Fleas The Problem
Fleas are a common problem in Australia.
Flea bites are very uncomfortable and can cause health issues. There are many diseases including Typhus that fleas are able to spread to humans.
Home treatments for Fleas do not work.
At border pest control we have a range of chemical treatments that are very safe to use and very effective against fleas.
Hints to get the most from your flea treatment.
Treat your pets at the same time as we are treating the property. You will get better results if all flea treatments - environmental and on-animal - are done about the same time. Once the chemical has dried and we have told you it is safe to re enter
DO NOT AVOID FLEA INFESTED AREAS AFTER THE TREATMENT - YOU WILL REDUCE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE TREATMENT - especially remember the spare room, shed or places where the pet likes to rest.
If you remove the pet, flea problems may appear to be worse - as you have become the only potential host.
It is best to treat before the numbers build up, 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 houses.
If you are going on holidays, have a friend stomp through the house/yard several times while you are away, especially on the day of your return - the fleas will hatch and die on the treated surfaces before you return.
1.5 mm - 10 mm in length but most are shorter than 5 mm.
This insect order is fairly small, having some 2,380 species known worldwide and only about 90 species represented in Australia. Adult fleas are blood suckers, the majority feeding on mammals (eg dogs, cats, pigs) and some feeding on birds.
Adult males and females, both blood suckers, may live between 100 and 500 days and can survive up to 4 months without food. The adult female usually lays 4 - 8 eggs after each blood meal. Eggs usually hatch within 2 to 14 days. The feeding period for flea larvae is usually 15 days but may be as long as several months in adverse conditions.
Larvae feed on available organic matter in the form of crumbs, human skin scales and other debris accumulated in carpets, pets bedding, cracks in floor boards, lawns, gardens and sub-floor soil.
When feeding is complete, the larvae usually spin a cocoon, to which adhere particles of dust, soil and the like, which acts as an effective camouflage. The larvae pupate within the cocoon and the pupal stage may last for several days, or up to a year in some cases. The entire flea life cycle may take as little as 18 days or up to 18 months in cases where no disturbance has occurred.
Some flea species are very widespread and as a result of their biting habit, which may cause severe irritation, and their role in disease transmission, the group has justly earned a reputation of being extremely important in the medical and public health context.
When conditions favour flea growth and development, populations can be so great that references to a 'flea plague' are not uncommon. The management of a flea infestation can be complex and will be difficult to achieve without the assistance and co-operation of the occupants of the building concerned. A sound understanding of the biology of fleas is an important prerequisite to effective control.
Buildings unoccupied for long periods may suddenly seem to come alive with fleas immediately the occupants return. The significant pest status that fleas have achieved is largely attributable to their 'biting' (piercing and sucking) habit,
which may cause mild to severe irritation or serve to transmit diseases.
Most flea bites occur around the ankles and lower legs. Great variations in the degree of irritation exist between individuals. The irritation, which can persist for days, is due to the injection of saliva which acts as an anticoagulant. Typically, a cluster of bites may occur, and these usually develop into a small red spot, surrounded by a reddish halo but seldom with any swelling. In Australia it is the frequency of bites, which may occur indoors or outdoors, that can annoy and irritate to the extent where Pest Management measures are sought.
The flea species that are important as pests include:
Cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis). The cat flea is perhaps the most common pest flea currently encountered. In addition to cats, it is known to attack dogs, rats, humans and other mammals.
Dog flea (Ctenocephalides canis). The dog flea is very similar in appearance to the cat flea but seems to be less commonly encountered. It also attacks a wide range of mammals.
Human flea (Pulex irritans). This species is becoming much less associated with humans since the advent of the vacuum cleaner and other aids to better housekeeping. It also attacks dogs, pigs, rats and mice. It is often encountered in piggeries