Both males and females bite and suck blood. The bite often leaves an itchy, red spot. Some species of fleas transmit diseases such as bubonic plague, endemic typhus and tularemia to humans.
The Dog flea and the Cat flea, which look very much alike, are the most widespread and the most troublesome as household pests. Both species attack dogs and cats, and sometimes humans—especially if the family pet is temporarily away.
Measuring at about 3mm in length and usually brown in colour, fleas are small flightless insects that live by consuming the blood of their hosts. Fleas can be very frustrating for anyone to deal with, especially if there is a fairly large infestation in your home or on your pets.
Adult fleas are small, wingless insects with hard, dark-coloured bodies. The female usually lays her eggs loosely among the hairs or feathers of the host, where they will stay for a few days and then drop off.
In homes, they develop in crevices in flooring, and along baseboards, under edges of rugs, and between cushions in upholstered furniture.
Fleas are parasites, feeding on blood. They are found on the host and in various household cracks and crevices where they shelter after feeding. They are also found in pet bedding.
Females lay several hundred eggs in their lifetime. Eggs hatch in about ten days and become mature in about ten days. Flea infestations can number in the thousands.
How do I recognize a flea?
Fleas are common external parasites of humans, animals and birds. Fleas are small, black to brownish-black, wingless insects with stout legs used for jumping and crawling. Fleas measure 1 to 4 mm (1/16").
Where do you find fleas?
Fleas are parasites, feeding on blood. They are found on the host (dog, cat, human etc.) and in various household cracks and crevices where they shelter after feeding.
Are fleas hazardous to humans?
Yes. Due to their numbers and world-wide distribution, fleas are a serious health hazard. They have been known to transmit diseases including the bubonic plague which is transmitted to humans from fleas living on rats.
Since the reaction to a flea bite is allergic in nature, itching can be intense. Secondary infections can be caused by scratching, especially in children. The presence of a flea infestation should not be tolerated.
What causes fleas to bite?
Fleas feed on blood and are attracted by host's exhaled carbon dioxide and body heat. In the case of the human flea, bites can be numerous because of interrupted feedings.
What causes a flea infestation?
Fleas hop from host to host, so even a brief encounter can cause you or your pet to become a host. Stray animals sleeping on porches or window sills can start an infestation. Once they enter the home, fleas spread rapidly.
What are their breeding habits? Do they multiply quickly?
The female flea lays several hundred eggs in her lifetime. Eggs are laid loosely on the host drop or are shaken off on to floors, carpets, bedding or other sheltered spots. Eggs hatch in about 10 days and become adults in one to three months. A flea infestation can number in the thousands.
Do fleas die off in cold months?
Yes. Outdoor infestations die off, however once established inside the home, fleas are active year-round.
Can I do anything to prevent a flea infestation?
Yes. The use of a quality flea shampoo on your pet during the peak summer season will help prevent an infestation.
If I have a flea infestation, what can be done to eliminate it?
Your local Abell Pest Control office has products and equipment specially formulated for the control of fleas. Please use extreme caution when applying treatments to animals.
Flea control can be a difficult and time-consuming project. For fast, effective results, call Abell Pest Control.
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