- Adult fleas are about 3mm long and brown in colour. They live on the host or close by, frequently in pet bedding.
- Their bodies are flattened so that they can move through hair quickly. They have broad rather than flat bodies, Short antennae with piercing and sucking mouth parts. Their long powerful legs help them to leap relatively high in the air to and from the host.
- Flea is the common name for small, bloodsucking, wingless parasites. These are known as surface parasites as they feed from the skin of Humans, Other mammals and less often birds. Fleas are found all over the world.
- Both dog and cat fleas are found throughout the UK and are the main flea species encountered in the home. The cat flea is by far the most common as they can also live on dogs. The human flea is now a relatively rare species and is therefore unlikely to be found in the home.
- Fleas will lay their eggs under carpets, in the folds of tapestry, in refuse piles and other places that provide safety and adequate nutrition.
- Within 6-12 days the eggs hatch to become larvae which have biting mouth parts. After a few days of voracious feeding upon organic refuse, the larvae spin cocoons and enter the pupa stage. Normal emergence from pupa to adult stage is 2-4 weeks in response to vibration of hosts. This can be delayed by up to several months if not stimulated. Several flea species infest household pets and domestic animals.
- Flea bites are unpleasant and will be seen as a tiny dark red spot surrounded by a reddish lump. Fleas can carry diseases which can infect humans.
If you do have pets it is essential that you prevent the fleas from becoming established in carpets and bedding. Vacuum carpets and furnishings where pets sleep. We recommend that you use the strongest vacuum setting possible that will not damage your fabric but is enough to remove the fleas and the eggs.
Take care when emptying the Vacuum cleaneras the fleas will still be alive. Shake or beat rugs and pet bedding outside so that the fleas and their eggs fall off.
- Wash pet bedding every week, ideally above 50ºC to kill the fleas
- Take care when transferring the bedding, rugs etc to avoid spreading the flea eggs
- Consider placing pet beds in areas without carpets, such as wooden floors
- Cats and dogs should be treated with an insecticide provided by your vet
- All the above areas should then be treated with an insecticide approved for this specific purpose.
When using pesticides always follow the instructions on the label.
If you are not happy about treating the problem yourself, a professional Pest Control Service can be carried out by the council's pest control officers. Please use the online form to report a pest problem to us or call Contact Warrington.
Warrington Borough Council request that all persons and pets vacate the premises once a treatment has been completed until the insecticide dries, this can take up to five hours.
We also advise that all areas treated are not vacuumed or washed for at least three weeks, or longer if possible. This is due to the time taken for a flea to complete the cycle from egg to adult as insecticide will not work on any stage of the cycle other than the adult stage.