Before we can highlight some natural and organic flea treatment, we need to first understand their biology and behaviour around the home.
What are they?
Fleas (lat. Siphonaptera) are small and wingless insects, approximately 2.5 mm long. They have shiny and reddish brown body colour. They are compressed and covered with microscopic hair which allows them easier movement through animal fur. Fleas have a very bad reputation for being the main culprit in spreading of the bubonic plague or, so called, Black Death. Fortunately for us, the flea species behind it, the Oriental rat flea (Xenopsylla Cheopis) is very rare today but the disease is still known to occur in some parts of the world. When we talk about plague in Australia, the disease hit Sydney in 1900 and caused 300 deaths in 8 months.
Fleas can be found in every corner of the world. In Australia, several flea species can be found but the most common is the cat flea. It usually infests house pets and people.
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Fleas Behaviour, Diet & Habits
Adult fleas are parasites that feed on blood from their host. They usually prefer hairy animals like dogs, cats, rabbits, rats, mice and other kinds of wild or domesticated animals. They are capable of changing hosts, even though they do not have wings they can jump long distances.
The adult flea reproduces fast and that can cause the infestation to spread rapidly. They lay eggs and hatch them on their host, but they can be found in gardens, carpets, rugs, furniture, bedding, cracks in the floor, and in dusty areas of the house. Usually they hatch within two days.
Most fleas enter the house over the pets who carry them in their fur as fleas depend on their blood. Once they get inside the house, fleas may become a big problem when their host is no longer around and they get hungry. Because of that, they start to search for other hosts that are located inside the home. For example, the fleas that entered the home and were feeding on the dog are then forced to feed on other pets or humans.
The best method to keep fleas outside is to get rid of their outdoor habitats and outdoor hosts. There are many area-wide chemical products for flea control and also flea control products for pets, which are approved by veterinarians.
Identifying and managing a flea problem
Adult fleas are usually easy to see and locate, especially when the pet and his owner return home after a long absence during which the adult flea hasn’t be able to have a blood meal. While entering the home, you can see fleas jumping around and trying to land on the pet and his owner.
The flea’s eggs and larvae are another story because they are much less active. They can easily be found behind and under the furniture, in pet bunks, inside floor cracks, in carpet etc. Flea eggs are deposited by female flea and they fall off the pets while they move. It allows them to spread eggs in the territory where pet spend most of his time.
Signs of Fleas
There are many signs of flea’s presence. Usual indications are when pets constantly scratch and groom themselves. Reason for that is because they feel unpleasant while fleas feed on their blood and it itches them. People can also feel flea bites which will leave itchy bite marks on skin. One of the signs is also the flea dirt that can be found in pet beds, carpets and other areas where fleas take their rest.
Fleas in beds
You will not find fleas in house owner bed often. Fleas that are found in beds are usually there because they are looking for a blood meal or they have fallen from pets which are allowed by their owners to sleep in their beds. It is important to change and wash the bedding often because it is possible that the immature stages of fleas could make their residence in bedding. It is more likely that flea eggs, larvae and pupae have made their habitats under the bed of the owner. There is a big possibility that they are living in your pet beds or bedding.
Natural Treatment for fleas
If there are signs of flea presence in home, the first and best thing is to contact an organic pest control professional to determine the type, source and extent of the infestation. Using only widely available organic and natural products for flea control that can be found in almost every store will usually not solve the cause of infestation. Expert pest controllers will make a thorough inspection of the premises and will locate areas where the immature fleas are living.
After the inspection has been completed, next thing is to make a plan for natural flea treatment, and that plan will include:
Finding out which kind of fleas is making the problem
Explaining the flea’s life cycle, their habits and behaviour and how it can affect the control plan
Examine the presence of other animals that are used by fleas for source of food. House owner needs to consult the veterinarian and find out which flea control product can be used on his pet.
Pets should be groomed and bathed often.
Flea eggs, larvae and adult fleas need to be removed by using strong vacuum cleaners.
Pet bedding needs to be washed and dried frequently-
Affected areas where immature fleas could be located needs to be treated by using effective and safe flea control products.
Most common flea is the cat flea, and after that is the dog, human and rat fleas.
Pets who are suffering from flea bites are scratching themselves constantly. Fleas can be found on humans too, and some people can get flea allergies.
Fleas are wingless as adult and they can’t fly. Adult fleas use long jumps for moving when some animal passes close by. Flea larvae are mobile but they move slowly by crawling from one location to another. They usually move because they seek for food and a shaded, moist location that is suitable for their survival.
Flea bites can cause skin itching and can cause serious health risks on people and animals. They cause skin disease in pets and can transmit tapeworms in dogs and cats. Tapeworms can be transmitted to humans if they swallow an infected flea. Fleas can carry diseases and they transmit them while taking a blood meal from a host.
Some of them include:
Plague (transferred by rats)
Flea-borne typhus (transferred by the bacteria-infected faeces of infected cats by scratching the area of the bite)
Bartonellosis (transmitted by rat flea and cat flea by scratching the area of the bite or contacting infected faeces)
Flea tapeworm (transmitted by children who unintentionally contact infected faeces or flea)
Tungiasis (caused by the chigoe flea when it makes a hole in the skin and takes a blood meal)
Natural flea treatment and pest control is what we do best. We are professionally trained, insured and licensed in all areas of residential and commercial fumigation. We provide eco-natural pest control treatments that are child & pet friendly. If you still struggle with pest issues or if you want a complete pest solution that protects your family from any harmful effects, check out our professional services below: