They’re only tiny, but the mere mention of fleas is enough to make most people’s skin crawl.
Fleas are prevalent during the warmer months of the year because they mature much faster.
According to Professor Jan Slapeta, senior lecturer in veterinary parasitology at the University of Sydney and flea expert: "Eggs, larvae and pupae love warmth — so a heatwave of 30 degrees Celsius and above is much appreciated by the fleas."
"Under average conditions the flea development from egg to an adult takes about two months, under summer 'heatwave' conditions this time can be reduced to about three weeks," she said.
According to Professor Slapeta, it could take at least three months to get rid of an infestation because of the long life cycle of the flea.
The best treatment is a multi-faceted approach, and you will get the best results if you treat your pet and home at the same time.
First, thoroughly and vigorously vacuum your home, focusing on carpet, rugs, upholstered furniture, small crevices and cracks in floorboards. This will get rid of adult fleas, but also their eggs and larvae.
Next, go outside and carefully empty your vacuum cleaner into a plastic bag and seal it before placing in the bin.
Wash your pet’s bedding at 50 degrees celcius or above, and groom your pet with a flea comb. This will remove existing fleas, eggs and larvae. Do this regularly – at least once a week. Talk to your vet about the appropriate flea treatment and preventative for your pet.
To ensure the flea infestation is gone, contact a pest removal expert for professional treatment.
Alternately, you could try a natural method to get rid of the fleas.
Salt is the simplest and cheapest home remedy for fleas. First, add fine table salt to a mug of water and mix well. Next, thoroughly sprinkle the salt water around your home, concentrating on small cracks and crevices. Repeat this process, then vacuum your home thoroughly. Repeat every day until you get rid of the flea infestation.
If the fleas keep coming back, contact a pest control expert for professional treatment.