Top 10 Places Fleas Come From
- Your Pets
- Your Friends Pets
- The Previous Owner/Tenants Pets
- Your Neighbors Pets
- Your Colleagues Pets
- Your Family
- Your Workplace
- Your Garden
- Your Shopping
- Your Car/Caravan
1. Your Pets
Cat Fleas Are The Most Common Flea Species Unsurprisingly our pets are easily the most common source of fleas in our lives, period.
Our cats, dogs, rabbits, horses, etc, etc, are a natural food resource to fleas and other parasites found widely in the environment. Making fleas an unavoidable fact of life that everyone will eventually come into contact with.
You might not even be aware of fleas, because not everyone reacts to the bites. For those that do react, life can be miserable, but there is hope, but its never cheap and always time consuming to do properly.
Most of the flea control products you can buy over the counter to treat fleas are festooned with promises that for the most part are complete trash.
Many products are not even insecticides, they are a concoction of chemicals that claim to act as repellents, and we spend millions on them each year with little or no measurable results.
Even the products we buy over the counter for our pets are often first generation products that many flea populations have developed high levels of resistance to. This means if you are serious about achieving lasting flea control, you must go to your vet and get the very latest products. They are safer but do cost more.
This cost is only marginally more than over the counter products, and the payoff for the little extra investment is often well worth it.
2. Your Friends Pets
Every year we help people at the mercy of flea infestations, often the result of being a good friend!
When a friend or relative goes on holiday or suffers a life changing medical event, they are often forced to leave their home for a period of time. That’s when those around them kindly step in to take care of things that include pets like cats and dogs.
What gets forgotten in the heat of the moment, are some common sense checks. Most people and I do mean MOST people, buy flea control products over the counter or don’t bother at all. This is why taking in a pet for someone can mean taking in its fleas as well.
These fleas will not normally be noticed for at least three weeks after the pet comes to stay. This means a significant number of fleas in all stages of the fleas life cycle will now be embedded in your carpets and furniture etc. What’s worse is that it can take up to a year without the pet to get completely flea free. It is a curse! A financial curse that the pets owner will be unlikely to reimburse you for.
3.Rented and New Property
If you’re planning to move into a property it’s always worth considering if the people living there have pets and if so, has a vet treated them for fleas.
If you have a pet of your own then things won’t be as bad, because any fleas will be drawn to your treated pets, and once they try and feed, they will die. If however you have no pets then the only food source for the fleas is you, and humans don’t have systemic flea treatments.
You can try insect repellents, but even these will begin to take their toll on your skin with daily use.
Any property you move into needs to be treated at the outgoing tenant/owners cost. You may find that you are fine for the first couple of weeks until the first wave of fleas mature and hatch.
4.Your Neighbors Pets
It’s more common than you might think for cats and dogs to enter properties through open doors, windows and cat flaps. Feral cats are a particularly common reservoir of fleas.
Always be wary of allowing animals of any kind free access into your home. It might cost you more than money, because biting fleas can cost you your health and drive you nuts.
5. Your Colleagues Pets
Going to work and finding a colleague has brought the dog to work with them is not unheard of and in some therapeutic environments it’s a practice that’s positively encouraged. Even visiting relatives and customers can bring pets with them, but be warned, when they leave other creatures might not.
In most circumstances the animal will only be in the property for a few minutes, and this is no real risk. If the animal is in the property on a regular basis and for an extended period, then it “will” leave behind fleas.
Properly treated pets are far less of a problem, but it should not be unreasonable for you to request that they show you evidence that they’ve paid for flea treatments to be carried out by a vet in the last thirty days.
If the animal hasn’t been treated then it should be excluded for at least 3 weeks after treatment, to allow any fleas to be controlled in its home environment first.
6. Your Family
Visiting relatives very often bring along dogs and other pets. These pets are part of the family and are never thought of as a potential flea problem. Sometimes we will ride in a relatives car where a dog has been present, and this is the source. You need to think of every environment you have been in.
7. Your Work Place
Many workplaces are subject to flea problems. Many working in construction or in the renovation and cleaning industries will have encountered fleas first hand when working in customers homes.
We sometimes go into severe flea infestations, and even with all the protective equipment and repellents, we are left picking the fleas of our legs at the end of the treatment. Nasty!
8. The Garden
This often surprises people, but it’s not as ridiculous as it seems. Some years back we had a family come to us for help with a flea problem which seemed to stem from the garden.
We completed a thorough investigation, and discovered that foxes and badgers had been resting in the children’s play house at night and foxes were seen their during the day. The fleas were large — They were human fleas and caused a terrible reaction on the children’s skin. We solved that flea problem, and the play house was re-sited.
Yes, that’s right, when buying second hand, rugs, clothes, sofas, animal baskets etc you can unwittingly bring in fleas. Second hand furniture, especially sofas and chairs carry other parasites like bed bugs as well so be diligent and ensure you look over these items very carefully. steam treatment can prove highly effective in situations like this.
10. Cars and Caravans
We get called out each year to fumigate cars, caravans — mobile and static, that are infested with fleas. It’s most common early in the year, when their interiors are not heated up to extremes. Cars and caravans can self sterilize in the heat of summer when their interiors will rise above 60C.
When buying second hand caravans and cars, it’s worth spending a little time in them first. Any suspected of having animals in them should be considered potentially suspect and you must be prepared for the costs. Caravans are commonly used by builders and other contractors working on site away from home.
They are used by multiple different people and this also creates the potential of bed bug infestation. One customer bought a caravan online for a few hundred pounds and was bitten an estimated 300 times in the first night. The treatment to eliminate the parasites feeding on him was going to cost more than he paid for the caravan!
In short you need to think outside the box. look at the ridiculous as respectfully as the obvious and be prepared to pay the price of having it fleas treated effectively. Cheap doesn’t work with fleas. Invest in getting it right and you will reap the peace of mind and comfort of being bite free for good.
Brought to you and written by Simon Berenyi
Originally published at bristolpestcontrol.blogspot.co.uk on October 27, 2015.