Guide Other pests

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4. Fleas


The most common types of flea are cat and dog fleas.

Human fleas are becoming increasingly rare. Adult fleas survive as parasites on warm-blooded mammals and spend a variable proportion of their time off the host, resting in sleeping and bedding areas.

Larvae of the flea feed in and around the bedding areas on dust, debris, flakes of skin, fur and dead insects.

The female flea can lay up to 1,000 eggs which are usually laid after a blood meal in small batches amongst the fur of the host and drop off onto the floor or bedding.  

Adult fleas can be seen with the naked eye and measure around 2mm in length; their bodies have a flattened appearance and they have large hind legs which allow them to jump vertically onto the host.


In the UK fleas are not often responsible for transmitting disease. Far more important are the highly irritating nature of their bites on some humans and the ability to remain dormant in buildings over long periods. In addition, dog fleas have been known to transmit the tape work to humans. Generally, if you keep pets, no matter how careful you are, there is always the possibility that your animal will get fleas. If your pet starts scratching more than usual, or you find bites on your body; a tiny dark red spot, surrounded by a reddened area around the lower part of legs, then you probably have a minor infestation and need to act quickly.

How do I get rid of them?

Good preventative measures include regular washing and cleaning of pet bedding and regular vacuuming around all areas used by your pet.

  • If you definitely have a flea infestation you should start by controlling the adult fleas on the host (dog or cat) with the use of a flea treatment from your local veterinary practice. Always follow the manufacturers guidelines carefully.
  • There are a number of residual products available for flea control which can be used on the effected areas but care should be taken to use products that do not harm furnishings or fabrics. Always follow the manufacturers guidelines carefully.
  • All pets bedding should be cleaned on a high temperature wash and the use of a vacuum cleaner may assist the treatment by physically removing eggs and adult fleas from floors and furnishings. The vacuum bag contents should be quickly disposed of carefully.
  • You can also buy a flea collar for your pet to wear following treatment.

If you have a flea infestation which you are having difficulties controlling we can provide a pest control service to treat your property. For further information please see our pest control service costs. To arrange a pest control treatment please complete the online pest treatment form or contact our customer service centre on 01395 571517.