Fleas are blood sucking parasitic biting insects. They are more than a nuisance they are a very real health hazard as they are vectors of many diseases. How to control and get rid of fleas and prevent flea bites.
Identify the problem
There are flea species specific to most mammals including humans. However, human fleas are rare in New Zealand and it is more often cat, dog or bird fleas that are responsible for infestations in our homes. Cat fleas are most commonly associated with biting humans. They will prefer to feed on the blood of cats but if there are a lot of fleas or the normal cat hosts have been removed they will readily bite humans. Check out how to identify bite marks here .
To get rid of fleas follow these steps:
- Eliminate source > Treat your pets with flea control products available from your vet. These control adult fleas when they take a blood feed from the pet. However, eggs, larvae, pupae and adult fleas do not live on your pets, they live in carpet and bedding where pets sleep, so if possible give your pet's bedding a hot wash to kill any remaining fleas, eggs, larvae and pupae.
- Stop > Spray NO Fleas Total Protection in areas where pets sleep and around edges of carpets and other places fleas have been found. Then flea bomb; use NO Fleas Bug Bomb to kill fleas and penetrate into areas that cannot be treated directly. Follow the directions on the side of the fumigator. It will also flush the fleas out of hiding places so that they come in contact with sprayed surfaces. Keep room/s sealed for as long as possible, up to 24 hours. If the flea infestation has become established it may be necessary to repeat this treatment.
- Clean > Thoroughly vacuum all parts of the house where fleas have been found. Vacuuming removes the dust flea larvae feed on, flea pupae and eggs. Dispose of the vacuum bag immediately by sealing in a plastic bag and placing in bin outside.
- Proof > Spray again with NO Fleas Total Protection a month after initial treatment. Spray areas where pets sleep and around edges of carpets and other places fleas were found. Your pets are likely to be encountering fleas from other animals and there is a risk of re-infestation if treatment is not kept up. NO Fleas Total Protection contains both an insecticide for killing adult and larval fleas and a long lasting insect growth regulator (IGR) to prevent immature fleas reaching maturity, thus breaking the life cycle.
- NO Fleas Bug Bombs can be used in affected parts of your home for quick knock down of fleas and ongoing control of flea larvae, eggs and adults. For best results follow up with NO Fleas Total Protection.
- Flea Bombs should be placed centrally in affected rooms. They can also be used in places where it would be difficult to spray with NO Fleas Total Protection, voids such as roof spaces where bird fleas may be and under floors where cats or other animals may bring in fleas.
- Video on How to Use NO Fleas Bug Bombs
Did You Know
- The female lays several hundred eggs in her lifetime. These are laid just a few at a time onto host animals, very quickly falling off into dust, bedding, carpets or upholstery. They rest and develop for 2 - 10 days before emerging as eyeless, legless worm-like larvae with 13 body segments and chewing mouth parts.
- The larvae feed on pet and human skin cells in dust and other detritus found in carpets and bedding around where the host (human or pet) lives. It will pupate and then lie dormant (often for several months) until it detects the presence of a host by heat and vibrations. The adult will then quickly emerge and hop onto the host where it will begin to feed by biting and sucking blood.
- Once the adult flea has finished feeding on its blood meal it will drop off the host and find a place to hide until it is hungry again. They usually hide in bedding areas but can live anywhere they can find shelter, even outside in warmer months. Adult fleas spend more time off the host than on, this is one reason treatment of the host's living areas are as important as treating the animal.
- Adult fleas can jump distances up to 200 times their body length this is the equivalent of an adult human jumping 400 metres!
- Fleas are in the order Siphonaptera
- Outdoors > in warm summer months fleas will live outside where pets sleep. Use NO Fleas Total Protection on outdoor sleeping areas and even in flowerbeds where cats will often find a shady spot. Outdoor pet bedding should be treated in the same way that indoor bedding is treated.
- If problems persist check for other sources of infestation such as neighbours cats or feral cats coming into your garden, birds nesting in the roof of your house etc.
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