Pic: Peggy_Marco, Pixabay
County Kildare accounted for fifth highest level of flea callouts in 2021: that's according to the pest control business Rentokil.
The company is advising home and business owners to be on the lookout for signs of flea infestations this winter period.
In 2021, Wexford accounted for the highest number of flea callouts, making up 12 per cent of total callouts.
Dublin (10 per cent of flea callouts), Galway (8 per cent), Cork (7 per cent) and Kildare (6 per cent) also accounted for a high level of flea callouts in 2021.
Commenting on the findings, Richard Faulkner, Advanced Technical Field Consultant with Rentokil, said: "The cold weather conditions this winter will likely encourage fleas to come indoors in search of warmth and sustenance."
"It’s incredibly difficult to identify the presence of fleas: if a flea infestation came from a pet, it’s important to treat not only the animal but also the house in order to fully address the problem and prevent reoccurrence," he added.
Mr Faulkner explained that the wingless bloodsucking insects can attach to pets or people; in particular, those who have come into contact with wildlife such as foxes, rabbits, rodents or deer, are at risk of carrying the insects indoors as a host.
He said: "The most common indication of a flea issue is a bite or skin irritation: fleas most often bite people around the ankles and legs."
"The bites are felt immediately and can be sore for as much as a week.
"Fleas can also cause allergic reactions to sensitive individuals, transmit tapeworm and, in very rare cases, even transmit serious diseases."
He added that it can be "incredibly hard" to detect fleas as they are barely visible to the naked eye and they hide deep in the fibres of carpets and furniture.
"Fleas found on the host typically represent just 5 per cent of the total flea population nearby: the other 95 per cent will be in bedding, carpets and furniture.
"Compounding the problem, they can lay dormant and undetected for months or even a year before hatching and attaching to a host."
Mr Faulker further outlined some preventative measures can be taken to minimise the risk of a flea infestation: "Rentokil’s top tips for preventing a flea infestation in the home are:
Further information about Rentokil services can be found at www.rentokil.ie.
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