Don’t let fleas take over your home! Early detection is vital when it comes to flea infestations. These tiny blood-sucking parasites reproduce rapidly, and a small problem can quickly spiral out of control. Fleas lay around 1500 eggs, so it only takes one egg-bound female flea to get into your home to infest it in only a few weeks. With our experience as a certified professional exterminator company, we at Toxic Respond are here to help you identify the signs of a flea infestation in your home.

Recognise the Signs of a Flea Infestation

Types of Fleas That Invade London Homes

While there are over 60 flea species in Britain, most household infestations involve the cat flea and, to a lesser extent, the dog flea. These resilient parasites prefer feline and canine hosts, respectively. When their preferred host is unavailable, fleas feed on humans and other warm-blooded animals. Though central heating, regular vacuuming, and pet hygiene practices make flea infestations less common than in the past, these pests can still be a nuisance in London homes.
Read also: What do fleas look like?

The Tell-Tale Signs of Fleas

Although you often find fleas on pets during an infestation or may see one on your clothing, these fleas only move out of their hiding spots to feed. They do not live on the host animal all the time. If you suspect a flea infestation, be on the lookout for these signs:

  • Constant scratching, licking, or biting by your pets: Excessive grooming is a classic sign of flea irritation. Fleas often target areas like the base of the tail, the back legs, and around the neck.
  • Fleas or flea droppings: You can find them in your pet’s fur, bedding, and on your furniture. These droppings resemble tiny black specks, often called “flea dirt.” Place a damp paper towel on your pet’s fur and gently rub it to confirm your suspicions. If the black specks turn reddish-brown, it’s flea dirt.
  • Flea bites on humans: Flea bites typically appear as small, red bumps, often clustered around the ankles and legs. They can also be in your arms if you are used to holding or cuddling your pet.
  • Live fleas on soft furnishings: If you see fleas jumping around on your carpets, furniture, or pet bedding, it’s a sure sign of an active infestation.
  • Finding flea eggs: Flea eggs are tiny, white, and oval-shaped. They’re often seen on your pet’s fur and bedding, as well as on carpets and upholstery.
  • Tapeworms in pet faeces: Fleas can transmit tapeworms to pets. If you notice these small, segmented worms in your pet’s stool, consult your veterinarian.
  • Anaemia in pets: Severe flea infestations can lead to anaemia, especially in young or elderly pets. Symptoms include lethargy, pale gums, and weakness.
  • Allergic reactions: Some pets develop allergic reactions to flea bites, leading to excessive scratching, skin inflammation, and hair loss. When bitten, humans are also prone to allergic reactions, and the most common symptom is inflamed skin.
  • Dermatitis in pets: Flea bites can trigger dermatitis, a skin condition characterised by redness, irritation, and scabbing.

What Flea Bites Look Like on Humans?

The itchy flea bites can be easily confused with bed bug bites. Here’s what to look for to confirm you are dealing with flea bites:

  • A small scab with a light red halo around it
  • Tiny red marks surrounding a central red spot
  • Clusters of red bites that resemble mosquito bites
  • Bites primarily on the ankles and legs

Check also: Why Do Fleas Only Bite Me?

Take in mind that flea bites are often confused with bed bug bites. A professional exterminator can help you determine what pests are biting you.

It’s Flea Season All Year Round!

Traditionally, flea season peaks during the warmer months. However, our heated homes provide the perfect conditions for these pests to thrive year-round. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for us to be called to deal with flea infestations, even in December and January. This is why staying vigilant is crucial, especially during the colder months when you might not suspect flea activity.

Man scratching from fleas

How Fleas Invade Your Home

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need pets to have a flea infestation. These unwelcome guests can enter your home in various ways:

  • On your pets: This is the most common way fleas enter homes. They can pick them up from other animals at parks, boarding facilities, or even encounters with stray animals.
  • On used furniture: Buying second-hand furniture can be a gamble. Fleas can hitch a ride on upholstered furniture or pet bedding.
  • Cracks and crevices: These pests can enter your home through tiny openings around windows, doors, and foundations.
  • Wildlife visitors: Rodents like mice and rats can carry fleas into your home. Even squirrels, rabbits, and foxes in your garden can be a source of flea infestation.

When you are outside, beware of warm and humid places where fleas like to wait for potential hosts. They can be found in trees, shrubs, and tall grass. Fleas can also inhabit wildlife living in the suburbs, such as foxes, squirrels and badgers, and your dog may be attracted to places where these animals live.

Read also: Why Do Fleas Bite Humans

What to Do if You Suspect a Flea Infestatio?

Trying to tackle a flea infestation yourself can be a losing battle. If you skip killing even one female flea, the cycle starts again. That’s why treating only your pets won’t solve the problem.

If you notice any of the signs of a flea infestation, don’t hesitate to contact Toxic Respond for an effective flea treatment. We use effective products and equipment that eliminate all flea life cycle stages, from eggs to adults. With our expertise in identifying the source of the infestation, we can help you prevent future problems.