Even your domestic pets have insect pests to worry about! Fleas effect humans and their pets all over the world. Most of the time fleas do not prefer humans as their hosts. Warm blooded animals are typically their go to when looking for a host to feed upon. If the infestation of fleas is heavy or if other hosts are not available, they resort to humans.
How To Identify Fleas
As adults, fleas grow to the size of 1/12 inch to 1/6 inch long- but can even be as small as 1/3 inch long. So, in other words, they are very tiny and hard to see. When looking at a flea from the front, their body will appear to be flat or very narrow from side to side. The eggs of fleas are smooth and rounded, and only large enough to barely be seen at 1/50 inch in diameter.
Attributes of a Flea
Adults are covered in spines. Their spines project backwards. This gives the ability to easily move forward through hairs, feathers, carpet, upholstery, bedding and below flooring. These same spines are what make fleas so hard to remove from an animals body and able to resist a vacuum cleaner.
Their mouths are filled with piercing-sucking mouth-parts that penetrate the skin of its host and sucks the blood. They also have long powerful legs that allow them to jump eight inches high and as far as 16 inches horizontally!
Fleas & Their Eggs
Female fleas lay eggs on a daily basis- a few each day or until she has laid up to 300 eggs. The amount of time it takes for her eggs to hatch depends upon the temperature and humidity of the area. When conditions are favorable, the eggs will hatch anywhere from two to three days. Within one week, the flea will grow through three instars then spin a cocoon for pupation.
After ten days in the cocoon, the adult flea develops but may not emerge immediately- even waiting up to one year! There are triggers that lead the adult flea to emerge. Vibrations and warmth, as well as, mechanical signals, such as- being stepped on. This explains why so many people may experience a sudden presence after moving into a home or while vacationing.
Flea & Disease
They are carriers of parasites or disease organisms. Some diseases they carry are the plague or typhus. When a pest management professional encounters fleas that can transmit these diseases he is required to notify the local public authorities.
The most common types found here, in the United States, is the Cat, Dog, Human, Rat, and Ground Squirrel Flea.
If you feel your home is infested with fleas, or if you have been getting bit, it is best to call a pest professional. Not only do they infest inside your home, they can also infest your entire yard. Along with communication and aid from the pet owner, treatment can be a success.
Call our office today to talk about options for ridding your home or business of fleas. 615-850-4351
Source: Truman's Scientific Guide To Pest Management Operations- seventh edition.