You do not need to own a pet—a cat, dog, or even a rabbit—at home. So, when you hear people talk about fleas, you probably assume they are one pest you will never have to deal with, right? Wrong. As a pest control specialist in Singapore, Rentokil is here to share about flea infestation and how to get rid of fleas.
5 Reasons You Can Have Fleas without Pets
- If you have moved into a new home and the previous occupants had pets, there could be fleas or eggs left behind that will eventually hatch and cause an infestation.
- Pests like mice and rats or wild animals like squirrels and bats are often infested with fleas. If you have problems with these animals, they can also introduce fleas in your home.
- In the same manner, neighbourhood pets like dogs or cats can wander through your property and may leave behind fleas in the commuting process.
- Used furniture that you may have purchased or picked up from the curbside may have fleas or eggs hidden within.
- Guests that have visited your home with their pets may have carried fleas into your home.
When you discover your home has been infested with fleas, the safest way you can deal with them is by engaging pest control services in Singapore. Below are some other measures you can take to control their population.
What Do Fleas Look Like?
Fleas are about 2.5 mm long and appear small, dark, and oval-shaped with hard shells. They consume as much as 15 times their weight in blood every day.
An adult female flea can lay 10-50 eggs a day under preferable conditions—warm and humid weather like that of Singapore. These eggs hatch in 1-6 days and it may take several weeks to complete their life cycle from egg to larva to pupa to adult. An adult flea can live up to 3-4 months without a host and they can be so patient in waiting for a new host.
How do they travel? While they do not have wings, they have flat bodies and strong legs that allow them to jump long distances. They use this skill to jump from one host to another.
However, it is often confused with ticks. Both species have an attraction for pets, ticks on the other hand seeks multiple hosts including us as well. They have a longer lifespan and causes different diseases to that of fleas, mainly Rocky Mountain Fever and Lyme Diseases. Read more on the difference between ticks and fleas here.
Signs of a Flea Infestation
Fleas on dogs or other pests are easy to detect. Symptoms of fleas on dogs would start with some aggressive scratching and biting on their fur. You may also observe that their fur looks a tad thin lately. It is quite a different case when you do not have pets at home.
- If you are concerned that fleas have somehow managed to get into your home despite having no pets, below are some signs of fleas’ infestation to look out:
- You have bites on your body. Flea bites look like small red dots that usually appear in clusters of 2 or 3. They are usually dark tiny spots that are red in colour and swell around the bite
- Fleas in your home. While small, you can actually identify a flea. You can check the areas where they could potentially be hiding, usually within carpets and rugs
- Flea dirt – mix of blood residue and droppings that fleas leave behind. It looks a little like ground pepper seeds that looks like black specks at a glance
Where to Check for Fleas
- Carpets and Rugs – Flea larvae can be deep within your furnishings and feed on organic debris and flea faeces. Regular vacuuming can remove up to 80% of flea eggs, but can do so little in removing larvae.
- Upholstery and Cushions – Flea pupae often hide in cushions and can remain dormant indoors. They are often resistant to freezing, drying, and insecticides, making it the hardest life stage to kill.
- Outdoors – In the outdoors, fleas are found among greeneries such as trees, shrubs, and vegetation. Known to infest wild animals, they latch on hosts such as rats or mice like that frequent crawl spaces and outdoor areas.
Flea Control: How to Get Rid of Fleas
If you have pets at home, the first step to control a flea infestation is to treat your pet for fleas—there are many home remedies for dog fleas you can try. In this case, your best approach is to clean your household to remove any hidden flea eggs and larvae. Good housekeeping will not only help remove fleas but lessen their hiding places as well. Below are some other tips:
- Vacuum places where fleas could be hiding including carpets, rugs, curtains, furniture and pet bedding
- Apply insect repellent on yourself and your pet when at outdoors
- Spot for any possible fleas latching on you and your pet after a walk
- Make your home as unattractive to other pests such as rats and mice to avoid cross infestation
- Ensure good overall housekeeping and adequate pet grooming
- Dispose vacuum and housekeeping carefully and regularly and avoid leaving traces of fleas behind.
Flea Control by Rentokil
Address a flea infestation even before it gets out of control. It is essential to seek professional pest control and treatment immediately to protect your family and more importantly, to detect any other existing infestation that causes the presence of fleas. Flea Control involves an initial home inspection and site risk assessment before recommending the right treatment. During the treatment process, the specialist will provide a clear explanation on what to expect before and after the treatment. This includes removing of cluttering, clearing some items and allow for evacuation downtime before returning.
Book a home inspection with us at Rentokil Singapore and we will help you identify potential signs and risks of infestation. Contact us today at (65) 6347 8138.