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Fleas & Flea Biology

Fleas belong to the order Syphonaptera and there are about 60 species in the UK.

flea

cat flea

Fleas are actually quite closely related to flies (Diptera). Fleas feed on warm blooded animals and birds with their specially adapted mouth parts to suck blood and their saliva contains enzymes which maintains blood flowing, but also causes itchy red localized swellings.

Their flattened shape and ability to jump high are adaptations to burrow amongst hair, feather and fur and to jump from ground level onto the body of a host.  Cat and dog fleas (Ctenocephalides sp.) are nowadays the cause of most flea problems. Human fleas (Pulex irritans) are now rare.

Flea eggs, approximately 1mm long, are sticky, but inevitably fall of the host and onto bedding and carpets in the home were they will hatch about 3 days later. The white larvae begin feeding animal protein in the form of skin scales and blood-rich droppings from adult fleas present in dust in animal bedding and carpets. Larvae will pupate after 4 weeks in a quite site. Adult fleas emerge from pupae after a month, but the flea often remains in the cocoon, up to a year, until a suitable host stimulates it’s final exit by vibrations and carbon dioxide from breathing, to leap onto the victim.

Fleas can carry diseases. Rat fleas can transmit bubonic plague (in the past). Also, childeren can get tape worms (Dipylidium caninum) via dog fleas, which are known to act as a vector.

Getting rid of fleas: Guaranteed flea treatments for Wigan, Bolton, Liverpool, Manchester and Preston

The ability of fleas to remain dormant in homes for up to a year, and to awake and bite en masse and to cause extreme irritation is the main reason for flea control. We apply a floor spray containing an residual insecticide and a insect growth inhibitor for the treatment. In addition, we use ULV fumigation to ensure complete flea eradication.
Flea pupae / cocoons are covered in a protective layer which is impenetrable to all insecticides / fumigants: Adult fleas and larvae will be killed immediately but the presence of pupae means that fleas may appear after (and even increase slightly at) the day of the flea treatment to die out within a 7-14 day period. Fleas emerging from their cocoon will get contaminated with the residual insecticide. Contact us if you require a competitive flea extermination quote and live in the Wigan, Bolton, Liverpool, Manchester or Preston area.

Guidelines before, during and after a flea treatment / ULV fumigation

Before treatment:
Consult your vet and make sure the host (dog, cat) is treated for fleas.
Vacuum the entire house and empty the waste compartment in the external bin. Insecticides won’t work on dirty / dusty surfaces.
Clear the floor area furniture can stay in place. Make sure toys, foods etc. are removed from spraying activity. Objects under beds need to be moved on top of beds.
Wash animal bedding on a high heat setting (minimum of 60 oC).
Make sure the lawn is mown as fleas love to hide in tall grass waiting for a victim. They are able to survive outside on lawns.

During treatment:
Vacate rooms of pets and people.
Seal aquariums with cling film.
Do not enter until insecticides are completely dry (3-4 hours). In addition, open windows upon entry.

After treatment:
Do not vacuum / clean for 14 days (this is to eliminate fleas (pupae) emerging from their cocoon).
Do not avoid rooms: vibrations will activate dormant fleas from their cocoon to pick up a lethal dose of insecticide.
Expect to see minimal flea activity for 14 days after the treatment with residual insecticides / ULV fumigation.

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