How to get rid of fleas – Permanently! There are over seventy to eighty species of fleas in United States, the cat flea & the dog flea being the most common. They are black or sometimes brown in colour & about 1-6mm in length. In Sydney, cat fleas are much more common, which are found upon dogs and cats. “Grass Fleas” & “Sand Fleas” A common urban myth is that there are ‘sand fleas’ and ‘grass fleas’. All fleas live off hosts, and could not survive just living in grass or sand without a host. The real culprits are cat fleas lying in these places after their pet has shaken off onto the ground. The best way to get rid of fleas is to regularly wash your pets in a safe, residual flea shampoo. Regular vacuuming flea-infested areas helps, but in most case of heavy infestations, you will need to get in a professional pest control firm. What are fleas? Fleas are jumping insects without any wings. They have flattened body, with hooks on their hairy legs so that they can slip through & grip onto their human and animal hosts. Their powerful hind-legs have resilin which is like rubber in their joints. All they have to do to get around is compress these legs & quickly release them. Using this method, they can jump up to 20cms and up to 35cm horizontally. This is over 150 times their body length! A person with the same jumping power could jump on top of Ayres Rock! FLEA LIFE CYCLE: Female fleas may lay up to around 25 eggs daily, & have over 800 offspring in a lifetime. Their eggs will hatch between five & fourteen days & then becoming larvae. The larvae are blind & also leg-less. They feed upon dried blood from the host & other organic matter such as dried skin. After another two to three weeks, the larvae will be fully grown, & and will then become pupae. How they will greet you after you return from holidays! Whenever vibrations or even heat is sensed, the pupa will emerge as an adult and begin biting and feeding off the host. This may take from two or three weeks, or in rare cases over a year. This is why after you return from holidays & enter your home, you are suddenly bitten by large amounts of fleas. Sound familiar? HOW TO GET RID OF FLEAS PERMANENTLY Toronto Fleas are firstly controlled by shampooing your pet with a safe, residual insecticide. Your vet may have recommended a very safe insecticide called pyrethrin, but this will only last a day or so. The shampoos we recommend contain “Permethrin”, which are technically called a synthetic pyrethroid. There will last a lot longer and aren’t as dangerous and smelly as are other Organo-phosphates such as Diazinon & Maldison. Tip: Look at the active ingredients section at the front of the bottle or can. Always follow the application and safety directions on any flea pest control product. We recommend that you shampoo your pets every 2 weeks in the summertime and about every month in winter. Preparing your home for flea treatment On the day of treatment, these things should be done before the flea pest control firm gets there: 1. Remove all children & pets from the areas about to be sprayed 2. To get the maximum benefit of the treatment, remove all objects from the floor & lawn areas 3. We cannot spray long grass, as it will not get to the ground area that needs to be treated. Mow lawns & hose dry areas to get the eggs to the surface. This will also help keep the evaporating effect of the insecticide down. 4. Vacuuming all floor areas and carpet, especially skirting boards & under furniture & cushions. Vacuum bags can be discarded or sprayed with common fly spray in order to kill any adult fleas captured within the bag. 5. BLOCK OFF AREAS FROM ENTRY BY PETS This is vital for long-term protection. If your pet is going under the house carrying fleas, these will be dropped into the soil. We cannot flood the area to get to where they are breeding, as the amount of pesticide that is need would be dangerous to your pet and to yourself. So the answer to permanent flea relief is to block entry permanently so that your pet cannot enter. I’m sorry, but that is the ONLY answer. Otherwise it will be an endless cycle of fleas being killed outside, and being picked up again when your pet goes underneath your house. 6. The bedding of your pets is to be thoroughly washed or thrown away prior to treatment 7. An Insect Growth Regulator (or I.G.R.) may also be used in tablets which are added to your pet’s food. You can get I.G.R.s from your vet. A common trade names are called “Programme” or “Pro-ban.” 8. After treatment your pet should be washed again ASAP after the treatment with shampoo or a residual flea powder. If your flea infestation is really bad, you will need to call Toronto pest control services like Positec Pest Control for adequate removal.