How to fumigate for fleas

How to fumigate for fleas

No one wants fleas in their home, but once your dog or cat carries them in, it can be difficult to get rid of them. Your pet can get fleas from the outdoors or from being around other animals that have fleas. Whether you decide to attempt to control them yourself or work with a pest control company, it is crucial that the home, pet(s), and yard—if applicable, all be treated at the same time.

If you have chosen to contract with a pest control provider for service, there are steps that you will need to take to prepare. Before performing this or any service, professional pest control operators (PCOs) will usually provide you with a specific list of preparation activities to be completed before they arrive. The following are some of the most common recommendations made by PCOs—and should also be followed before using any over-the-counter pest control products yourself.


When using any pesticide, read and follow all label directions and safe-use guidelines before purchase and use.

Because a lack of preparation could make treatment unsafe or cause reinfestation of the entire home or building, many PCOs will not treat areas that are not prepared to specifications.

You can help your PCO rid your home of a flea problem by doing the following things.

Before-Service Preparation

Be prepared to leave your home or apartment during treatment and until the insecticide has thoroughly dried. This will take approximately three to five hours, or the time advised by your pest control operator. Bring your pets (including caged animals such as birds, reptiles, and hamsters) with you when you leave home and have pets with fur treated for fleas by a veterinarian. Remove all pets and have them treated for fleas by a veterinarian. If you plan to treat the animal yourself, it is essential that all label directions be followed and that you use only products specified for the species of animal on which the product is to be used. It is critical, however, that pets be treated at the same time as the home so that neither reinfests the other afterward. Also, consider using a flea repellent to help prevent the problem from reoccurring.

Follow these other pre-service preparations:

  • Wash all pet bedding in hot water or destroy it.
  • Vacuum all carpeting and mop wood and tile floors, including along walls and inside closets.
  • Clean or vacuum furniture, especially between and under cushions.
  • Dispose of vacuum cleaner bag in a trash container outside your home, close tightly. If using a vacuum with a reusable bag, empty contents into a container outside your home, close it tightly, and discard. Wash reusable bag in hot water.
  • Cover fish tanks with wet towels and turn off pumps until reoccupying home.
  • Pick up all toys and items off the floor. This includes picking up items from floors inside closets and under beds.
  • Strip all bed linens and wash them in hot water.
  • Cover and store any open food products, dishes, or utensils.
  • If the yard also is to be treated, the same steps as directed for in the home must be followed—that is, wash all pet bedding (or seats or cushions pets normally use outside) in hot water and pick up all toys and items from the lawn and areas to be treated.

After-Service Care

Once you have returned home after three to five hours, ensure that the home is completely aired out before allowing sensitive individuals, such as small children, or vulnerable pets back into the home.

Hastings Borough Council provides a pest control service for the treatment of fleas. You can book an appointment quickly and easily using our online form.

Our pest control information and charges page has the fees for all our pest control services.


  • One flea will lay up to 25 eggs per day (approximately 800 in its life)
  • Fleas develop from egg to larvae to pupae to adults in 18-26 days (depending on temperature)
  • Fleas can only lay eggs after taking blood from the host animal they are living on
  • Approximately 90-95% of the fleas are cat fleas
  • Flea eggs and pupae are not affected by insecticides – this last fact is very important to understand after your home has been treated

If you have a pet or pets, you must treat them. Speak to your vet about the appropriate treatment for your animal. Although fleas lays up to 25 eggs per day, good pet and house management can reduce this. For example:

  • Animal grooming: pets will eat/swallow eggs when they clean themselves
  • Vacuuming and cleaning thoroughly (including furniture)
  • Treating your pet/s: get advice from your vet for advice
  • Outdoor activities: eggs will drop off when pets are outside, so groom them outside
  • Special attention to pet bedding and favourite nesting areas: wash the bedding regularly

Can you have fleas in your house if you don’t keep pets?

There are several reasons why you may have a flea infestation even if you don’t have pets:

  • In the summer months fleas can survive outside and be carried into the house
  • If you visit friends who have fleas in their homes you can transport them back to yours
  • If you visit a public building that has a flea infestation you can transport them back to your home
  • If you move into a new house or flat you can inherit a flea problem (fleas in the pupae stage can remain dormant for up to 9 months and hatch when you walk into an empty property)

By the time you are aware of an infestation, you will probably have had fleas for some weeks or perhaps months.

Before treatment

The most common method of treating a property for fleas is to spray with insecticide.

Before spraying you should:

  • Thoroughly clean, vacuum or sweep your premises prior to treatment
  • Cover or properly store all exposed foodstuffs
  • Ensure that all pets (cats, dogs, birds, etc) are removed from the areas to be treated and do not allow them back until the rooms have been ventilated
  • Remove or cover and seal fish or reptile tanks, the insecticide may be harmful to them. If not adequately protected the pest control officer may refuse to treat the premises.

After treatment

We recommend that:

  • The premises must be vacated for a minimum of 3 hours
  • On your return to the premises, windows should be opened to ventilate the treated rooms
  • You do not vacuum, wash or clean for 2 weeks after treatment

The floors of your property will be covered by a layer of insecticide which is odourless and invisible. It has a very good residual effect which means that it will continue to work for some time if left undisturbed. Adult fleas will be killed within a few days but the floor should not be vacuumed, swept or washed for at least two weeks after treatment because there will still be eggs which will continue to hatch.

As eggs hatch and develop, you might find fleas reappearing 10-14 days after treatment – this is quite normal and provided the insecticide remains in place it will kill them. This is why it is important not to carry out cleaning which might remove insecticide.

If you do have a pet it should also be treated for fleas immediately, using a treatment recommended by your vet.

If you find you still have fleas four weeks after this treatment please contact us and we will arrange for a Pest Control Officer to investigate.


If you do find that you still have a flea infestation after treatment, the possible causes are:

  • The premises was cleaned or vacuumed prior to 14 days after treatment
  • It is possible that someone or a pet has picked up fertile fleas from other locations
  • Your pets were not treated for fleas satisfactorily
  • Poor house management
  • The insecticide treatment is effective for approximately 6 weeks (depending on house management)

For these reasons we do not guarantee 100% eradication of the flea infestation. It is essential you understand the life-cycle and do not vacuum or clean within the 14 day period. Remember that fleas will still be developing even after treatment, whether it be your own fleas or the ones that are brought in.

Our pest control information and charges page has the fees for all our pest control services.

JG Pest Control are experts in flea removal. Fleas are a common problem across the UK and we are experienced in treating flea infestations in both homes and businesses.

Talk to us to find out how you can remove fleas by calling 0330 053 9001 .

Find out more information on instant eradication of a Flea infestation using insect heat treatments.

Common signs of fleas

How do you know if you have fleas in your home or business? There are some common signs to look out for:

  • Bites – fleas bite humans and pets to feed on blood so they can lay eggs.
  • Pets scratching – fleas will often make a home in the fur of your dog or cat, causing them discomfort.
  • Sightings – fleas are very small (approx. 1mm), but sometimes can be seen, particularly when a property is empty.

Fleas are mostly associated with pets, but can also be found in other places like beds, carpets or sofas. They are able to live for months without food and it’s very difficult to eradicate them and their eggs without specialist treatment.

Flea Control Emergency

  • Fleas can cause huge disruption and embarrassment in a home or office.
  • The last thing you want when going to sleep or having guests over is to be attacked
  • We offer an emergency service when you require those out of hours or Sunday call outs.

Treatment Types for Fleas

Flea removal treatment options

Our recommended treatment is a heat treatment. This premium treatment gives guaranteed eradication on the same day. The affected area is heated to over 50°C for a prolonged period of time to completely kill all insects and their eggs.

The alternative treatment we offer is a chemical treatment. This involves spraying or fogging affected areas with a solution to kill all active fleas at the time of treatment. The chemical will stay on the surface so that when remaining eggs hatch, they will also be killed. Unlike our premium heat treatment, the chemical treatment option does not affect eggs. Chemical treatment is still an effective method of flea removal, but because you have to wait for all the eggs to hatch, it can take longer than the heat method of treatment.

For leading flea control services near you, by qualified RSPH technicians, call JG Pest Control now, on 0330 053 9001

How we rid your Flea Problem

There are two recognised eradication techniques for removal. One is a chemical spray or fumigation treatment and the other is a heat treatment.

Both are extremely effective and guaranteed, however the heat treatment (our premium service) gives guaranteed eradication in the same day. For more information on this service please go to our dedicated insect heat treatment page here.

The chemical treatment involves spraying or fogging activity areas with a strong residual chemical, this will kill off all active fleas at the time of treatment and remain effective on surfaces until the dormant fleas come out and the eggs hatch and eventually kill these off too.

It is for this reason that the treatment is not instant, however it is very effective and guaranteed, so if the problem persists, we come back free of charge.

Just the thought of fleas in our home or place of work is enough to make us itch. A flea infestation can be very disruptive and upsetting, especially when your pets, family, visitors, or staff are being bitten alive. Fleas are highly mobile and multiply at an alarming rate, so it is important that they are treated quickly and professionally before the infestation becomes out of hand.

Domestic fleas from dogs and cats

A domestic flea infestation is likely to involve a cat or a dog. Most pet owners, we at PMP included, are devoted to looking after our fur babies , but they can easily pick up fleas from other animals. It can be very distressing for the poor creatures and even lead to more serious health issues such as dermatitis and tapeworm. Even if you do not own pets, fleas are incredibly common and it is possible to bring them home or to work on clothing or possessions, and some flea species will happily feed off of you in the absence of a host animal.

Commercial flea control

For business owners, a flea infestation can spell disaster, not only reflecting poorly on the company but causing discomfort and upset to staff and customers. So it pays to get rid of fleas fast, which is how we can help.

Highly effective flea removal

Project Multi Pest are trusted pest control experts and we have long experience in dealing with flea infestations in both private residences and commercial settings. We have a choice of highly effective flea removal methods in our arsenal, to free you, your pets and your property of these dreaded parasites.

How to spot the signs of a flea infestation

If you suspect that you have a flea infestation, you should seek to get rid of them as soon as possible. Here are some signs to look out for:

  • Bites It’s likely that you will be first alerted to fleas in your house by receiving bites around the feet, ankles and lower legs. Flea bites are small, angry red dots, sometimes with halos, and usually found in a cluster of three or four. They are incredibly irritating and itchy to start with and can become sore, or even infected if scratched. For some unlucky folk, they may even trigger allergies.
  • Pets By being alert to your pets’ behaviour, you may be lucky and catch a flea problem before it spreads to the rest of your house. Your poor pets will be constantly scratching and biting themselves if they have fleas. To be sure, check their fur thoroughly and also inspect pet bedding for signs. Look out for flea eggs as well as the insects themselves, as they can lay up to 50 per day. Although they are microscopic they are just visible to the human eye, resembling a grain of salt. You should also check for traces of flea dirt, which looks like tiny black dots.
  • Soft furnishings It’s a horrible thought, but if fleas are in your home then they can very quickly invade your soft furnishings, such as sofas, beds, carpets, cushions and curtains. Adult fleas are tiny brownish dots, only a couple of millimetres in length, so they can be difficult to see. But look for movement – fleas are flightless but they have an Olympian jump, propelling themselves up to two feet off of the ground. They will become active if they sense movement, so disturb the area you are inspecting first.

If you find you have a flea infestation at home or in your place of business, do not despair. Although fleas can become widespread very quickly, with the services of a pest control expert they can be eradicated just as fast.

How to fumigate for fleas

How to get rid of fleas fast

Like all parasites, fleas have strong survival skills that last throughout their life cycle, which can be anything from weeks to a whole year. Females attach their eggs very securely to household fibres such as carpet, so an infestation may not be eradicated by vacuuming alone. At the larvae stage, fleas are at their hardest to spot, burrowing away in hard to reach places, feeding on skin cells and flea dirt. At the pupae stage, although they most often become adult fleas within days, they can safely lay dormant for months until they sense a source of food.

If you choose to treat fleas yourself, you may discover that a few weeks or months later they have returned, which can be very frustrating. Chances are, they were there all along, but in a pre-adult stage of their life cycle. That is why it is wise to call in a pest control expert before it becomes a full-blown flea infestation.

At Project Multi Pest Ltd, we have two main methods of treating your property for fleas. Our preferred method is chemical-free and involves using heat to penetrate the property. We can also offer fumigation for fleas, using pesticides that are safe for humans and pets.

Heat treatment for fleas

Heat treatment involves a trained pest control expert carefully raising the temperature in the affected areas of your property, using large heaters. They will closely monitor the temperature over a matter of hours, depending on the severity of the infestation. The heat will permeate even the tiniest of crevices so the fleas have nowhere to hide and they very quickly succumb.

The advantages of heat treatment are many. First of all, it is the environmentally friendly choice. Secondly, heat treatment is more successful at killing fleas at all stages, including eggs and larvae. Also, there is research to suggest that fleas and other insects develop immunity to pesticides, but it would take a very impressive burst of evolution to build up a resistance to such extreme heat.

The one thing to note is that heat treatment doesn’t have a residual effect. Although it is very efficient in removing an infestation, it cannot prevent a new one so it is essential that you take careful measures to prevent fleas in the future.

Fumigation treatment for fleas

Fumigation involves filling the affected rooms of your property with an insecticide that suffocates the fleas. In preparation, a trained pest controller will seal the property thoroughly, to ensure that no chemicals escape. The time it takes very much depends on the size of the building and the severity of the infestation, but in most domestic cases treatments can be completed in a day, although follow-up treatments may be required to exterminate any unhatched eggs. Following treatment, the building will be thoroughly ventilated, allowing the safe return of you and your pets.

Once treated, fleas can take up to 48 hours to die. Fumigation only kills adult fleas, but the residual layer of pesticide (that is safe for you and your pets) should kill any larvae that hatch. That said, the effects may not last long enough to kill all of them, so a course of treatments may be required.

Project Multi Pest only uses insecticides approved by the BPCA and which are completely safe for humans and animals.

Protect your home or business from fleas by learning techniques for identification and control.


What do fleas look like?

Fleas are small, wingless and about 2.5 mm long. Their bodies are shiny and reddish brown in color, covered with microscopic hair and are compressed to allow for easy movement through animal fur. Fleas do not have wings, although they are capable of jumping long distances. Read more information on what fleas look like.


How do I get rid of fleas?

What Orkin Does

Since the immature stages of fleas are very cryptic by nature, the first thing the homeowner should do is contact their pest control professional for assistance. Most of the time simply using over-the-counter products for controlling fleas will not resolve the root causes of the infestation.

An Orkin technician will conduct a thorough inspection and locate areas where the immature stages of the flea population are residing. After completing the inspection, the next step is preparing the flea treatment and management plan. This plan will include:

Species – identifying the flea species causing the problem.

Education – explaining the flea's life cycle and how their habits, habitat and behavior affects the control plan.

Hosts – inspecting for the presence of other animals that are the flea population’s source of food. This may include rodents either inside or outside the home or perhaps a raccoon or feral cat that is living in the crawl space.

Vets – homeowner contacting their veterinarian for advice and purchase of flea control products that can be used on pets.

Bathing – regular bathing and grooming of pets.

Chemicals – explaining the use of growth regulators that will interfere with the flea’s normal development into the adult stage.

Vacuum – using a strong vacuum to physically remove flea eggs, larvae, pupae and adults.

Bedding – frequently washing and drying pet bedding.

Products – treating affected areas by using safe and effective flea control products where immature fleas may be located.

Inspections – scheduling a follow-up visit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Flea infestations often come from a pet dog or cat. The pests attach to the animal when it's outside, and then infest its fur and the places it sleeps indoors. Flea prevention for both the home and yard can be difficult. Without a proactive approach, any pet owner is vulnerable to an infestation.

Seek a host for blood

Fleas depend on a blood meal from a host to survive. On some occasions, fleas may become an inside problem when the host they previously fed on is no longer around. Then fleas focus their feeding activity on other hosts that reside inside the home. An example of such a situation is when a mouse inside the home is trapped and removed, the fleas that previously fed on the mouse are then forced to feed on pets or people.

Flea bites may leave the host with numerous swollen, itchy marks. They may cause allergic reactions in some people and can transmit several diseases. Furry pets are the most at risk. Fleas can bite people and pets and can be a big nuisance. According to a recent CDC statement, the number of illnesses caused by flea bites tripled between 2004 and 2016.

The most serious aspect of a flea infestation is often the time and effort it takes to remove. Dealing with the problem requires treating infected animals, cleaning flea-infested areas, and taking preventative measures to keep the fleas from returning.

Many signs can indicate flea activity:

Pets Scratching – A common indication would be pets that repeatedly scratch and groom themselves. This is caused by the discomfort of the flea activity as the adult fleas feed on the pet's blood.

Bites – People also may experience bites which leave behind itchy bite marks (a medical doctor can be consulted, since there are other sources of skin irritation beside fleas).

Feces – Flea dirt, the adult flea feces, also can indicate activity. Flea dirt looks similar to

coarse ground black pepper and may be seen in pet beds, carpets, rugs and other areas where the animal host rests.

Adult fleas – Since fleas are relatively easy to see in their adult stage, most of the attention is directed at adult fleas. Adult fleas are usually easy to locate, especially if the homeowner and their pets return to the house after a long vacation or other absence during which the resident flea adults were not able to take a blood meal. Upon returning, the homeowners are often greeted by fleas jumping around and trying to land on them and their pets.

Flea Eggs – The flea eggs, larvae and pupae are another situation. Since these stages are much more secretive and much less active, they are found in out-of-the-way places like:

behind, under or in furniture

in a pet's bedding

inside cracks and grooves in the floors

Flea eggs that were deposited by the female adult, fall off your pets as they move, allowing them to be disbursed throughout the environment where a pet spends time.

Adults are parasites that draw blood from a host. Larvae feed on organic debris, particularly the feces of adult fleas, which contain undigested blood. Fleas commonly prefer to feed on hairy animals such as:

We can treat fleas for you. Please contact us to find out how much it will cost and when we can visit.


Both dog and cat fleas are found throughout the UK and are the main flea species encountered in the home. The cat flea is by far the most common as they can also live on dogs. The human flea is now a relatively rare species and is therefore unlikely to be found in the home.


The adult flea lays its eggs amongst the fur of the host animal but they soon drop off into the animals sleeping or resting place and onto carpets and floorboards where they hatch into the larval stage. These larvae feed on various types of debris including dead skin and dust, but mainly on the faeces of the adult flea. Once larval development is completed they spin a cocoon and enter the pupal stage. Generally, the adult flea will emerge from this stage after approximately one month. However the adults may remain within the cocoon for considerably longer, only emerging when they sense the vibrations caused by a passing host. It is this aspect of flea biology that often leads to flea infestations being encountered in properties long after the cat or dog has left. Although animal fleas prefer to feed exclusively on the blood of their host animal, if that animal is not around or the infestation level is very high they will feed from humans.


Although fleas are generally considered to be responsible for transmitting diseases there is little evidence to suggest that the cat or dog flea transmits any serious illnesses to humans. However, the highly irritating nature of flea bites to both the host animal and humans can be very unpleasant.

Although fleas are common in homes, these pests can swifty infest any business with their hitchhiking tendencies. We know how to treat and prevent flea infestations from any type of property.

Thorough Flea Inspections

The key to getting rid of fleas is to ensure every single one is out of your home. Our team will thoroughly inspect your property for signs of flea activity.

Year-Round Flea Protection

We understand how difficult it is to get rid of fleas. We’ll work with you to develop a plan to ensure your home or business remains safe from fleas.

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Flea Control Services for YOUR HOME

Whether you have pets or not, a flea infestation can happen to anyone. Fleas hide out in bushes, shrubs, porches, and yards, just waiting for a victim to hop on to. These tiny pests don’t have wings, but they have strong legs that allow them to jump far distances. If you’ve brought these parasites into your home, our professional flea exterminator will know exactly how to treat the problem and prevent it from happening again.

Keep Fleas Away From Your Home

At Florida Pest, we have more than 70 years of experience getting rid of fleas. Our highly experienced flea control specialists will perform the following:

  • We will thoroughly inspect your property to locate the source of the infestation, including where the pests are hiding.
  • We will apply flea control products to treat your entire home.
  • After the flea treatment, we will implement ongoing flea control and prevention tips to avoid future infestations.

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The council offers pest control treatment for fleas in occupied (not empty) houses.

If you would prefer, you can approach an independent pest control company.

Fleas can easily travel through hairs or feathers because of their streamlined shape. Their colour varies from light brown to almost black, but they are normally reddish brown and between 1-8mm long. Cat fleas are 2mm in length.

The flea can jump over 100 times the length of its body. Over three quarters of all infestations are caused by the cat flea which is mainly found in a cat's bedding and surrounding area. Bites, a deep red spot in a reddened area, can be painful and itchy and may not show for 24 hours. With there being a delay in bites showing it could be your getting bitten at another property especially if you don’t have pets yourself. They can live for 12 months without feeding, lying dormant until triggered by vibration so it is very important to stay in the property after treatment, bites may still occur but frequency should decrease.

What you need to do

  • Speak to your vet about treating your pet for fleas.
  • Flea bombs are not a very effective treatment.
  • Make sure you regularly clean your animal’s bedding.
  • If you are using a vacuum use a small amount of crawling insect powder inside the bag or cylinder.
  • If you use our service a flea trap may be used just to confirm fleas are present.
  • We recommend that you don’t vacuum carpets for 7 to 10 days after a treatment
  • To make a treatment efficient we recommend the property is clear of any clutter

If you decide to use any flea treatments yourself, always read the label before you buy to make sure it is suitable and follow the instructions carefully.

If you’re itching to rid your home of fleas, you may want to heed some expert advice. The first thing you should know is that it’s important to act fast. Infestations pop up quickly and can be very difficult to control once inside the home, says the National Pest Management Association.

“Fleas are known for their quick breeding capabilities and a handful can quickly turn into hundreds if left unchecked,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. “Their small size and mobility make it impossible to find them on surfaces such as carpets and linens, but a pest professional can help to eradicate an infestation.”

Fleas feed on warm-blooded hosts, including humans. Known for leaving itchy, red bumps, these parasites are also known for transporting themselves on rodents and other mammals by using their powerful legs to jump as high as 8 inches vertically and 16 inches horizontally.

It’s not healthy to live in a house with fleas; these pests have been known to transmit fatal diseases like the bubonic plague and the bacterial disease, murine typhus. However, it is more common for pets and people alike to suffer an allergic reaction to flea saliva, which can cause painful, itchy bumps on the skin.

Here are some flea-fighting tips from the National Pest Management Association:

  • Keep your lawn groomed. Untended lawns provide hiding spots and food sources for rodents and other animals that fleas feed on.
  • Fleas can hitch rides on rodents. If you notice a rodent problem on your property, fleas are just one more reason to call a pest professional immediately to remedy the problem.
  • Check pets frequently for fleas and flea dirt, especially after being outside. Be aware of excessive scratching, licking and nibbling grooming behavior in pets.
  • Bathe and groom your pets regularly and use flea treatments as recommended by your veterinarian.
  • Clean and vacuum your home frequently to help remove fleas.
  • Getting rid of adult fleas alone will not solve your problem.
  • If you suspect a flea infestation, contact a licensed pest professional immediately to treat the pest problem.

If you find adult fleas, then there may also be hundreds of eggs in your home. These eggs can take seven to 14 days to hatch and the infestation cycle will continue. Turner Pest Control can rid your home of both adult fleas and larvae. Our standard flea treatment includes two services. If you are having a problem with fleas, contact Turner Pest Control to learn more.