Cat Flea

Insect Control: How to Get Rid of Fleas

The key to eliminating fleas is vacuuming every other day, more if possible. Fleas are drawn out of their pupae stage by vibration as well as carbon dioxide emissions. Any animals living in the home must be treated with a flea bath and, preferably, Advantage or Revolution, available at a veterinarian’s office. Both of these treatments contain an insect growth regulator, or IGR, which, essentially, keeps the flea in whatever stage they are in when they come into contact with the IGR. They will never mature into adult fleas. The adults will be taken care of by the flea bath or by the residual treatment.

The treatment consists of a residual insecticide and the use of an insect growth regulator. Two treatments, approximately 21 days apart are required for fleas.

How to Identify a Flea Infestation

  • Fleas are shiny and dark brown or reddish in colour
  • They are covered with microscopic hair and have flat bodies to allow for easy movement through animal fur
  • They are 1 to 4mm long
  • A common indication of fleas is pets that repeatedly scratch and groom themselves
  • Flea dirt, the adult flea feces, can also indicate active fleas. Flea dirt looks similar to coarse ground black pepper and may be found in pet beds, carpets, rugs and other areas where the animal host rests

How to Prevent a Flea Infestation

  • Inspect your pets regularly
  • Mow and rake your lawn regularly to discourage animals that may carry fleas
  • Cover sandboxes when they aren’t being used
  • You can prevent your pet from getting fleas by using pest control products made for pets

Possible Health Concerns

  • Some people and animals get an allergic reaction to flea saliva, which creates a rash
  • Flea bites often appear in clusters or lines. They can be itchy and inflamed for up to several weeks
  • Fleas can transmit parasites like tapeworms and diseases like typhus

About Fleas

  • The most common type of flea in our area is the cat flea. Although called the cat flea, it can also live off the blood meal of dogs and humans
  • Fleas are very tiny and have the ability to jump extreme distances. They can also live for long periods of time in unfavourable conditions
  • Fleas are small, parasitic insects that feed by sucking blood from mammals and birds. While immature fleas do not bite, adult fleas usually feed several times a day
  • In most parts of Canada, the peak flea season is early August to early October