Irish homes see 121% surge in flea infestations

Fleas can lay dormant and undetected for months

Irish homes see 121% surge in flea infestations

Image: Rentokil

People are being asked to be on the lookout for fleas in their homes, with cases inquiries about residential fleas rising by 121% between July and September this year.

Pest control firm Rentokil say fleas thrive in warm humid environments - and Ireland's mild and wet autumn weather has offered ideal breeding conditions.

The bloodsuckers typically live outside, but are carried into homes by pets or people - particularly those who have come into contact with wildlife such as foxes, rabbits, rodents or deer.

Once inside, centrally-heated homes with carpets or rugs offer them the perfect conditions to thrive.

Source: Rentokil

Dr Colm Moore, technical manager with Rentokil, says: "If you find fleas on your pet or are experiencing flea bites, it's usually just the tip of the iceberg.

"Fleas found on the host typically only represent just 5% of the total flea population nearby. The other 95% will be in bedding, carpets and furniture.

"If you have experienced flea bites or are treating your pet for a problem, be sure to treat your home at the same time, otherwise you won't be addressing the problem fully."

The firm says it can be incredibly hard to detect fleas, as they are barely visible to the naked eye and hide deep in the fibres of carpets and furniture.

Fleas can lay dormant and undetected for months, while they also breed rapidly. Some flea species can lay between 25 and 40 eggs per day.