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Pest Advice - fleas

How do I know I have a problem?

When a house has a flea problem it is usually the case that people will experience bites. These are concentrated on the lower leg areas. Bites can occur on other parts of the body and on children are often more evenly distributed as they are nearer the ground and more likely to be playing or lying on the carpet areas. Different people react in different ways to bites. Some experience itching, swelling, some do not. Some people will react immediately to bites others it may take several hours. You may see fleas in the carpet or on your pet. The Flea infestation may have been caused by your own animals (if you have any), by a visiting animal, by previous occupants animals, or occasionally brought in by humans on their clothes. The Fleas live in the carpets and leave the carpets only to feed on the host animal, (usually cat or dog); if the host animal is not available then they will feed on humans, often preferring women and children to men. They will move on to beds & clothing but soon return to the carpet.

Why should they be treated?

The reasons for treatment are obvious: they cause discomfort to humans & pets. They can transmit tapeworm. Visitors will be bitten and may take fleas back to their homes.

Preparation

Flea treatments will not work unless proper preparation is carried out. Hygiene is paramount, the floor area of the house should be vacuumed paying particular attention should be paid to the edges of carpets at the floor/wall join, underneath static furniture, under beds & the resting and sleeping areas of any pets. Upholstered furniture should be vacuumed taking care to treat the space under the cushions of chairs and settees where debris has collected. If available, the bedding of the cat or dog should be replaced or washed. The vacuum bag must be removed after this & placed in an outside bin. The pet should be treated with a formulation to treat fleas on an animal such as a flea collar, powder, spray or formulation such as Frontline. This must be ongoing. NEVER TREAT AN ANIMAL OR HUMAN WITH ANY PESTICIDE NOT SPECIFICALLY LABELLED AND CLEARED FOR SUCH USE.
The floors must be clear of books, toys, boxes, magazines etc. areas under beds, settees and other furniture must be clear. The pet must be kept out of the house when treatment starts and people out of each room while the treatment is being carried out.

Treatment

Insecticides are biodegradable, almost odourless, non tainting & do not corrode or stain. They are not highly toxic towards mammals but are extremely so to all forms of crawling and flying public health pests. All your carpet areas will be sprayed and possibly dusted. Advice and treatment details will be given by our technician prior to works being carried out.

What do I do afterwards?

After treatment do not let domestic animals walk on treated surfaces until dry and if bare skin comes into contact whilst wet then wash. Cats especially can be susceptible to some insecticides, so it is best that animals are not let to walk on treated surfaces until completely dry. People can walk on treated surfaces provided they are wearing shoes; contact with the wet surfaces with bare skin should be avoided. Do not vacuum for at least two weeks, after the first vacuum change the bag and dispose of bag away from the house. For this first week of vacuuming, vacuum at least once a day but preferably twice. It is important to understand that the flea infestation will not be controlled immediately and may even increase slightly after initially seeming to die out within a 7-14 day period. So fleas may be present for up to 21 days after the spray. It is advisable that lawns are mown soon after treatment as in warm weather fleas may survive in outside areas. The animals should be fitted with fresh Flea collars or sprayed/dusted with a spray/dust made for this purpose. If the premises are not occupied there may flea activity for up to 3 weeks from the date of occupation. Do not avoid infested areas as fleas have the ability to remain dormant in their pupae cases for up to a year unless they stimulated by warmth, movement and carbon dioxide. Domestic treatments are guaranteed (treated areas only) for one month after the first spray, and are only valid as long instructions and advice on hygiene and other matters are adhered to, the guarantee does not apply to premises where more than 2 animals are present. In some cases it may be necessary to spray on a monthly basis until the infestation is eradicated especially in shared, communal or multi occupancy buildings. Insecticide treatments will only work on clean surfaces.

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