An adult flea jumps onto someone in your household and gets a meal. Fleas feed on blood and although their mouth is small, a flea bite can hurt and most certainly can become inflamed, itchy and swollen. Once fed, the flea will look to mate and immediately lay eggs. In the next two to three weeks hundreds of eggs will be laid. Some of these may fall in the yard, some in the house and some will remain on the pet. When the eggs hatch, a small caterpillar like creature comes out to feed on anything organic. This includes dried blood, flea faeces, animal hair and a variety of other organic matter. The flea larva will feed for days after which it will spin a cocoon and undergo metamorphosis. This stage is called the flea pupa. This is the worst stage of all because we can’t kill it. No spray will completely eradicate flea pupa. This is why you still have fleas following the most thorough treatment. The cycle is then completed when the flea pupa hatches out. This hatching occurs when a hot-blooded meal is close at hand. Only then will the flea risk coming out of its protective cocoon.
ABOUT THE FLEA
It is important to understand that fleas will persist if you only address one or two locations where they are breeding. Don’t think that treating the pet will keep your home or yard from getting fleas. The same is true about the yard. Follow this general rule, if the pet is an inside animal, you must treat the home and the pet to insure no fleas. If the pet is an outside animal, you will need to treat the pet as well as the yard area the pet has access to. If the pet spends a lot of time both inside and out, then consider treating the pet, yard and home. Always remember that flea control is egg control. If you stop the eggs from developing on the pet, in the yard and in the home – you can’t have fleas!
Once infested, a proper treatment will take a few weeks to rid any structure of fleas. If done correctly, the cycle would be interrupted with the first treatment and once the flea pupae have all hatched out, the flea infestation will cease. How long it takes to treat your flea infestation depends on how many flea pupae are in your home. It could be resolved with one treatment; it could take three to six weeks of spraying once a week.
Many flea pupae are left in the cycle following the initial treatment. One or two pupae hatching in the days following the first treatment will usually go unnoticed, but a mass hatching will be uncomfortable for those inhabiting the home and re-treatments at that point are suggested. Remember these important facts about flea pupae for a thorough understanding of what is happening in your home following a treatment.
1) No chemical will kill the pupae consistently. When you do a liquid treatment with an adulticide and a growth regulator, the adulticide kills the adult fleas which are out and about. It will also kill any larva crawling around. The growth regulator acts on the existing eggs and once they are exposed to the regulator, they will not be able to develop normally into adults. However, there remains all the pupae which are still developing. These could take another 4-8 weeks to hatch out. This all depends on temperature, the species of flea and humidity.
2) Since pupae are motivated to hatch out when there is activity around them, be sure to keep people and pets active in the rooms where the flea problem is the worst. Typically, people do the all the wrong things when dealing with a flea problem. Although the eggs may be falling from cats and dogs, the adult fleas are more than happy to live their whole life on the pet. They have no interest in people. The new fleas you are seeing are the pupae cocoons hatching. If you decide to remove a pet from the home or rooms where the flea problem was most prevalent, you will leave the pupae cocoons no choice but to seek the next available blood meal – you!
3) Do not leave any room empty for any length of time hoping to “starve” the fleas. Flea pupae are motivated by movement and body heat. They will not hatch out if a room is void of activity. In fact, one way of getting them to hatch out quicker than they are inclined is the use of a vacuum. Daily vacuuming will excite them. In bad cases, some homeowners have sped the hatching process up by walking around in white socks. The white will reflect light and appears hot to a flea. Hot means blood and this will cause the cocoons to hatch. Immediately after walking around for a while, vacuum. The effect of vacuuming and the spray in the carpet will knockdown that many more fleas which will not be able to bite. Do this every day until you can do so without seeing any fleas. Flea cocoons can wait for over a year for a target.
Since the flea cycle can be completed on the pet, it is important to gain egg control on their fur. To maintain the pet, shampoo will kill some adult fleas, but do nothing for flea eggs.
TREATMENT FOR FLEAS
You will need to vacate the premises for 4 hours after the treatment and a follow up treatment may be required in 6 weeks.
Our Part: We will conduct an internal and external blanket spray. All internal and external areas will be covered with chemical. You and your pets will be required to vacate the premises for 4 hours after the treatment.
Your Part: Wash your pets in a good flea shampoo for 3 days prior to the treatment, start your pets on a good flea treatment. Vacuum daily, using a paper bag until your appointment. If you have floor boards, mop daily with hot water and tea tree oil. Mow the lawn short and soak with water a day before treatment. Clear the ground of any leaf matter and remove goods you have on the ground inside the house and place them on tables.
After the Treatment: Second treatments may be required. Vacuum daily after the day of treatment as this will assist the eggs hatching and the pupae being released from their eggs. You may continue to see fleas and be bitten for up to 3 weeks
Flea Control Method
Internal: We will conduct an internal blanket spray which means that all floor areas will be covered with chemical. The more floor area that is free the more areas that can be treated.
External: We will conduct an external blanket spray which means that all ground areas externally, both grass and cemented/tiled areas will be covered in chemical.
Sub-floor area: A powder or a blanket spray will be applied to the sub floor area.
Protecting Your Home
- Clean up spills and food crumbs quickly
- Empty rubbish bins often
- Do not feed pets inside
- Store food in pest-proof containers
- Rinse out jars and containers before placing them in rubbish and recycling bins
- Keep trees and shrubs trimmed back from your house
- Keep gutters and storm drains free of debris
- Watch for new ant mounds or nests around your home
- Keep trash bags sealed and in closed rubbish bins
- Seal doors and windows
How Does the Flea Treatment Work?
We use two products for treating fleas, to the spray we add a product called IGR. The IGR breaks the flea cycle by rendering the fleas sterile. It is important to break the growth cycle of the fleas and this is done with the use of IGR. The spray kills the adult fleas instantly.
The way that IGR works is that it absorbs into the eggs and the young are born sterile so they are unable to reproduce. With the nymph stage, it stops the nymphs from forming a new skin, so once they shed their skin they are unable to produce new skin killing them.
We would normally say wait 3-4 weeks before getting a second treatment and only if it is required.
Preparing for A Flea Treatment
For Your Pet: We would suggest washing your pets with a good flea treatment, once a day for 2-3 days.
You should start your pets on a flea program from the vet or good pet store. We do recommend using something like Advantage, Frontline etc. If your pets are already on a program, we suggest you alternate between flea treatments every 2-3 months as this prevents the fleas building up immunity to the one product.
From the previous jobs that we have done, we have identified that customers using only one product over a long period end up with fleas on their pets.
Internally: We recommend that you vacuum daily using a paper bag, not your cloth bag, until the day of your scheduled appointment for treatment. Floor boards or any hard floor areas should be mopped daily with hot water and tea tree oil.
Remove goods you have on the ground inside the house and place them on tables.
Externally: Mow the lawn short and soak with water a day before treatment.
Make sure that the ground is clear of any leaf matter if you have paving or concrete make sure all leaves have been cleaned.
What to Expect After a Flea Treatment
A follow up treatment may be required in 3-4 weeks. You should continue to vacuum daily after the day of treatment as this will assist the eggs hatching and the pupae being released from their eggs.
It is common to continue to see fleas and be bitten for up to 3 weeks after the treatment.
If you have pets, it is essential to prevent fleas becoming established in carpets and bedding:
- Vacuum carpets and furnishings where pets sleep to remove fleas and eggs. Use the strongest suction that will not damage the fabric. Empty the vacuum cleaner bag directly into a sealable plastic bag and immediately discard it outside your home.
- Wash pet bedding regularly in hot water to kill flea eggs, larvae, and adults within cocoons
- Take care when transferring bedding, rugs, etc. to avoid spreading flea eggs
- Consider placing pet beds in areas without carpets such as on wooden floors
- Have your pets treated for fleas the same day your property is sprayed.
- Although pets are the most common way to get fleas, homes without pets can also get infested. If you go outside, you can bring fleas in so it is best to do a flea check now and then to be safe.
- Fleas can be found in the home in all seasons but the most common time for an infestation is spring and summer.
- Fleas, like other blood sucking parasites, can transfer diseases.
- Check with your veterinarian when treating pets for fleas.
- Be aware that while vacuuming can help in fighting fleas, you must change the bag or empty the canister. Then take the trash outside right away. There may still be live fleas and flea eggs in the bag or canister and they can re-infest your home.
How Long Is the Warranty?
Warranty on fleas does apply after the second treatment. After the follow up treatment has been carried out we offer a 3-month warranty on flea treatments.
How Does the Warranty Work?
If after you have had the follow up flea treatment done and you are continuing to have an issue with fleas contact us and we will organise a technician to come back to your property and address the issue at no cost to you.