What is a flea?
Fleas are small, wingless insects with mouthparts adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood.
Where do fleas live?
Adult fleas will live on dogs or cats, feeding on their blood, which is required by the female flea to produce her eggs. The female flea will ingest about 15 times her body weight in blood and lay about 25-50 eggs per day.
The eggs are laid on the animal but will fall off onto the ground or into your carpet, usually close to where your pet spends most of its time. Eggs usually hatch in about 2-12 days depending on temperature and humidity.
The larvae that emerge from the eggs have no legs and can only crawl a short distance, so most will be near your pet’s favourite resting place.
The flea can remain as a larva for 2-20 feeding on organic material. The larvae change into adults after spinning a cocoon (pupa), which may take from 7 days up to 1 year.
The adult fleas emerge from the pupa and jump onto your pets to begin the cycle all over again.
How do I know if my pet has fleas?
The feeding of the fleas will cause irritation so your pet will be constantly scratching and biting itself. You may also observe the fleas in your pet’s hair, see them on your carpet or be bitten yourself.
A severe flea infestation can make your pet very miserable and can lead to allergic dermatitis and anaemia. Fleas can also transmit tapeworm parasites to your pet.
How can I keep fleas out of my house?
Fleas can be difficult to eliminate, but if you are vigilant and use the correct chemicals in a safe and effective manner, you will be victorious. Just be sure to treat all the areas where your pet spends time, including the car.
· Kill the fleas on your pet by treating as recommended by your vet.
· Vacuum regularly, paying special attention to the areas where your pet spends most time.
· Wash or replace pet bedding. Spray with spot killers.
· If you have a severe infestation call in the professionals for a full spray treatment of your property.