The colder days are here which means darker days, snugglier nights, and, of course, turning on the heating.
While warming your home is undoubtedly needed as the temperature drops, it also makes your residence far more attractive to all sorts of creepy crawlies including, unfortunately for all of us with fluffy friends, fleas.
So, how do we get ahead of these annoying little critters?
The early warning signs of fleas in the home
According to Online-Bedrooms.co.uk, “as we get further into the autumn season we want to warn people not to be surprised if their homes are invaded by packs of fleas”.
Here are some of the signs they urge people to look for:
Itchy, red bumps
According to NHS Inform, there can be a wide range of causes for itchy skin but if you notice that you’ve got red, itchy bumps forming on your skin, these could be a result of flea bites. Sorry.
Your pet is scratching excessively
Lots of animals really do enjoy a good old scratch from time to time, but if you notice your pet is itching more than usual, examine their fur closely and be sure to take their collar off for a thorough check.
Unfamiliar dark speckles on the carpet
If you have a light-coloured carpet and have started noticing more dark speckles on it, this could be because fleas have attached themselves to the fibres and buried themselves into the carpet material.
Tiny white eggs dotted around the home
Keep an eye out for tiny white flea eggs dotted around the home and if you see flea larvae, there are likely newly-hatched eggs nearby.
Your pet is avoiding their bed
Most pet owners know the ordeal of getting their pet a lovely, soft bed – only for their four-legged friend to take a liking to the cardboard box it arrived in. But if your pet has a preferred bed that they’re now avoiding, it could be because fleas have attached themselves to it, making it uncomfortable.
Red splashes on bedding
If you weren’t alarmed by random red splashes on your bedding before (why not?!), the experts warn that these could be blood splatters from fleas being squished, suggesting your bed is harbouring the critters.
Those flies you keep seeing? They could be fleas
Though they’re quite tiny, jumping fleas can be easier to spot than standard fleas because, well, they jump. If you frequently see black spots leaping in the air, these may not be flies but instead fleas.
Your pet has bald patches
If your pet has patches of missing fur and bald spots, it could be an indicator that fleas have latched onto them, as excessive scratching causes fur loss. Use a fine comb through their fur to detect other signs of fleas.
How to get rid of fleas in the home
According to the RSPCA, if your home appears to have fleas, you should ensure that your pets are regularly treated for them; vacuum (or even steam clean) your furniture and floors, paying close attention to any cracks, gaps or skirting boards; and wash yours (and your pet’s) bedding on a hot wash.