Fleas are irritating pests throughout the world. The vast majority of the time they are transmitted via the family pet. In some circumstances they are present even after the host animals are gone. It is highly recommended that pets be treated with a systemic veterinary product.
There is a large body of information available about fleas. The Internet and a multitude of books have information as well as veterinarians and pest control professionals. It is well worth an affected persons time to obtain information on this pest.
Fleas have a complete life cycle; egg, larva, pupa and adult. The eggs can be seen without a microscope. They are a whitish oval about 1/50 of an inch in size. Because they do not reside on the host, pet bedding and rest areas for the pet are where they are most likely to be seen. Female fleas may lay anywhere from 100 to over 1000 eggs in their lifetime. It is generally accepted that flea eggs hatch within 2 to 10 days. Larvae are small worm like maggots that feed on the feces of adult fleas. They develop into pupae in 5 to 30 days. The pupal stage is about 7 to 10 days. These tricky little stinkers may remain as pre-emergent adults cocooned for months in the absence of a host. When a host is sensed, out pop the adult fleas ravenously hungry for a blood meal. Without blood, adult fleas usually die in about a week. Well-fed fleas can live from one month to one year.
Treatments for fleas must be done in a very thorough manner. Depending upon the circumstances both the interior and exterior of a home may need to be treated. If there is a pet present it, must also be treated in a manner approved by a veterinarian. The number of treatments necessary will vary depending upon the severity of the infestation and environmental conditions.
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