Fleas

Bradford Council offers a flea control service for domestic customers at a cost of £91.20 (includes £15.20 VAT).

Properties must be prepared beforehand. Treatment is usually completed in one visit. If the infestation is still present one month after treatment then re-treatment is free of charge.

Why are fleas a pest?

Fleas bite humans and animals causing itchy red lumps. Fleas can spread diseases in humans and animals. Scratching flea bites can lead to infection.

Fleas are parasitic insects and different species live on particular animals, for example cat fleas live on cats. The human flea is very rare in the UK due to improved hygiene and standards of living. Surveys have shown that most fleas found in the home are cat fleas.

Fleas are visible to the naked eye and are reddish in colour. They are recognisable by their extremely long hind legs and flattened shape. This allows them to move quickly through hairs.

Infestations spread quickly because a female can lay up to 50 eggs a day. Most eggs will fall off the pet and hatch wherever they are in the house, usually where the pet sleeps. Only a small number of the flea population in a house will be on the animal at a given time.

Flea eggs can lie dormant for long periods of time but will be stimulated and hatch when exposed to vibration and heat. When this happens an adult flea will emerge and seek food (often your ankle). This is why people get flea bites when they move in to a property that has been vacant for some time.

Signs of fleas

Signs of fleas are very distinctive. If you have an infestation of fleas you may have some of the following problems:

  • Flea bites - swollen itching spots with a single puncture point at the centre. They are usually found where clothes are in close contact with the body, for example ankles
  • Bites often appear in clusters or lines of two bites and can remain itchy and inflamed for up to several weeks
  • Pets scratching more than usual and on inspection, you may find fleas 
  • Sightings of fleas in your home, on yourself or on your pets

How to prevent an infestation

Prevention tips:

  • Treat your pets regularly for fleas. Products can be bought from across the counter at pharmacies and vets can prescribe and advise on treatments
  • Vacuum clean living areas including furniture and where animals sleep on a regular basis. Empty the contents or bag into an outside bin
  • Regularly hot wash bedding and animal bedding

How to treat an infestation

If you find fleas in your home you may be able to eradicate the infestation yourself using flea-specific insecticide (poison). You can purchase this either from your local vet or DIY centre. The insecticide is usually an aerosol.

Useful tips

Before using insecticide:

  • Treat all house animals before using the insecticide (see above)
  • Keep floors, especially carpeted areas clear
  • Pack food and pet food away
  • Vacuum all affected areas thoroughly, including cracks, crevices and the edge of carpets, and dispose of the contents into an outside bin. This stimulates eggs/fleas and will help the treatment work better

Using insecticide:

  • Always read and follow the product instructions
  • Spray the floors, carpets and underneath furniture. Never spray anything that comes into direct contact with human skin, for example, bedding or seating
  • Start spraying from the corner furthest from the door and cover all of the floor evenly

After using insecticide do not vacuum for ten days or more if possible. This will allow the insecticide to continue working on any hatching eggs or remaining fleas.

For further information or to book a treatment by a qualified and experienced pest control officer please Bradford Council’s Pest Control Service.

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Contact details

Environmental Health
Britannia House
Bradford
BD1 1HX

Phone : 01274 433926

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Council Switchboard : 01274 432111

Council Address : Britannia House, Hall Ings, Bradford BD1 1HX


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