seriously you can do a lot towards preventing your home from getting a flea infestation, and it starts with you.
So the best way to help in controlling fleas and their growth is to firstly start with your animals, make sure they are on some kind of flea treatment like front line or advantage, these two are very good but there are other ones that your vet can give your pets also, you have to talk to them about it.
Some animals may have reactions to different types of flea treatments so you may also have to do some experimenting with the different brands to find one the best suits your pet.
Another great way to help with a flea problem is to make sure your lawn is kept mowed, and any clippings are removed or mulched at the same time as mowing.
If you own chickens, many people are now turning towards chickens in the back yard as a great way to get freshly laid eggs every day, but with this can mean other problems, such as fleas and lice, to help keep this under control, go down to your local Bunnings hardware store and pick up some lime, this can be spread around were the chickens have their daily dust bath.
Don’t overdo the lime as it can also irritate the chickens skin, you only need a small amount, I have chickens myself and do this about every 6 months to keep the pen and hutch free from fleas and lice.
The suggestions above are the most important things you can do outside of the house, now to the inside and this part is very easy.
Inside make sure you keep your vacuuming up, it really needs to be done 3 times per week depending on how much traffic your house and carpets get on a regular basis.
If you have lots of kids for instance then maybe run it over every day, this will help to pick up any dog and cat hair and also any fleas eggs that may fall off your pets.
Ok so I think we have now covered the basics on the flea and given you some good pointers in preventing your home becoming over run with fleas.
So now I’ll explain what fleas want and how they get it, so we all know that fleas suck blood and they don’t care if it’s human or some sort of animal blood.
So it starts out as and egg that’s laid by the female adult flea, then from there to the larva stage, then into the pupa, now this is the stage that is nearly at the point where they start to become a pest to us and our pets. (See diagram below)
When they are at the pupa stage they can lay dormant for up to 12 months, and will only merge into an adult flea when it knows there is a blood meal around.
The way they know there is a blood meal is simple by the vibrations in the ground, these are the vibrations made from us and our pets walking around the house or yard, it’s as simple as that.
Once the adult flea has had the blood meal on us or our pets it will then start to reproduce and lay more egg, and they do this very efficiently within hours of feeding, and so the cycle will start all over again and this why they are such prolific breeders.
Treatment by a Brisbane pest control company
The treatment for getting rid of fleas in your home is very basis, but it also needs the help of the home owner or tenant.
So the first thing is as mentioned above all pets must be on a flea control program of some sort.
Before the pest controller comes out to your home to do the treatment it is advised that the lawns are mowed, this is very important as a proper treatment outside can’t be done if this isn’t done.
Then inside the house all the carpeted and tiled or wooden floors are thoroughly vacuumed, this helps to merge the pupa stage to an adult.
Then a chemical treatment is applied to the flooring areas inside the house and then also to the outside.
Treatments need to be given at least 2 weeks to see if they have fully worked; it may need another application depending on the severity of the problem.
Products that can be used are either a liquid spray or a powder, your pest control technician will decide this on the day, and may even use both at the same time.
So I now hope that you have a good understanding of the flea itself and some of the feeding and harbouring habits of them.
Now you have the basic understanding of the life cycle and feeding habits it will make it easier for you to understand how to stop them or prevent them from coming in to your home.
This is also good information to know for if you ever need to get a flea treatment done by a pest control Brisbane Company.