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Now's the time to attack fleas

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

As any pet owner would attest to, once fleas emerge, they are tough to control. They appear to breed at an alarming rate and if left to their own devices their population increases dramatically, and pretty soon they are everywhere. This can seem like the end of the world, but with winter closing in relief is at hand.

Conquering a flea infestation is all about breaking the flea's life cycle - and winter is the perfect time to do this. Fleas are less active during colder temperatures, and low humidity levels slow their development down meaning the jump from egg to larvae to flea is slower.

A cleaning offensive and an aggressive flea treatment at this stage could just be enough to break the flea's lifecycle. You have the opportunity now to kill all of the adult fleas in your home, and thanks to their slower development, the time you need to get rid of 99% of flea eggs which typically make up 50% of the flea population (that's right, the fleas you can see are only the tip of the iceberg).

So if you're feeling up to it, here's some essential tips for conquering your flea infestation (and remember, you should still use a spot-on treatment for your pets to poison any fleas that suck their blood in winter, and for a short-term solution, flea tablets are great because they kill fleas within 20 minutes.)

  • 1.Keep your home cool

No matter how cold it gets inside your home, refrain from using your central heating. You need a cool environment to slow the flea's lifecycle down as much as possible, to give you the time you need to do a deep clean of your property. Of course, we don't want you to freeze to death, so please make sure you wrap up warm.

  • 2.Wash everything

Your clothes, your shoes, your bedding, your removable furniture coverings and especially pet baskets are going to have to be washed. We recommend washing all cotton and linen fabrics at 90 degrees for a minimum of 1 hour, which is a high enough temperature to kill eggs, larvae and fleas. For acrylics and fabrics that can't be washed at 90 degrees, we recommend that you run them on a 60 degrees wash but for longer.

  • 3.Clean and vacuum all floors (steam is your best friend)

All of the floors of your home are going to have to be cleaned and vacuumed thoroughly. If you are on a budget, you can use "Shake n' Vac" with your hoover to clean carpets but the best solution really is to hire a carpet cleaner like a Rug Doctor to lift the eggs and larvae off the carpet completely. Another effective method with carpets and hardwood floors is to vacuum thoroughly and then steam clean/ treat all carpets and rugs. A steam cleaner will kill fleas and it can also be used to clean many other areas of your home. Remember to give any cracks and crevices a particularly good going over.

  • 4.Call the professionals

berkshire pest control BBC feature

For particularly bad infestations, insecticides are going to have to be used. These need to be handled by professionals, and in addition, a second treatment with another insecticide may be needed to kill off any eggs. Please call us on 01635 250 852 to find out more about our effective flea treatments in Hungerford, Newbury, Reading, Maidenhead, Bracknell and Windsor.

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