A pest control company in Victoria is asking people to help prevent new cases of fleas from emerging in their homes.
In fact, the company says it has been overwhelmed with calls for help from the public since it launched its website last week.
“I’m sure we are going to have a lot of people who just want to know how to spot these things,” said Michael Maclennan, a pest control specialist with the pest management company in Port Macquarie, south of Sydney.
“People who have kids, they’re getting sick.
They’re getting very stressed out and maybe they’re not using the right pest control methods.”
A survey by the Australian National University (ANU) found fleas were growing in more than 20 per cent of homes across Australia, with about a third of people surveyed saying they had fleas.
It also found more than half of those surveyed said they had seen fleas in their own home.
The ANU report said people had to make sure their homes were properly ventilated and pest-proofed.
It said more than one-third of homes in the Australian Capital Territory had some form of dust or dust-contaminated indoor environment.
“The main challenge is finding a way to get rid of the fleas,” said Dr Maclennaan.
The study also found flea populations were growing at an alarming rate.
“We’ve been seeing a spike in the numbers of flea-bearing insects in homes,” he said.
“It’s quite alarming.”
The ANUS survey found that almost a third (29 per cent) of homes had a flea problem and about half (48 per cent), were experiencing a pest-control problem.
“There is a lot that can be done to mitigate the problems that people face in their home, but the main challenge there is finding ways to get the flea population under control,” Dr MacLennaan said.