Fleas in the workplace

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QuestionsCategory: Flea InfestationsFleas in the workplace
Whitney asked 3 months ago

Hi Adam,
 
Like many others I have found your website very useful after a recent flea related issue. We have discovered we have rodents in the workplace and hired a pest control company to come help with the problem. I was told that the problem was very large rats in the basement along with mice throughout the building. After a couple weeks the pest control company said there are no longer signs of rodents in the building. Not long after that I noticed bites in my ankles quite frequently. I called the pest control company and they said that can be common once the rodent hosts are no longer around for the fleas to live on. For some reason I am the only person in the building who has suffered from bites and it’s been about 3 weeks of suffering. Pest control treated for fleas and yet I am still getting bit every single day. I understand the eggs can still hatch after the hosts are gone. We have hardwood floors throughout, rugs in some places but no carpets or rugs in the areas I work in. One day the pest control company sprayed my office, I waited the one hour time I was told to wait before reentry, and then immediately had about 3-5 fleas on me. Large enough to be visible and was able to catch a couple of them. My questions are – 1. do you know why I am the only person out of 6 people present in the building to be suffering from fleas bites? 2. Do you think it’s possible the rodents may actually still be present in the building since we haven’t been able to get rid of the fleas?
Thank you for your helpful knowledge,
Whitney

1 Answers
Adam Retzer Staff answered 2 months ago

Whitney,

I am not too familiar with rodent fleas, as rodents have their own species that infest them. This site is focused on fleas of dogs and cats. Still, there should be many overlaps regarding the species, and I will do my best to answer.

I think it would be a good idea to have the pest control specialist come back and identify exactly what flea species you are dealing with. Then it will be easier to understand the cause of the infestation and how to control them. Perhaps the rodents weren’t the cause. Maybe human fleas (P. irritans) got in the building somehow.

Regardless, the treatments the pest control company used should end the infestation in time. It will just take a bit of patience. Most infestations take around 8 weeks to completely end. If you are still finding fleas beyond this point, and they are a species of rodent fleas, then most likely there are still rodents alive in the building serving as hosts.

I am not sure why you are the only one being bitten. Your work area may be the nearest to where the fleas were developing. You may also have more exposed skin around your ankles than your coworkers.

While you wait for the flea problem to resolve, it may be a good idea to wear closed-toe shoes, pants, and long socks. Tuck the pant legs into the socks. This will prevent the fleas from being able to find exposed skin to bite. Insect repellents (e.g. DEET) also work on fleas.

Hope this helps! Let me know if you have further questions.

Warm regards,
Adam

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