Fleas

Various Species:

  • Cat Flea (Ctenocephalidesfelis)
  • Dog Flea (Ctenocephalidescanis)
  • Human Flea (Pulexirritans)
  • Bird Flea (Ceratophyllusgallinae)

Appearance:

  • Length: Around 2mm.
  • Compressed flattened bodies with over lapping toughened plates.
  • Long well developed hind legs for jumping.
  • Greyish through to dark mahogany in colour.
  • Mouthparts adapted to piercing and sucking with small eyes and they are covered with backward-directed bristles and spines.

Lifecycle (Based on Human Flea):

  • Eggs 0.5mm pearly white they are laid in carpets, between floorboards, on fur, bedding and on clothing.
  • These hatch in 2 – 3 days.Larva – whitish up to 5mm long they thrive best in dark humid places like underneath furniture, after 2 -3 moults these are fully grown in 3 – 4 weeks.
  • Pupa – cocoons incorporating debris to feed from they are spun by the larva. The development time is dependent on the temperature. Their emergence is in response to vibration. Adults – once emerged from the flimsy cocoon they rapidly find a host for their first blood meal.

Habits & Behaviour:

  • Adults can survive several weeks without a blood meal
    The larvae thrive in dark, humid places such as animal bedding and carpet fluff, and feed on organic debris and adult flea excrement.
  • Adults feed on the blood of the species to which they are adapted but will feed on other animals in the absence of the normal host.
  • Living on our pets and irritating humans a source of blood is valuable part of the diet.
  • Adults can survive several weeks without a blood meal.

Important:

  • Wall-to-wall carpeting provides a relatively undisturbed environment for flea larvae to develop, whilst central heating has served to ensure the ideal temperature conditions.
  • Irritation and allergic reactions can be cause from bites. Scientists believe that fleas were the cause of the plague being transferred to humans back in 1665.
  • Fleas can be vectors of disease or may transmit parasitic worms.
  • These can sometimes be transmitted to humans.

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