Pet owners are usually no stranger to the problem of fleas. Fleas do not discriminate, after all, feeding off dogs and cats, ferrets and rabbits, and, of course, humans, when the need arises. While many people have encountered the nasty little parasites, they know little about them. However, although they are an inconvenience, fleas are actually fascinating creatures.
1.A flea’s life cycle is broken down into four sections: egg, larva, pupa, and full-grown. Adults lay eggs on the host, that then fall off into the environment. When the eggs hatch into larvae, these then lurk in the surroundings, eat, and after several moulting episodes, they spin cocoons and turn into pupae. Finally, a chrysalis emerges adult fleas, which then look for an animal host to feed from. In optimal conditions, this process will take around three weeks.
- Although the process sounds straightforward, the flea life cycle is very hard to break and end. Fleas are incredibly tough creatures. Most treatments available will kill adult fleas, however it’s much harder to get rid of the eggs and particularly pupa. Some products have a compound that stops the eggs from hatching, but does not kill the pupa. This means that even if you remove all the adult fleas in an area, the next generation may just be waiting to take over.
- During a flea infestation, putting flea treatment on your pet is not effective. It’s essential to treat the surroundings too as that is where the eggs and the pupae are lurking. They will be in the carpet, between the floorboards and everywhere our pets spend time.
- Fleas can go a long time without eating. Research shows that the pupa can live in their cocoons for up to one year. As adults, they need to feed straight away but can, if they have to, go for between one to two weeks without a blood feed. To help with an infestation, contact Pest Control Essex at a site like https://stgeorgespestcontrol.co.uk/
- A female is able to lay as many as fifty eggs each day but usually lays around 20. The result is that one active female can be responsible for a huge infestation in under two months. In just 2 months, you could be dealing with a flea population of 20,000 fleas in your home!
- Fleas have the ability to jump to an Olympic standard. It is generally acknowledged that fleas are some of the best jumpers in the world, capable of jumping more than 150 times their body length. This ability is a necessity for the flea life cycle as if they cannot jump onto the animals, they will not be able to eat or reproduce.
- Pets can sometimes develop an allergy to flea bites. Most will experience a slight itching similar to the feeling of bugs on your body. Worse symptoms include more intense itching, which happens when animals develop allergies to the flea saliva proteins in the bites.
- Fleas can transmit diseases that affect humans. They are carriers of all kinds of bacteria, including bacteria that can cause disease in humans.