Fleas can be pests in homes, hotels, motels, offices and wherever human population occur often where these areas are shared with animals. There are many species of fleas, some having a particular preference for hosts. All fleas have piercing and sucking mouth parts used to draw blood from their hosts and in doing so they can transmit diseases to humans and animals and are therefore important pests that must be addressed in both medical and veterinary areas.
Life Cycle & Behavior
Warm and humid conditions such as those that occur in summer and autumn favour the development of the flea larvae, pupae and adults. Flea pupae may remain in floor coverings and cracks in floor coverings for several months, up to 18 months if left undisturbed, before the adults emerge from their cases after vibration occurs. This happens for example when a house is vacated during the holidays, often around Christmas and when the family returns the vibrations from their walking fractures the papal cases leaving the emerging adult fleas to seek a blood meal from the legs nearby.
Flea Prevention – Helpful Hints
Treat your pets as soon as you can. You will get better results if all flea treatments – environmental and on animal are done about the same time.
- Do not avoid flea infested areas after the treatment remember the spare room, shed or places where the pet likes to rest. If you remove the pet flea problem may appear to be worse – as you have become the only potential host.
- It is best to treat before the numbers build up since there is no need to go through the discomfort of flea bites.
- Entering vacant houses will hatch any fleas waiting to hatch. This is especially a problem with vacant rental and holiday homes.
- If you are going on holidays have a friend stomp through the house and yard every couple of days while you are away and no longer and especially on the day of your return – the fleas will hatch and die on the treated surfaces before you return. (You will owe your friend big time.)
A Successful Flea Treatment Must Include All Areas
- Indoors: remove toys, clothes etc from the floor. Some insecticides will affect fish, therefore it is important to cover the fish tank and turn off the tank filter prior to treatment. Remove pets from the area to be treated – return them only after the treatment has dried.
- Treat the pet(s) advice may be sought from the Veterinarian. The use of soaps or shampoos may reduce the residual action of the treatment.
- Be patientEven if everything has been done correctly you will still see some newly hatched fleas, usually for several weeks. Do not leave any previously infested areas undisturbed – only movement hatches fleas.
- Do not vacuum for at least 7 days after treatment. Place the vacuum bag and put it in the bin.
- Leave your pet in the flea infested area – it will attract fleas. If the pet is removed from the infested area fleas will continue to hatch for about six weeks with normal human activity. Retreat your pet regularly according to the label of the animal flea product.