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How to Identify Signs of Fleas

Your cat or dog looks to be in some discomfort and is constantly scratching or biting their fur.  Is it a skin infection or could it be fleas feeding? But what do fleas look like? Before you take your pet to the vet there are a couple of ways to check if you have fleas in the home.

Signs of Fleas

If you are concerned about fleas, you can look for these signs:
  • Can you see fleas crawling on your pet’s coat? They are normally reddish-brown and about 2mm long.

  • Check the hind-quarters of your dog or the head and neck of your cat. These are the areas that are targeted and where you might see signs of flea activity.

  • Carefully look at your pet’s skin for fine black droppings. This is ‘flea dirt’ or adult flea faeces and looks like ground black pepper. A good way to spot it is to use a flea comb over a sheet of white paper, which makes it easier to see the small black specks.

  • Another sign of a problem is flea dirt on pet bedding, carpets or rugs.

If you have spotted any of these signs call Rentokil free on 0861 117 852, or businesses can call on 0861 117 851 (Monday – Friday) to arrange an appointment.

Looking for Flea Eggs

Sometimes it’s easy to think you’ve got rid of the fleas in your home when you haven’t. This is because flea eggs are very difficult to spot.

Fleas will lay their eggs on your pet’s body. But they won’t stay there. Eggs easily fall off and can become hidden in carpets, rugs, bedding or gaps between floorboards. Flea eggs are tiny (only about 0.5mm long), oval and white. This makes them almost impossible to see against rough surfaces and materials.

Need help with treating fleas?

If fleas keep coming back, or you want to make sure they are eliminated first time, just get in touch with our experts.

Call Rentokil free on 0861 117 852 to arrange an appointment to get rid of fleas in your home or business.

Flea bites

While flea bites on people can cause distress, your pets often suffer much more. You may notice your dog or cat scratch frantically trying to bite the fleas in their fur.

A flea bite is not particularly painful, but you will often be aware as soon as you have been bitten. You may develop some itchiness around the bite though, which could become uncomfortable, depending on your sensitivity.

How to identify flea bites

What do flea bites look like? Given their small size, flea bites often appear as tiny red spots on the skin.

As with other insect bites, it is often difficult to identify fleas just by looking at your bites.

You should consider other factors, which may help to identify your insect problem.

  • How to find bites? - Look for tiny dark spots, surrounded by a reddened area with much less swelling around the bite than with other insect bites.
  • Where do bites occur? - Common areas to receive flea bites are on feet or lower legs. Cat or dog fleas will jump from pets, carpets, bedding or furnishings to feed.
  • Immediate awareness - A flea bite is usually felt immediately, with a single flea often biting two or three times in the same area.
  • No initial pain - The actual bite does not really hurt. It is the itchiness that results from the body’s reaction that causes the discomfort.
  • Who is at risk? - Infants are at a higher risk from being bitten by fleas, particularly when playing on the floor, especially carpeted areas and or on rugs. Children also tend to be more sensitive than adults to being bitten.

You should consult a pharmacist for advice and treatment if you develop an itchy rash or eczema. These are common symptoms of an allergic reaction to flea bites.

We also advise you to consult your vet if there are any signs of irritation such as reddening of the skin or there are any thin patches in your pet’s coat.

Are you worried about bites?

Call Rentokil free on 0861 117 852 if you are worried about fleas in your home or on 0861 117 851 for your business.

Using professional products, our expert technicians can help to quickly get rid of fleas, whilst ensuring the safety of your family and pets.

Preventing flea problems

Nobody wants an infestation of these nasty little creatures. The best way to prevent fleas is to take some simple precautions.

Pets are the main source of fleas in the home.

Flea Prevention Tips

  • Vacuum regularly.

  • Wash pet bedding weekly, ideally at above 50°C.

  • Other wildlife such as wild cats, foxes, rabbits and rodents also carry fleas - when your pets are outside they can easily pick up these fleas and bring them back, so check them regularly using flea combs.

  • Larvae feed on organic matter in carpets, bedding & furnishings. You need to try and remove any potential food supply to prevent fleas.

  • When moving into a new home inspect carpets and flooring carefully for signs of eggs or ‘flea dirt’. If the previous owners had pets the flea larvae might be waiting for you.

The Trouble with Fleas are...

  • Flea cocoons can remain dormant for two years. They only hatch when conditions are right
  • Flea eggs are tiny (approx. 0.5mm long), oval and white. They are almost impossible to see against rough surfaces like carpets, rugs and pet bedding
  • A flea’s lifecycle can be anything from two weeks to about eight months
  • Fleas can breed quickly. This makes it difficult to prevent fleas completely without professional help

Our expert, local certified technicians know exactly what to do when it comes to getting rid of fleas. They understand the habits of different types of flea and can offer the most appropriate and effective solution. It goes without saying that all treatments used are safe for your family and your pets.

Do you need expert treatments from Rentokil?

If you have a flea problem you can’t get on top of you can get in touch with us for a fast, effective solution.

Call Rentokil free on 0861 117 852 to arrange an appointment. We’ll help you to get rid of fleas in your home and prevent fleas in the future.


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