Fleas In The Workplace

Dec 13, 2019 | Business Insurance

Running a pet business takes a lot of hard work and considerations. This includes a clean and pest free or free from fleas in the workplace. One of the pest problems you won’t ever want to happen in your workplace is the fleas that stay and multiply around the corners. Who would? Having them around is never safe for pets that you care for inside your pet business premises. 

A lot of pet parents wouldn’t want to know that these pesky creatures are living inside your workplace. Imagine the scenario when they learn about those. Not only will it affect your brand but also their trust in the quality of your service. These parasites are nothing but a nightmare to everyone. That is why it is important to know how a pet can get them and how to prevent it from happening.

Unwanted Parasites

Fleas are parasites who live by ingesting the blood of a host. They are brownish to black in color, small and mostly less than one-eighth of an inch in size and they are wingless. Though they are wingless, their hind legs are long giving them the ability to jump high. Its whole body is made to suck at the maximum level as their head is full of sharp spikes.

The skin of the host is pierced by their adept mouths and sucks out blood from them. They like warm-blooded hosts, especially four-legged animals like cats and dogs. The pets’ lives are miserable with the presence of fleas on their bodies. 

Life Cycle

The life cycle of a flea starts with egg – larva – pupa -adulthood. 

1. Eggs – these eggs are laid by the female adult flea while staying on the host. They hatch in two to twelve days.

2. Larva – larvae have strong mouths and survive by eating its sheddings, adult flea wastes, and skin or dead cells from the host. They stay burrowed under the carpet or the pet bedding to avoid light.

3. Pupa – when it reaches its larvae full size, it spins into a cocoon. This is the pupal stage

4. Adulthood – finally after 14 days the adult flea emerges from the cocoon. This is the fastest number of days as it also depends on the weather. Cold weather sometimes made them dormant.

From these stages, it is in adulthood that they start having their first feeding. After that, they could survive for how many months without feeding on their host. Their lives depend on reproducing and feeding. An adult female flea can lay 50 eggs a day. Can you picture how many female fleas are going to lay eggs on pets or in their breeding place? A single flea in the workplace would start a big problem if not prevented from the beginning.

Breeding condition

Fleas are very tough and are born to survive different conditions in the environment. That is the main reason they can be found in every part of the world. It has been very hard to eliminate fleas especially at places where high standards of hygiene are not met. Their ideal breeding places are warm and moist, thus the reason why their infestation becomes worse during summer. But too hot temperatures won’t be good and could kill them all.

When humidity is almost 70% and the temperature is between 21 – 29 degrees Celsius, fleas breed rapidly. If this happens, in a matter of a fortnight a single flea can bring to life to its complete cycle! How fast is that! Their breeding place mostly is on the body of their host – pets. They can be in carpets, floor, or infested kennel and cage. They can survive even without eating for days. Which means they don’t always have to be with the host. 

No Fleas, Thank You!

What’s frightening is that a pet in your care and businesses that handles them can be infested without the owner knowing it. Most of the time these parasites already multiplied many times before they can be noticed. They are capable of going everywhere. And when you’re running a business, having these parasites in your workplace is a big no, no. Hence, having a clean and safe surrounding is a must to keep your business free from unnecessary trouble. Remember, prevention is better than cure! 

A female flea can lay 50 eggs per day, imagine that! Though they did not have wings, they can jump extremely high because of their hind legs. They can be almost everywhere, ready to attack you and the pets in a very discreet way. Scared already? Wait, there’s more. When a pet ingested the flea, the tapeworms inside the flea will be transferred to the pet. It will grow inside the pet and can grow into one half up to 12 inches and look like maggots.

Finding the root cause

These super tiny bloodsuckers can be anywhere. No one wants to have it for sure, but they can hitchhike your clothes, bag, shoes, hair, and skin. Fleas can be everywhere in the workplace too. That being said, fleas can be transferred not just through direct contact with pets. They can be transferred too by just being around in a place where they are at. 

Though dogs and cat fleas don’t see humans as hosts, still fleas are a big health risk to humans too. Fleas can bite humans even if they don’t live on human skin or hair. Certain diseases can be carried by fleas and transfer to humans, including plague and cat scratch fever. This can be a huge problem in your business if not treated properly. So, the first thing that you need to do is know the root cause. 

These parasites came from:

  • Pets with fleas having contact with other animals (especially outdoor pets) then transfer to their stuff at home, cars, and workplaces.
  • Fleas from other Daycare that have been transferred to your workplace by a pet.
  • Traveling in a warm climate country/ place (fleas loves warm and humid surrounding)
  • Visiting clients and other friends that may have fleas in their homes that can be transferred to your home or workplace.
  • You may inherit flea problems if you happen to move to a new workplace or location.

The pupal stage may remain dormant for up to 9 months. If you move into another establishment, sometimes that is when they started hatching. Most of the landlords started having problems when these fleas came out of their cocoons. Knowing the root cause would be your first step in getting rid of these pesky fleas. Living with fleas around your business might harm others aside from pets that stay inside your business firm.

Eliminating the Parasites 

Checking every pet before you accept them in your daycare is one of the most basic things to do. That is to prevent fleas from coming inside your workplace. But what if they are already there? Here are the things that can help you eliminate fleas in your place.

1. Vacuum regularly to eliminate the fleas in every part of the workplace such as the floor, carpets, and underneath the furniture. The target is to get rid of their eggs, larvae, and adult fleas. These fleas also love dark places. Use vacuums that have the strongest suction to take them off their breeding places. Larvae feed on organic matter that is in the carpets or rugs and also on adult fleas wastes. 

Eliminating their source of food would stop them from becoming a full-grown flea. Make sure you empty the vacuum cleaner away from the workplace as they are alive and can go back.

2. Wash seat covers, pet beddings, and toys. It is a kind of flea elimination that is chemical-free. You just have to soak pet beddings and covers in a hot water cycle at 50 degrees Celsius. You may add vinegar onto it to intensify the effect. As for the toys, you must wash them once or twice a week with the same method.

3. Properly dispose of the vacuum bag after every use. To ensure that these parasites can’t go back to your workplace or any other places.  

4.  Fog your workplace. After you’ve done all this, professional foggers are still your best option to ensure the best result 

It is very important to keep the workplace sanitized for your protection, the pets, and also the clients. A pet parent wouldn’t want to entrust their beloved pet to a place if they would notice fleas that might bite them. To keep your business operating, ensure the safety of everyone and all the animals that your daycare takes care of.

Organic Remedies

You may try these natural and organic remedies to get rid of unwanted fleas in your workplace such as:

  • Herbal Flea Spray -This is a remedy that is made from non-toxic products that can be found at home. Naturally, that is why it is safe to use while pets and children are around. Everything must be cleaned first before applying this solution such as proper vacuuming, emptying vacuum contents outside, and washing the infested cushion and beddings. 

Mixture: Mix in a large spray bottle 4 liters of vinegar, 500ml lemon juice, 2 liters of water, and 250ml witch hazel. Spray the mixture using the heavy spray on the furniture, floors, pet beddings, and carpets.

  • Baking Soda – Vacuuming is an effective flea control but it would work best when you use baking soda before using it. You may lay down baking soda on carpets and furniture and hardly brush or rub it in. Vacuum thoroughly after doing that then put the contents in a bag and an outside bin.
  • Dish soap – This remedy will make a trap using dish soap and water. You just have to fill a bowl with warm water and mix dish soap. Afterwards, you can put in all the rooms or corners which experience most flea problems.

This solution is formed as a glue to catch the fleas. Its high viscosity is good for trapping them. Try to do this everyday using another fresh batch of solution. Do this at night as fleas are nocturnal creatures.

  • Salt – It is like baking soda which is a good natural remedy that is best accompanied by using a vacuum after it is applied. It acts by dehydrating the fleas, getting rid of the adult ones. 

To start doing this, sprinkle finely ground salt all over the carpets and leave it there for one to two days. After those days, vacuum the carpets and empty its contents to a dustbin outside.

  • Lemon Spray – Lemon is not just good in a lot of ways, but also great in getting rid of fleas. It is also used to take away wasp stings. Treating fleas using lemon as a natural remedy would need to create a citrus spray to be used on furniture that is infected.

Mixture: Making this spray, you need to slice a lemon and put it in a pint of water then boil them. Overnight, let this solution sit. Pour the mixture into a bottle spray. The following day, spray the citrus solution on the infested areas such as sofas, pet beddings, furniture, and any corner with fleas. Just dampen the area and do not spray too much that will cause soaking.

  • Rosemary – It is a natural remedy and good organic flea control. Such treatment is used to eliminate light infestations and on pets too. This remedy creates a powder-like solution to treat fleas in your workplace.

Put in these herbs – rosemary, rue, wormwood, fennel, and peppermint into the pestle and mortar to make this herbal flea powder. Sprinkle on carpets, window sills, pet beddings, and furniture, or other parts of the workplace. This actually does not get rid of fleas but more on repelling to prevent them.

  • Flea Repelling Plants – Some plants are good for lemongrass repelling fleas. You may put them around the workplace as these plants contain compounds, specific oils, and chemicals that fleas avoid. Here are some of them: 

Catnip, citronella, chamomile, eucalyptus, fleawort, fleabane daisy, lavender, mint, marigold, lemon grass, wormwood, sage, sweet bay, tansy ragwort, and pennyroyal.

  • Vinegar – Fleas hate vinegar’s smell and taste that is why it is a good remedy to eliminate them. Vinegar can be used as a spray to be used on carpets and furniture as well as on pets. Others prefer apple cider vinegar because of the difference in its smell from white vinegar. But take note that cats can not stand any vinegar that would be sprayed on them.

Making vinegar flea spray is simply a dilution of vinegar with water. Some people try mixing different measurements as to how many parts vinegar and water should be mixed. Some used equal parts, others used one part vinegar and water had three parts. It will depend on which one is best that works on you. A more concentrated formula is better because it has more power in repelling fleas.

Final say

A pet business needs to consider its reputation by delivering good service, friendly employees, and a clean and worry-free workplace. Pet Business Insurance is the key to ensure the safety of your business. It also aids in the proper safeguarding of your employees from harm and lawsuits from clients that you are not prepared to face at any moment. 

Want to make sure your business is covered? Here, at Advantage Insurance Solutions, we would help you with your queries and other insurance needs. Contact us today and we will make sure to assist you with a complimentary audit of your current policy.