The research uncovered that even when their pets have suffered with fleas, a quarter of respondents did nothing to rid their homes of the infestation, and around half let their cats and dogs sleep in their bedroom with them.
Despite eight in 10 claiming to be house-proud, one in four admitted they don’t regularly clean their home or even think about flea prevention.The survey, which was commissioned by pet healthcare brand Bob Martin, asked 2,000 dog and cat owners about the choices they make when it comes to flea prevention in the home.
New research has revealed millions of UK homes are at risk of a flea infestation, as over a third of pet owners have in fact never treated their home for fleas and other pests.
Aggie MacKenzie, TV’s cleaning expert, says: “These figures are pretty shocking and the people of Britain should be ashamed of themselves! It’s no good your home just looking tidy, you have to get stuck in and give it a proper clean, particularly if you have pets.
“Your favourite animal can carry all sorts of germs and grime in from outdoors, as well as fleas and ticks. That’s why regular cleaning and flea treatment is of the utmost importance for a hygienic and healthy home environment for both you and your pets.”
Of those surveyed, over a third said that they have had fleas in their homes, but over a quarter had no idea whether their house, or their pets, have had fleas or not. Fleas thrive in warm environments, be that warm weather or centrally-heated homes, and despite two thirds of those who were polled feeling they knew what to do in the case of a flea infestation, less than half (42 per cent) treated their home for fleas when their pet had them. Considering 95 per cent of fleas don’t actually live on our pets, but in carpets, floor crevices and soft furnishings, it’s crucial that pet owners are aware of the need to treat their homes too.
Top flea hot spots in the home include:
- Pet’s bedding
- Under the sofa
- In between sofa cushions
- Skirting boards
- Floor board crevices
- The edges/corners of carpet
In the last 12 months, one in five pet owners have had fleas showed the research, leaving them feeling annoyed (52%), itchy (40%), and embarrassed (34%). Perhaps most concerning, over a quarter said they have never used a home flea treatment to tackle fleas, six in 10 people will only treat their pets if their animal appears to be scratching more often than normal and one in four only treat when they notice flea bites on themselves or their family. Almost half of those surveyed are not aware of the risk to themselves as well as their pet with tapeworm, plague bacteria and typhus potentially carried by fleas.
Georgina Martin, CEO of Bob Martin, said: “With the warmer weather approaching, it’s key that pet owners are aware of the importance of a clean home. Whilst all pets experience fleas at some point in their lives, prevention is the best approach and if your pet does have fleas, you should always treat your home at the same time as your pet.
“If you don’t tackle this immediately, it may become a bigger problem, causing a lot of irritation for both the pet and the owner. As leaders in this category, we have a duty to provide the correct products and information to help minimise the chance of infestation in the home and on pets, which is why we have enlisted the help of the Queen of Clean – Aggie MacKenzie – to spread this message.”
Take a look at Aggie MacKenzie’s top tips for keeping your home clean, sparkling and free-flea here.