If you’ve recently had a rodent problem, or your pet — or even family member — has been scratching more than normal, you might also have a flea problem. While it’s incredibly unpleasant and uncomfortable, there are effective ways to get rid of them.

Control outbreaks by vacuuming carpets and rugs every two days and clean under beds where dust accumulates. Don’t allow your pets under the house — dry dirt makes an ideal flea breeding ground  — and make sure to vacuum pet bedding regularly.

Once that’s done, throw out the vacuum bag or empty the vacuum cleaner’s contents into an airtight plastic bag (time to break out the rubber gloves) and discard it immediately to get rid of captured larvae and pupae — young and teenage fleas, to you and me.

The usual pet regime also applies — treat your pets with washes, powders, ‘spot’ preparations or treatments recommended by your vet — but regularly applying pet-friendly insecticide to areas commonly used by your furry friend will also keep them protected.