Birkenhead police left flea-ridden after officers pick up pests A FLEA-RIDDEN police station and two patrol cars were fumigated after officers picked up a bunch of pests on a job.
Police were called to a property in Whetstone Lane, Birkenhead, yesterday morning.
They entered the empty house at around 1am to investigate when a fire and a burglar alarm went off.
After being satisfied it was a false alarm, they left the property – but immediately started itching.
They soon realised they were covered in fleas.
Fire crews had also attended the scene, but were not infested because they did not enter the flee-ridden house.
The police officers’ uniforms, their two patrol cars and two rooms in Birkenhead police station had to be fumigated yesterday afternoon.
Scott Walker, of Prokill Pest Control, said: “These fleas were most likely animal fleas from cats or dogs.
“They cannot breed on humans, but can survive off our blood. If they then come into contact with an animal again, they can jump from the human and begin breeding.
“It depends how long the property was unoccupied for whether the fleas were alive or lying dormant as eggs.
“If it was unoccupied for a while, they would have lay dormant and, as the officers walked in, they would have reactivated them by their footsteps and breath.
“This can sometimes happen when new owners move into a property, even two years after it was vacated.
“Typically, you would see the fleas congregate first around the feet and lower legs.”
Last year, Manor Road police station, in Wallasey, became so badly infested, a firm of exterminators were called in to carry out the work.
A couple of officers’ uniforms had to be sent off to be destroyed.
A Merseyside police spokesman said: “The nature of police work means officers and police property are occasionally exposed to infestation.
“As a result of an incident yesterday morning, two officers’ uniforms, two police vehicles and two rooms at Birkenhead police station were fumigated as a precautionary measure.
“It did not affect police operational activity THE ECHO