Top 10 Places Fleas Come From
The Ten Most Common Causes of Fleas
- Your Pets
- Your Friends Pets
- The Previous Owner/Tenants Pets
- A Neighbours Pets
- A Colleagues Pets
- Family Pets
- Workplace Pets
- Garden Wildlife
1. Fleas From Your Pet
Unsurprisingly our pets easily top the list of the top 10 places fleas come from. They are the most common source of fleas in our lives, period.
Pets that include cats, dogs and rabbits, 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 be exposed too.
People are not always aware of fleas because not everyone reacts to the bites. For those that do react, life can be miserable, but there is hope, but it’s never cheap and always time-consuming to do properly.
Most of the flea control products will get festooned with false promises, especially the cheaper versions or those with no active pesticide in them.
As mentioned, 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 with most flea populations displaying a high level of resistance. The products no longer work.
Product resistance means, if you are serious about achieving lasting flea control, you must go to your vet and get the very latest products. They might be more expensive but are both safer and more effective.
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. Fleas From Your Friends Pets
Every year we help people at the mercy of flea infestations, often the result of being a good friend!
Friends or relatives going on holiday wanting to avoid kennel or cattery fees or those suffering a life-changing medical event could be forced to leave their home for a period of time.
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.
Poor proactive control explains why taking in a pet for someone can mean taking in its fleas as well.
Fleas will not generally be noticed for at least three weeks after the pet comes to stay. During this time a significant number of fleas in all stages of the fleas life cycle will become 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! Oh, and don’t expect the owner to pay you back!
3. Fleas In Rented and New Properties
When 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 try to feed on 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 out-going 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. Fleas From Your Neighbours 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. Fleas From Your Colleagues Pets
Going to work and finding a co-worker 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.
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 inside the property for a few minutes, and this is no real risk.
If the animal does enter 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 had a treatment, then it should be excluded for at least three weeks after treatment, to allow any fleas to be controlled in its home environment first.
6. Fleas From Your Family
Visiting relatives very often bring along dogs and other pets. These pets are part of the family and 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, location and opportunity.
7. Fleas From Your Work Place
Many workplaces are subject to flea problems. Professionals working in construction or the renovation and cleaning industries will have encountered fleas first hand because they will be working in customers homes, who have pets.
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. Fleas From The Garden
Surprised? 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 appears to stem from the garden.
We completed a thorough investigation, and discovered that foxes and badgers had been resting in the children’s playhouse at night and foxes were seen there 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 playhouse was re-sited.
9. Fleas In Your Shopping?
Yes, that’s right, when buying items that can include second hand, rugs, clothes, sofas and animal baskets, 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. Fleas In Cars and Caravans
We get called out each year to fumigate cars, caravans – mobile and static, 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 looking around them first.
Any suspected of having animals in them should be considered suspicious, and you must prepare for the costs. Caravans used by builders and other contractors working on sites away from home.
Mobile homes get lived in by many different people, and this also creates the potential for 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!
Professional Flea Control Is An Investment Worth Paying For
In short, you need to think outside the box, because insect parasites are resourceful. 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.
Good Luck! Simon Berenyi at WaspKill UK Pest Control