Fleas are tiny wingless insects about 2mm, flattened side to side and reddish-brown in colour. All adult fleas are parasitic on warm-blooded animals. Larval stages live in the nest of the host and feed on skin, feathers and, most importantly, the blood-rich faeces of the adult flea.
The lifecycle of the flea takes only four weeks in the summer months. Adult fleas feed on blood. Their bites can cause intense irritation around a central bright red spot. Different people react differently to a bite, both in terms of degree of reaction and time taken to react .
It’s best to treat infested pets with a special veterinary aerosol, powder, shampoo or flea medication. Burn any infested bedding and spray a appropriate insecticide into all cracks and crevices. It’s good practice to also remove and destroy any old birds’ nests you find the eaves or attic.