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Fleas are parasites that will bite and draw blood from a host, leaving them itchy and extremely uncomfortable.

An infestation of these unwelcome insects in your home can really make your skin crawl, as well as pestering your furry family member.

Effective flea control involves treating not only your pet, but all other areas of your home or business where fleas or eggs may be hiding, as part of an integrated pest management plan.

Fleas commonly found in the Canberra ACT Area

There are over 2000 species of fleas in the world, but the ones most likely to invade your home is the cat flea – even if you only have a dog!

At Canberra Pest Control, we exterminate all types of fleas in the Canberra, ACT and local NSW surrounding areas. This handy guide will help you recognise the species that are likely to be found in Canberra and which species are living in your home.
Cat Flea (Ctenocephalides Felis)

The most common species of flea worldwide, this parasite is typically found on (you guessed it) domestic cats, but it will also frequently infect dogs and other mammals.

Although cat fleas are capable of biting humans, fortunately they cannot take us as a host, so any live fleas will die if there are no pets living in the area.

Photo of a Cat Flea

Colour

Reddish-brown, but can become a darker red after a blood meal.

Size

Adult cat fleas grow from 1 to 3 millimetres in length. They are are laterally flat insects with long, elastic legs that enable them to jump up to 35 cm in length – that’s around 150 times their own body length!

Habitat

While they prefer domestic cats, cat fleas will take other mammals as hosts, such as dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, etc. Cat fleas can bite humans, but they don’t often take humans as hosts because they cannot survive on human blood alone.

Lifecycle

Cat fleas lay their eggs on the host animal, which then slide off into the bedding or rest areas of the animal. It is here, in the cat’s bed (or favourite part of the sofa) that the eggs mature to larvae, pupae and eventually, adult fleas. Cat flea eggs can remain unhatched in furniture or carpet for long periods of time until the conditions are right for hatching. Pupae fleas are awakened from their cocoon by vibrations, heat and noise, so they often mature and become very active just after you’ve moved into a new place. The new adult fleas will jump onto a host as soon as it comes near, then begin biting within minutes.

Get rid of fleas in Canberra now!

Call 6242 7779 or request a call back!

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Dog Flea (Ctenocephalides Canis)

As the name suggests, they are most commonly found on dogs.

Dog fleas can also bite and live on other mammals, including humans, when there are no dogs around.

Photo of a Dog Flea

Colour

Brownish black, but can become reddish black after a blood meal.

Size

Adult dog fleas grow from 1 to 4 millimetres in length. They are are laterally flat insects with long, elastic legs that enable them to jump up to 35 cm in length – that’s around 150 times their own body length!

Habitat

Dogs are almost as likely to have cat fleas as dog fleas. Like cat fleas, dog fleas do not exclusively prey on their namesake, choosing a variety of other mammals when dogs are not available. Fleas can bite humans, but they don’t often take humans as hosts because they cannot survive on human blood alone. Adult dog fleas can be particularly troublesome because they can live for months without food, laying thousands of eggs in your carpet and furniture.

Lifecycle

Dog fleas lay their eggs on the host animal, which then slide off into the bedding or rest areas of the animal. It is here, in the cat’s bed (or favourite part of the sofa) that the eggs mature to larvae, pupae and eventually, adult fleas. Dog flea eggs can remain unhatched in furniture or carpet for long periods of time until the conditions are right for hatching. Pupae fleas are awakened from their cocoon by vibrations, noise and the smell of blood from potential hosts, so they often mature and become very active just after you’ve moved into a new place. The new adult fleas will jump onto a host as soon as it comes near, then begin biting within minutes.

Get rid of fleas in Canberra now!

Call 6242 7779 or request a call back!

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Human Flea (Pulex Irritans)

The human flea can be affected and transmitted by other mammals and even birds, although it prefers humans.

It is uncommonly found in Canberra, but it has been known to transmit diseases such as Typhus or other parasites like tapeworms. Dermatitis is a common side effect of a human flea infestation.

Photo of a Human Flea

Colour

Similar in appearance to the cat & dog fleas, the human flea is usually a dark brownish to reddish colour.

Size

Adult human fleas grow from 1 to 4 millimetres in length. They are are laterally flat insects with long, elastic legs that enable them to jump up to 35 cm in length – that’s around 150 times their own body length!

Habitat

Aside from humans, it can choose a variety of other animals for a host such as dogs, cats, monkeys, rodents and even birds.

Lifecycle

Human fleas lay their eggs on the host animal, which then slide off into the bedding or rest areas of the animal. It is here, in your bed or furniture that the eggs mature to larvae, pupae and eventually, adult fleas. Pupae fleas are awakened from their cocoon by vibrations, noise and the smell of blood from potential hosts, so they often mature and become very active just after you’ve moved into a new place. The new adult fleas will jump onto a host as soon as it comes near, then begin biting within minutes.

Get rid of fleas in Canberra now!

Call 6242 7779 or request a call back!

Request Call Back

Canberra Pest Control flea treatments What's Involved?

If you have fleas in Canberra, here’s what we’ll do for you...
  1. A Pre-Work Risk Assessment will be completed over the phone at the time of booking with our office staff. Details include but are not limited to: type of premises, specific requirements, instructions and risk information.
  2. If you require an End of Lease Flea Treatment, let us know in advance so we can provide you with a specific service and receipt to ensure you meet the requirements of your lease agreement.
  3. A further assessment will be conducted by your technician on site at the time of the treatment. Here we will identify the species and extent of infestation, as well as any risks involved.
  4. All carpet and floor board areas must be vacuumed thoroughly before treatment, this includes the skirting boards. Try to remove as much furniture and clutter from these areas as possible. Thoroughly wash your pet with flea treatment shampoo and then keep them away from the treatment area until we are finished. Wash or throw away all pet bedding.
  5. We will spray our specially formulated flea treatment on all carpets, skirting boards and pet living areas. In some cases, we may also need to treat underneath the house with an approved insecticide dust. All facets of Integrated Pest Managent will be considered, including the treatment of outdoor pet living areas, vacuuming the floors and washing your pet regularly.
  • Signs of a flea infestation Know where and what to look for...
  • How to prevent fleas in your home Handy tips and tricks...

Signs of a flea infestation

Signs of a flea infestation What to Look for

Fleas are tiny parasites that move quickly and can be hard to spot, so how do you know when you’ve got them? Does your dog just have a skin infection or are they being bitten? Do you know how to tell the difference between a mosquito bite and a flea bite? Here’s what to look for and where, to tell if you have a flea infestation.

Flea Dirt

Often when you’re combing your pet, you’ll see flea dirt (flea faeces) more often than the fleas themselves, as they are always crawling or jumping out of sight. Flea faeces looks like small grains of black pepper and it is often found stuck on your pet’s skin or littered about their sleeping area.

Pets Scratching

If just the thought of fleas is enough to make your head itchy, then think of your poor pet when they’re being bitten all over – no wonder they’re scratching like mad!

Bites On Humans

Flea bites come in the form of small, red and itchy papules or wheals. They will usually bite humans around the feet and lower legs, at any time of day, unlike mosquitos which usually bite after sunset and can attack any exposed part of the body. Flea bites are also smaller than mosquito bites and don’t often sting and itch straight away.

There Is Never Just ‘One Flea’

If you have seen a flea on your pet’s coat, it is very unlikely that it came without an entourage. Take a closer look – there are sure to be more. Fleas tend to attack specific areas of their hosts, so check the hind-quarters of your dog and the head and neck area of your cat.

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How to prevent fleas in your home

How to prevent fleas in your home Handy Tips & Tricks

When fleas invade your home, they are not only a pain in the neck for your pets, but for you as well. Here are some handy tips to help reclaim your home and keep fleas out for good.

Clean up

Vacuum floors and skirting boards regularly. Flea eggs will often live in carpets or in dusty or cracked floorboards while they wait to mature. Once full, place the vacuum bag in a black plastic garbage bag out in the sun or spray with regular fly spray to kill the eggs, then dispose of it outside.

Treat your pets

Treat or shampoo your pet regularly with flea treatment. Make sure you wash your pet’s bedding weekly in hot water.

Keep an eye out

Check your pet daily for adult fleas by going through their fur with a fine-toothed comb. If you find live fleas, squash them with tweezers, as their bodies are very resilient to pressure and squishing them between your fingers probably won’t kill them.

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Flea FAQs

  • Can fleas live in the carpet or furniture?

    Adult fleas need an animal host in order to survive, but flea eggs, larvae and pupae will often live and mature in the sleeping place of the host, i.e. your pet’s bedding. Immature fleas can live in the carpet or furniture for months without food, waiting for a host. Sometimes people will move into a new home, only to find out (to their horror) that it’s already occupied!

  • Can fleas live on humans?

    Some species of fleas can survive on humans, like the aptly named human flea. Other species, like the cat flea, can bite humans but must feed on cat, dog, or similar animals’ blood to survive.

  • How do I tell which kind of flea is in my house?

    The most commonly found species in Canberra are the cat flea and dog flea, so it is most likely that you have either of these. Cat fleas can live on many creatures, including dogs, so you may find that you have a cat flea infestation without ever having owned a cat. Refer to our flea identification guide to find out which species of flea you have a problem with.

  • How can I tell if I have a flea infestation?

    Even if you’ve seen just one or two fleas, it is likely only a small portion of the rest that are hiding in your home and on your pets. You should check your home or business regularly for signs of an infestation.

  • Is a flea infestation possible at my business, even if no pets live there?

    Fleas can be carried by most birds or mammals, with some species even able to survive on human hosts. In addition, flea eggs can live in carpet or furniture for months without food, waiting for a host and the right conditions to hatch. This means that it is possible to have a flea infestation without a pet.

  • In addition to pest control, what else can I do to keep fleas out of my home or business?

    There are many things you can do yourself to discourage fleas, these include simple habits like vacuuming regularly and washing your pets.

  • Is pest control safe for children and pregnant women?

    The simple answer is yes. When we use pesticides or baits, we select formulations with the lowest toxicity available & apply these products where pests breed and live, not where you can come into contact with them.

  • Is flea pest control safe for my pets?

    Yes, however we have some basic precautions you must take, including having them away at the treatment time and ensuring all food and water bowls are upturned or removed from treatment areas prior to treatment.

  • What happens if I have asthma or allergies?

    Often you may simply need to stay out of the house for a little longer than usually needed. There are however, many different products and techniques we can use to control pests. If you or any member of your family suffers from asthma or is sensitive to chemicals, please let us know, or seek medical advice.

Get rid of fleas in Canberra now!

Call 6242 7779 or request a call back!

Request Call Back

The Most Common Pests We Treat

 

5 pest special offer!

When treating for spiders, we also exterminate cockroaches, silverfish, clothes moths, earwigs & slaters at no extra cost.