Fleas – The Basics Part One

The Fleas series pt. 1

What are fleas?

Fleas are flightless insects that live by consuming the blood of their hosts. Female fleas can consume about 15 times their body weight in blood every day. With an 8 inch vertical leap and a 3mm long body, fleas are both hard to catch and see and therefore can quickly become a problem.

The Flea Life Cycle

  1. Mating occurs on host
  2. Fleas lays 40-50 eggs a day
  3. ‘Flea dirt’ drops off host onto environment
  4. Larvae hatch from eggs
  5. They then consume ‘Flea dirt’
  6. Larvae go through 3 stages and then spin a silken cocoon
  7. Pupal development begins, taking anywhere from 8 days to 30 weeks
  8. Flea waits in place for a suitable host
  9. They begin feeding immediately and excrete ‘Flea dirt’
  10. Mating occurs on host

Average lifespan of a flea:

  • Ideal conditions – 12 to 22 days
  • Average conditions – 30 days
  • Poor conditions – up to 1.5 years

 

Why are fleas a problem?

Besides causing severe discomfort including scratching, chewing, biting and restlessness, fleas can cause a number of serious problems such as Anemia and Tapeworm infections. As well as this, a common condition among cats and dogs is Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD), so it’s best to avoid fleas.

How to control your flea problem

  • Consult your local pet specialist – they’ll quickly be able to spot if you have a flea problem and will be able to give you a subscription to strong and appropriate flea treatments
  • Kill fleas on your dog/cat – getting rid of the fleas in your house is pointless if you still have fleas on your pet and vise versa, so it’s vital to rid all of them to stop the problem
  • Eliminate fleas in your home – either by contacting professionals to rid your house of fleas or doing it yourself, it’s important to clean every surface and everything thing in your house as fleas will be hiding everywhere and anywhere
  • Prevent future infestations – simply by taking tablets fortnightly or weekly in hotter periods, you can prevent another severe infestation

Team Shanklinpets

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