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What Are Cat Fleas?
A Cats Fleas are distinctive from other insects in a number of key ways - Cat fleas are quite small, flattened insects that are a few millimetres long, appearing brown in colour especially once fed when they become a richer mahogany shade. In terms of size they are about 1.5 - 2mm long with backward facing hairs that allow them to move easily through the victims (hosts) hair where they feed on the hosts blood. The other significant features are the incredible jumping range and a distinctive dark brown to black eye on the head.
In the picture above you can clearly see the powerful rear legs and claws on the ends of the legs for grasping the hosts flesh, ensuring they have a firm purchase whilst they feed.
Why Should I treat Cat Fleas?
Cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis) are the most abundant species of flea in the UK and this fleas bite is the very least of your worries. These insects might simply feed on your blood, but the reaction some of us have to the substances in the fleas saliva often cause us to scratch the bite site, causing the skin to scab over, and infected skin lesions to form and permanent scarring as a direct consequence.
So this makes sense so far but what happens if you swallow a flea? Probably nothing - but suppose you are a child and your digestive system is not so robust as a healthy adult - guess what's coming in with the infected flea? You likely thought disease, but it's the developing stages of an 18inch long tape worm called a cucumber worm (Dipylidium caninum).
Freaked out yet, you should be. Fleas have some amazing traits but they always come with a warning, because it's often the children or other vulnerable people in your home that are at the greatest risk from flea borne parasitic, viral and bacterial infection. Infection is not common, but becomes more likely in premises were fleas are only partially controlled if at all.
Partial control is a very common problem and the costs of doing a little every so often, very often heavily surpasses the costs of a professional treatment like ours that uses the very best approach with the very safest and advanced control methodology.
Pest Control Treatments For Cat Fleas
Large Cat Flea infestations quickly develop whilst your home is empty and we get called to customers every year who have returned home after a trip to become covered in pepper from the carpet or in other words hundreds of fleas all emerging from the floors etc simultaneously.
The flea's astonishing ability to jump 100 times its own height, allows it to easily make it onto a passing host (you or your pet cat). What's interesting is they only jump when it's light.
What you will see when they get onto you is they quickly crawl up your legs and get under your clothing to feed. If you have a car then the fleas can infest your car and being in a confined space with fleas means you will wake the next day to find dozens of flea bites on your legs. You can't see the fleas feeding on you when you are driving!
What Pest Control Treatments Can Be Used?
You can spend hundreds of pounds on ineffective amateur treatments or you can bring in experts like us and do it properly ONCE!
Fumigation or ULV treatment offers a very quick knock-down of adult fleas, but offers virtually no residual control, so you pay to "control fleas in the moment" and nothing more. This is because it does little to disrupt the fleas life-cycle. What is good is that it penetrates most of the nooks and crannies that are commonly found in homes and will get into all the hard to reach areas in cluttered rooms.
Residual spray - this kills some fleas quickly but can't be used on delicate materials especially those that will be damaged by water. The spray should contain a residual insecticide that will provide killing power for months and should also contain an IGR (Insect Growth Regulator) to break the flea life-cycle.
In short - if you use one method it is a toss-up between temporary relief or prolonged suffering for about four weeks.
But if you want it sorted fast then you need to employ the combined power of both.
The products you can buy in the shops can have some effect but in general are a sorry match for the for large infestations that are only quickly taken care of by integrated methods that include both fumigation and residual sprays.