Flea pest control

Fleas can be an issue in every home or office. Whether it is home to cats, birds, dogs or people, fleas are not particular where they will get a blood feed from and they can affect clean and well maintained premises.

Wooden flooring can harbours fleas, larvae and eggs as will carpets and furniture including lounge suites and mattresses.

The life cycle

It is important to understand the flea lifecycle in order to obtain good control of this pest and to be aware of limitations some treatment methods will have.

The adult flea

The Flea Adult is the only Lifecycle stage which feeds on blood. When someone is experiencing flea bites in the home or workplace, it is obvious there are Adult Fleas present. Immediately after a flea has completed a blood feed from the host, it will utilise the nutrients and begin laying eggs. This will occur very quickly the Flea will lay many eggs at one time. A couple of thousand Flea eggs may be laid by a single flea in the full course of its life!

The flea egg

Flea Eggs are smooth and white. A flea can lay about 50 a day after a blood feed. Following gestation an egg will hatch into larvae in less than one week.

The Flea larvae

The Flea maggot is very small and difficult to see. They will not be obvious usually as they will remain out of sight, hidden in crevices between floor boards, carpet edges, vinyl seams and edges and mattress and furniture folds. Larvae feed of flea faeces and other biological matter.

The final larvae stage of the Flea is the Pupae. A highly protective cocoon in which the adult flea emerges when disturbed. Vibration or heat can signal the flea to emerge and jump on to its first host. This can occur any time after a week in the cocoon! However fleas can lay dormant in this pupae stage for up to a year if undisturbed such as in a vacant house of building.

Fun Facts

Flea control products such as broad spectrum pyrethroids, organic phosphates and carbamates all which are frequently used for flea control, only kill adult fleas. This is why often there is a dead zone for a couple of weeks before activity can start again after the first treatment.

Insecticides cannot control the larvae, eggs or pupae stage.

Because adult fleas only make up 5% of the total flea population, larvae and eggs making up for the other 95%, insecticide sprays will kill not much more than 5% of the entire population, leaving the eggs and larvae to continue to morph eventually into adult fleas.

Flea treatment methods

Knock down residual spraying. This is the most common control method for fleas used by exterminators in Auckland. It is the most cost effective, simple and in cases where the lifecycle population has not progressed too far, then this method is usually quite fast acting often resulting in immediate success whilst some more persistent cases can take weeks for control to be achieved.

In cases where this method is employed, it is important to refrain from vacuuming or washing floors post treatment for up to a week. The more floor space and furniture that can be treated, the faster results will be achieved.

The steam extraction method. Cleaning the carpets and upholstery is a great way to reduce the flea population very effectively. Not only does this method remove biological matter sustaining and feeding the larvae, but flea eggs are quite smooth and easily lifted from carpet fibres and fabrics. Flea larvae are sensitive to heat and also are extracted and removed during a steam clean as are the pupae. Since 95% of Flea population is made up of larvae and eggs, the steam cleaning method actually initially controls much more flea life cycle then insecticides. This method is suitable when the population is quite persistent and fleas may have been left untreated or dormant for some time, sometimes several months. In combination with an insecticide or larvae control applied post cleaning, this can decrease time to gain control greatly.

Low toxicity knock down and life cycle inhibitor. Low toxicity knock down treatments and life cycle interrupters are gaining traction as a preferred method among consumers and managers. Utilising solutions which are safer for Children, pets and staff are attractive in an environment where health and safety takes precedence and science is enabling excellent results. EcoSan utilises a combination of low toxicity solution and hormone interrupter which kills adult fleas and ensuring larvae morphing into blood feeding adults is not possible in treated areas. This method is EcoSans prefered flea control product at present.

Residual antibiotic. These treatments more commonly applied in other countries are underrated in New Zealand. There capacity to kill adult flea and flea larvae means a treatment with these solutions can wipe out at least 50% of flea population immediately after treatment. Since eggs have several morphs before reaching adult stage it is very unlikely they will survive that long in a treatment zone. Active residual can last 6 months in good conditions which is sufficient to control adult fleas hatching from pupae. This method uses no insecticide and is considered more user friendly.

Call us now for a free quote and we will explain all the finer details of the service which we guarantee will give leave your site flea and pest free.

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