Fleas in the home can be a frustrating and an annoying problem. They are usually found on cats, dogs, carpets, furniture, dusty, sandy or greasy floor areas. The common names are cat flea and dog flea but fleas can be found "biting" various hosts including humans.
Fleas are found only on warm blooded animals, and both male and female adult survive on blood meals. The female adult flea generally takes a blood meal before laying eggs. She can lay hundreds of eggs in her lifetime, and these eggs will turn into white legless larvae which feed on human skin scales, undigested blood secreted by the adult fleas and food debris. After several weeks, the eggs pupate into a silken cocoon where they remain for 1-2 weeks. The adult flea emerges from the cocoon and attaches itself to a host ready to start the cycle again. Adult fleas will often drop off their host between feeds.
Fleas prefer a warm humid environment and mainly breed in the warmer months, hence why flea plagues normally happen in the summer months. Fleas can remain dormant in their cocoons for several months waiting for vibrations to stir them into action. Adults emerging from their cocoons are small and black until they feed. Fleas can stay alive for up to 3 months without food.
Prior to any treatments taking place the areas should be cleaned carefully particularly under furniture and carpet edges. Pet areas and upholstered furniture should be given extra attention. It is recommended that vacuumings be burned or sprayed to kill any possible fleas.
For every five (5) fleas found on your dog or cat, there may be as many as 95 in the carpet! This may sound hard to believe, for most of its life the flea does not look like the small dark insect that people recognise.
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