Fleas

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Fleas usually only bite humans when there is a severe plague or when the normal host animal has left the premises. For example, it is quite common to experience a flea plague after a pet’s death or when moving into vacant premises that has previously housed a dog or cat. The pupal stage of development can stay in the carpets or undisturbed edges of floors etc. for up to one year. These pupae will develop into adult fleas as soon as the house is occupied again.

If you have a pet, contact your vet for advice on the many different flea products available. Treat your pet and its bedding for the fleas at the same time as treating your house, otherwise all your efforts will be wasted.

All stages of flea development may occur in your carpet. Having your carpet steam cleaned will kill many of the adult and pre-adult fleas; however, some eggs may survive and hatch afterwards. (Prior to steam cleaning ensure you check with the company that your carpet is suitable for steam cleaning.)

Whether or not you have your carpet steam cleaned, you should vacuum carpets, floors and upholstered furniture every day for at least a week. Pay particular attention to areas that are not disturbed often, for example behind doors, furniture, cupboards and pet-preferred areas where the floor and walls meet etc.

The contents of the vacuum cleaner dust bag should be treated with an insecticide or placed in the freezer for 24 hours before disposal.

If you still have fleas you may need to use a pesticide to combat the problem. Be aware that fleas are very persistent and you may require more than one pesticide treatment for a severe infestation.

Prevent pets and other animals from entering sub-floor areas. Keep pets outside as much as possible and keep treating pets for fleas.

It is best to contact a pest controller for severe outbreaks.

Information above taken from the Bayer Animal Health Australia site, Insects and Spiders on Fleas. Click on image below to further information. Information taken from the fact sheet from the Government of Western Australia Department of Public Health on fleas. Click on image below for further information.