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Fleas are common parasites that feed off of blood, particularly that of animals like cats and dogs. They can also end up on your property by hitching rides on rabbits, foxes, birdsratsmice or others.

Fleas are wingless insects that are extremely agile. Though they can’t fly, they are outstanding jumpers. In fact, fleas are one of the longest jumpers in relation to their size in the entire animal kingdom. This jumping ability allows them to transfer from one host to another rather easily, including from pets to humans.

Flea bites can leave behind itchy red bumps that look and feel similar to mosquito bites. They are more than a nuisance, however, as several diseases have been linked to flea bites. This is why fleas need to be dealt with by a professional like those at Rentokil.

We know how to get rid of fleas from your business. Give us a call at 1-855-633-6260.

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Types of fleas

Most types of flea are categorized by the type of host that they prefer. There are around 2,000 flea species throughout the world and each normally prefers a very specific host.

Here are the most common species of flea in North America:

  • Cat flea - small, flat and brownish and prefer feline hosts, but can be found on some other hosts, as well. They cannot live entirely on human blood, so will often drop off of human hosts fairly quickly.
  • Dog flea - tiny insects, also with flat bodies, and are black in color. They have bristles that allow them to hang on to dog fur even when grooming is occurring.
  • Bird flea - also known as a hen flea. These prefer chickens and can infest an entire henhouse very quickly.

Diseases associated with fleas

Numerous diseases have been attributed to fleas. This comes from the fact that fleas drink blood, which can transfer diseases from host to host. Their saliva can also carry bacteria.

Some diseases associated with flea bites include:

  • Murine or endemic typhus - a bacteria that can infect humans and is transmitted by fleas who have been drinking blood from rodents.

  • Bubonic Plague - the Black Death from the Middle Ages was transmitted to people from fleas that had been feasting on infected rats.

  • Tularemia - another serious disease that is transmitted via fleas that eat blood from rodents (e.g. mice).

Signs of fleas

If you are concerned about fleas in your business, look for these signs:

Actual fleas
If there are animals such as cats and dogs on the property, check their hindquarters and neck for fleas crawling on their coat. They are normally reddish-brown and about 2mm long.

Flea dirt
Check animals’ skin for fine black droppings. This is ‘flea dirt’ or adult flea feces 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. You may also find it on pet bedding, carpets or rugs.

Looking for flea eggs

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

Fleas will lay their eggs on animals' bodies, 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.

Flea prevention

There are ways to prevent fleas from returning to your business, and our certified flea control and flea prevention experts can give you valuable advice to stop further infestations.

Some things to remember:

  • Keep pets groomed and cleaned
  • Clean and vacuum your carpets, rugs and furniture often
  • Try to keep wildlife that could have fleas away from your business
  • Stay away from areas known to house fleas

Flea treatments

We use the latest flea treatments available to remove and control fleas in your business. The treatments vary, depending on the size of the infestation and other factors, but could include application of treatments around the exterior of the building, spot treatment inside and even fumigation.

The size of the infestation and the type of fleas involved can determine the treatment method. Rentokil works with you to find the most reliable and efficient treatments for your business that will cause as little disruption as possible to your staff and customers.

Our experts understand the habits of different types of flea species and can offer the most appropriate and effective solution. Call Rentokil free at 1-855-633-6260 and we’ll arrange an appointment to get rid of fleas from your property.

Fleas can be transported on rodents like mice and rats, learn more about Rentokil's rodent control for your business here:

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