Are There Fleas Near You?
With temperatures set to plummet across Ireland this week, it is important that homeowners take extra precautions against fleas, as the insects often move indoors to escape colder weather.
Whilst fleas can be active anywhere in Ireland, we noticed that certain areas had significantly more flea infestations than others in 2021. Last year, our pest control experts received more callouts for fleas in Wexford than any other county in Ireland, with 12% of all callouts coming from the “model county”. Dublin was in second place and contributed to 10% of all flea callouts. Galway followed with 8%, Cork sat in fourth place with 7% and Kildare made the top five with 6% of callouts.
Fleas In Homes Without Pets
While pet owners are more likely to experience a problem with fleas, it is possible to have a flea infestation even if you do not own pets. Fleas can lay dormant for up to a year before hatching and if previous residents in your home kept pets, there may be undetected fleas in your home. It is also not uncommon for rodents or other wild animals to bring fleas into a property.
What Do Fleas Look Like?
It may be wise to use a magnifying glass when looking for fleas as the insects are just 2mm in height. Fleas range from black, brown and reddish brown in colour. If you own pets, it is important to regularly check your pets’ fur for fleas. They tend to be active in the hind-quarters of dogs and the head and neck area of cats. Although cat and dog fleas cause the most problems, there’s many species of fleas to look out for.
What Do Flea Bites Look Like?
Flea bites on humans are generally located between the ankle and knee region. When looking for flea bites, you should look for tiny red spots on the skin. It can appear as a small dark spot surrounded by a reddened area. Infants can be at risk of flea bites if they play on carpets, rugs, or other areas that fleas can thrive in. Fleas have been associated with the spread of diseases such as typhus. It is important to note not all fleas will be carriers of typhus, but if in doubt contact your doctor for further information.
Flea bites are not generally associated with swelling, and the itchiness caused from the bite tends to be much more uncomfortable than the pain from the bite itself. This is why it is common to see pets with fleas scratching and biting their fur.
How To Get Rid of Fleas
There are many steps you can take to get rid of fleas in your home:
- First, vacuum all furniture, carpets and cracks in floorboards as this will not only get rid of fleas but also remove their eggs. The fleas will still be alive when vacuumed so it is important to empty the vacuum away from the house.
- Pets bed should ideally be washed every week at 50 degrees and tumble dried where possible. Don’t forget to regularly use a flea comb to groom pets.
- Lemon spray has been said to help treat flea issues by regularly spraying it onto furniture or suspect areas.
- Don’t ignore your pets constantly scratching and biting their fur. It is always worth getting peace of mind by taking your pet to a vet who could also help you choose a flea spray or powder to alleviate the issue.