Getting rid of fleas

Although not all people are affected by flea bites, they can cause severe irritation. Please make sure you regularly treat your cats and dogs for fleas, as these can be the most common cause of infestations.

Report this pest

If you need help and advice regarding your pets and fleas, please check with your vet or the PDSA.

What do they look like?

Adult fleas are normally 1-4mm long, brownish in colour, without wings but with powerful legs adapted for jumping and piercing, sucking mouthparts. Their bodies are covered with backward projecting spines that help them move between the hairs on the host animal. Cat and dog fleas are usually found together and are similar in appearance. Female fleas can live up to two years, during which time they can lay up to 1000 eggs each. The female cat flea’s head is twice as long as it is wide. Both cat and dog fleas have a row of very heavy spines on the front of the head and on the back part of the first body segment. Cat and dog flea larvae are ¼inch long when fully developed and look much like fly maggots. They have 13 body segments, are a dirty-white colour with backward projecting hairs on each body segment. They also have a pair of hook-like appendages on the last abdominal segment.

Where do they live?

Adult fleas live exclusively as parasites of warm-blooded animals. The females lay their eggs close to or on the infested animal. Wall–to-wall carpeting and soft furnishings also provide a relatively undisturbed environment for fleas to develop. They can also live in cracks and crevices in bare floors.

What do they eat?

Larvae feed on debris and adult flea droppings. Adult fleas feed solely on blood with their piercing and sucking mouthparts. Cat and dog fleas prefer feeding on cats and dogs, but also feed on humans. The females lay four to eight eggs after each blood meal. The eggs fall into the nest of the host animal or wherever the animal happens to be at that time. The eggs hatch in about 10 days.

How much of a pest are they?

Fleas are not thought to transmit any serious illness to humans.

Flea bites

Although not all people are affected by flea bites, they can cause severe irritation.

How can I get rid of pests?

Newcastle City Council provides a pest control service for the treatment of fleas when they are in your home or business premises, In many cases, treatment may take up to an hour and involve the application of industrial insecticide/pesticide which take effect gradually.  You will need to make sure the treatment area is vacuumed and cleared of soft furnishings and belongings. You may not be able to return to treated rooms for up to 4 hours. The pest control operative will tell you what has been done.

Please make sure you regularly treat your cats and dogs for fleas.

If you do attempt treatment yourself, when using pesticides always follow the instructions on the label.

Did you know?

Pest Control Charges at a Glance. These are for private, domestic properties.
Type of Pest Typical number of treatments per charge Charge
Wasps 1 - please note that we do not remove nests (includes a non-refundable call out charge) £68.40
Mice up to 3 £84.00
Rats up to 3 £84.00
Bed Bugs to be agreed with YHN YHN only
Cockroaches up to 3 £124.00
Fleas 1 £68.40
Beetles 1 £68.40
Ants 1 £68.00
Flies 1 £68.40
Mites 1 (includes a non-refundable call out charge) £68.40
Silverfish 1 £68.40
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