It may seem a strange time of year to be discussing this particular issue, but the season is coming. Fleas, they are horrible, aren’t they? If you are a pet owner they will probably be the bane of your life. seeing your poor pet in distress is heart-breaking.
But I don’t have pets
If you have ever found a flea casually parading around on your body you will know how mortifying it is. You will probably wonder how it got there, after all, you don’t even own a pet. There are many ways that these little blighters could have got into your house. Firstly we are exposed to animals all the time. It doesn’t take much for a flea to jump on you from that dog you patted in the park.
Also, you may not have pets but the person who lived there before may have. And you know how they say you are never more than 6 foot from a rat? Well, studies have shown that in actuality it’s more like 150 foot. But that isn’t the point. Rats can live in basements, attics and fleas love them. Also, fleas don’t need to live on a host, they just need to hop on to feed. So they can happily live in your carpet, your bedding etc.
How will I know
If you have pets the tell-tale signs are pretty straightforward. Your pet will become agitated and itchy. They may well have “flea dirt” on them, this is flea faecal matter. Interesting side note: flea faecal matter is almost entirely made of blood as this is all they eat.
If you don’t have pets you may well find that you are their “host”. Signs to look out for is small bumps on your skin. These will be itchy. Commonly these will be around your wrists and ankles, although can appear pretty much anywhere. You may even spot them crawling on you, commonly this will be on your limbs.
What’s the issue
For a human cat flea infestation is frustrating. The bites are irritating and when scratched too much can become sore. Cat fleas can carry diseases but the days of them spreading bubonic plague are all but gone, thankfully. They can be far more detrimental to your pets. Due to the amount of fur an animal has they play a perfect host. There may be anywhere between 30-40 fleas living on the animal at one time. Not only do the fleas potentially spread diseases that are harmful to an animal having that amount of blood removed, especially from kittens or sickly cats can be potentially fatal.
There are some muted solutions that tend to not be particularly effective. Salting the carpet is one that is banded around. The theory goes that this dries the eggs out. Ultimately it just tends to make a mess and as fleas can live pretty much anywhere it means you would probably have to salt all your furniture too. Flea traps are great at making you feel a sense of satisfaction. You will probably wake up with a dozen dead fleas, but that is just going to be the tip of the iceberg.
More effective treatments
Fleas hate lavender. If you can get a cat-friendly lavender shampoo, use it! It’s like napalm for fleas. Regularly hoovering is good for removing some of the eggs. Make sure you empty the hoover as soon as you are finished. (preferably outside. Ultimately if it becomes too bad you may have to fumigate. Buying foggers for your house is a pain but may be necessary. If all that fails then you need to call in exterminators. This should be a last resort as they are expensive.