Help, there are fleas in the house - but no pets!

How is it possible to have fleas when you don’t have pets? It’s rare, but it can happen. And while it might seem like a mystery, there’s a perfectly plausible explanation and it’s a problem that’s easily fixed. Our expert advice will show you how.

How did they get there?

There are a couple of ways fleas can make themselves at home in your home. Have you had friends visiting with a pet? They could have unsuspectingly brought fleas with them. 

Or have you moved into a new place? Flea infestations can lay dormant for around nine months, depending on factors like heat and humidity. So, if the previous occupants were pet parents, their pets could have left an infestation behind. 

It’s also possible to bring flea eggs into the house on clothing or shoes, but it’s unlikely (though not impossible) this will lead to an infestation.

Fleas eggs at home
Fleas eggs at home

How can a flea infestation survive without a pet?

It’s thanks to flea pupae, which are one stage of the flea life cycle. Let’s go back to those visiting or previous pets. Flea eggs drop off an animal’s coat wherever they go, so the visiting pet or the previous occupant’s pet most likely scattered eggs around your home.

When these eggs hatch, the flea larvae burrow deeper into things like flooring, furnishings and any little nooks and crannies. There they spin themselves little cocoons and become flea pupae that protect the developing fleas inside as they grow to adulthood.

These new fleas only come out if they detect a new host – they sense warmth, movement and carbon dioxide. Clever, really. But, unfortunately, in this case, they’re sensing you. 

The good news is, the fleas in your house are most likely to be cat or dog fleas, so although they will bite humans, they don’t consider us a suitable host to live and breed on (they prefer dogs and cats). This means, eventually they’ll just die off.

How can I get rid of the fleas faster?

Most people don’t want to wait for fleas to die off naturally – and we don’t blame them. Using a household spray like FRONTLINE HOMEGARD® will kill fleas, eggs and larvae in the house and get on top of the home infestation more quickly. 

Use it on carpets, cracks and crevices in flooring and soft-upholstered furniture to give fleas the boot and help prevent their return. Remember to spray places like under beds and sofas.

As well as spraying the house, wash bedding at a minimum 60 degrees if possible, just to be safe. Vigorous vacuuming also helps – flea pupae cocoons are very sticky, so won’t necessarily be sucked up, but the vibrations from the vacuum will encourage the fleas to hatch out.

We hope this helps you overcome the mystery of your flea-infested house and solve the problem. And if you do bring home a furry new addition in future, remember regularly using a flea treatment on them will help avoid problems like this.

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Got a question about fleas, ticks or worms? We can help! Take a look at our FAQs or send us a message.

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