Fleas are a bloody nightmare! – excuse the pun. They cause real discomfort to humans and animals. They are really hard to eradicate and they just wont die! They are super hardcore.
I have entered empty properties and literally been attacked by thousands of hungry fleas – just hatched. Picture this…me running out the property, whilst pulling off my clothes and swearing. Then I’m standing by the van in just a pair of trousers picking them off me. I have even vacuumed myself before – works quite well.
Understanding the Flea Life Cycle
Egg – Larva – Pupa – Adult
The beginning of the life cycle starts when the female adult flea has a blood meal and then they lay the eggs – fleas can only lay eggs after a blood meal – about 40 a day. Eggs are laid on an animal in bunches of about 20 and fall off as the poor creature scratches. One flea can lay 5000 eggs or more during their life! Eggs take from 2 days to 2 weeks to hatch, depending on conditions.
Flea larvae emerge from the eggs to feed on any available organic material – such as dead insects, faeces, and vegetable matter. They are blind and avoid sunlight, keeping to dark, humid places such as sand or soil, cracks and crevices, under carpets etc.
The larvae pupate, if there is enough food, and weave silk cocoons. Within the cocoon the larva undergo metamorphosis into an adult flea. This can take just four days, but much longer in adverse conditions. This is the cool bit – they will hatch when the presence of a host is near (a blood meal). Triggers include vibration, heat, increase levels of carbon dioxide. A property can be flea free, if empty, and when a suitable host enters there is a mass emergence and the host is attacked.
An adult flea has one goal in life – feed and reproduce. They live for just a few days without a blood meal and normally endure life for 2-3 months. If the conditions are ideal a flea can live a year and a half.
Breaking the Flea Life Cycle
Many of us are under the misconception that a quick spray will take care of the dreaded flea. There is a proven way to stop fleas – break the life cycle. Stands to reason really. So what do you do?
- Treat your animals and do it on a monthly basis
- Wash pet bedding on the hottest setting possible
- Make sure floors are swept and clean
- Vacuum carpeted areas and carpet clean (hot water extraction) if soiled
- Treat carpets and soft furnishings with insecticide
- Repeat insecticide after 2 weeks
If you still have fleas after all this then move!!……..or you could just call in a pest controller or carpet cleaner who is licensed to use insecticides.
If your carpets are JUMPING with fleas then try this;
Liberally sprinkle Borax onto your carpets, try using an old talcum powder bottle, and leave overnight. It will kill fleas by dehydrating them. Unfortunately it will not kill eggs. Vacuuming will remove eggs – then either dispose of the bag or empty machine out and remember to do it outside.
East Anglia Carpet Cleaning are licensed to use insecticides