Fleas driving you hopping mad?

We are advising homeowners to be on the lookout for fleas in their properties, as cases of residential flea inquiries have risen by 52% over this winter.

Fleas thrive in warm humid environments; the UK’s mild and wet weather over recent months has offered ideal breeding conditions for fleas and meant that fewer have been killed off by the winter weather. Fleas typically live outside but are carried into homes by pets or people, particularly those who have come into contact with wildlife such as foxes, rabbits, rodents or deer. Once inside, centrally-heated homes with carpets, rugs and upholstered furniture offer fleas optimum conditions in which to thrive.

It can be incredibly hard to detect fleas as they hide deep in the fibres of carpets and furniture. Compounding the problem, they can lay dormant and undetected for months before hatching and attaching to a host. When active, a small flea problem can escalate very quickly as they breed rapidly. Some flea species can lay between 25 and 40 eggs per day.

The most common indication of a flea issue is a bite or skin irritation. Fleas most often bite people around the legs and ankles, usually with 2 or 3 flea bites in a row. The bites are felt immediately and can be sore for as much as a week.

David Cross, Head of Technical Training Academy, Rentokil Pest Control said: “If you find fleas on your pet or are experiencing flea bites, it’s usually just the tip of the iceberg. Fleas found on the host typically only represent just 5% of the total flea population nearby. The other 95% of the fleas will be in bedding, carpets and furniture. If you have experienced flea bites or are treating your pet for a problem, be sure to treat your home at the same time, otherwise you won’t be addressing the problem fully. With fleas lying dormant for months at a time, it can be easy to assume you have addressed the issue, only for them to resurface in the future.”