FLEAS: THE BLOODSUCKERS
Fleas are irritating, and they are always out looking for a human or animal host to feed on their blood. They are blood-sucking pests that can also cause skin irritation in dogs and cats, and worse, transmit diseases. Having them is almost like having bed bugs in your home – they are a total nightmare.
If you suspect having fleas in your home, getting rid of fleas is of utmost importance because of their capacity to transmit diseases. Getting rid of them, though, can be a very daunting task. If not immediately addressed, the infestation could only worsen, since adult fleas are capable of laying thousands of eggs in their lifetime. When you have fleas, you naturally would only want the best. For the pest control for fleas on dogs, Go-Forth Pest Control is the name you can trust.
What are fleas?
Fleas belong to the order Siphonaptera. All in all, there are about 2,500 species of fleas. They are tiny, blood-sucking, parasitic insects that have reddish-brown bodies and grow about 12 inches to ⅙ inch long. They feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals, which also include humans, which is called hematophagy. They have flattened bodies with long claws on all of their six legs. This body shape, which is sideways flattened, enables them to move through their hosts’ feathers or fur – and they prefer hairy hosts. While other insects have compound eyes, like flies and cockroaches, the fleas have simple eyespots with one biconvex lens. Some fleas do not even have eyes at all. They are excellent jumpers and that skill enables them to jump from one host to another, so they do not need any wings to fly. They have great legs really designed for jumping- and mouthparts designed for sucking blood. Only the froghoppers can out jump them. This amazing jumping ability enables them to jump from one host to another, making the problem worse. They can jump up to 6 inches vertically, so they can easily latch on to a host who happens to pass them by.
Adult fleas eat a lot. They can consume as much as 15 times their own body weight. But do not worry, we are not going to lose blood that way, and so your pets.
Can fleas live on humans?
Fleas also feed on human blood, but they only do so when there are no animal hosts available. Due to the high body temperature of fleas, they cannot stay long on humans. They cannot breed on humans too, so they need to find animal hosts or else, they cannot increase in numbers. Studies have shown that female cat fleas can stay on humans for only 7.4 minutes, and male cat fleas can only stay for 4.4 minutes.
Pets, like your dogs, cats, or hamsters, are the favorite hosts for these fleas. Their survival depends on these hosts. They can live up to one hundred days without a host, but they certainly would not be able to breed. When they are not able to get a blood meal, they would not be able to lay a single egg, and their population would dwindle until they all die. However, if they are able to feed on a blood meal, they can immediately lay eggs, usually after a day or two after feeding. This is how their species survive.
Flea life cycle
Fleas undergo four stages in their lifetime: the egg stage, larva, pupa, and finally the adult stage. An adult female can lay as much as 40 eggs a day. The flea egg takes two days to hatch. The female adult lays her eggs on her host, but usually falls over and can be found in different parts of the house. After the eggs hatch, it becomes a larva. They are tiny and look like worms. This stage lasts for 5 days. It then gets into a cocoon, until they sense a host and then they emerge as adult fleas.
A fully developed flea will only emerge from the cocoon once it has a host it can jump on. A female flea, once it had its first blood meal, can lay eggs after 1 to 2 days of that meal. The whole cycle would then begin with another batch of females laying their eggs.
What are the types of fleas found in the United States?
Of the 2,500 species of fleas all throughout the world, there are only about 200 flea species here in America. Listed below are the most common types of fleas here in America:
- Cat fleas – Their main hosts are cats, but they also feed on dogs, humans, and other animals. When they are inside homes, they usually hide on carpets but can hide on indoor plants as well as on clothes. They lay their eggs on pets, but usually these eggs fall off and can be found around the house.
- Rat fleas – Rat fleas usually are found in rats but can also use humans as a host. There are two kinds of rat fleas: the Oriental and the Northern rat fleas. The Northern rat fleas originated from Europe. They have long bodies, about 3 to 4 mm in length, and with eyes on its head. They are the most widely spread among al its genus. Oriental rat fleas are about 2.5 mm in length and are very good jumpers because their body shape is perfect for jumping. The Oriental rat fleas are said to be the source of the bubonic plague that rocked Europe during the middle ages.
- Human flea – As their name suggests, they infect humans. Human fleas like to hide in the hairy parts of the human body, especially on people who do not practice good hygiene.
- Sticktight fleas – They infest dogs, cats, birds, and even humans. They bury their heads into the skin of their hosts, making them difficult to remove.
- Springtail fleas – They like to live in damp areas. They are about the size of a pinhead but are very good jumpers; they can jump up to four feet. Unlike the other flea types, they do not attach themselves to animals, unless they detect a skin infection which would make the skin damp and therefore attractive.
Where can you normally spot fleas?
Fleas can be found all over the house, usually where your pets love to stay or relax. But there are exact places where you can find fleas in your home, and here they are:
- If you have carpets, then this is the favourite place for fleas to stay. Well, this is where they usually fall off after latching on to your pets. It also resembles the skin of your pets somehow, because carpets look like they have fur too. When they are on the carpet, they can also just wait and lay in ambush.
- They can also infest dirty clothes that have been in one place for a long time.
- Indoor plants are also inviting to fleas. Here, they can stay and hide uninterrupted.
Since fleas are more than just a nuisance, eliminating them must be done immediately. Here are some tips to get rid of fleas:
- Vacuum your carpets, rugs, and furniture regularly. Set your vacuum cleaner to the highest setting, and the brush to its most powerful. After doing this, throw away the bag as it may contain the pupae. Dispose of it accordingly.
- Keep your house clean. Sweep floors and mop them off.
- Wash your pet’s bedding regularly with hot, soapy water to kill the fleas.
- Use a flea comb. Flea combs effectively remove fleas from your dog or cat. With a cup of soapy water, use your flea comb on your pet outside the house. Dip the fleas into the soapy water to drown them.
If you have a flea infestation that has become out of control, you may need the services of a professional exterminator.
Choosing the best pest control management in the Carolinas
If you want to completely eradicate fleas in your home safely and efficiently, finding the pest control for fleas on dogs is important. For their pest control needs, people from North and South Carolina trust only one name: Go-Forth Pest Control.
Go-Forth Pest Control is a family-owned pest control company that uses the only state of the art equipment and methods that are family-friendly and pet-friendly so that your family’s safety is assured. We have gained expert experience in exterminating pests like fleas, cockroaches, wasps, weevils, mosquitoes, mice, flies, termites, ants, and spiders over the years. You may check us on Facebook or Google us to see what our satisfied customers have to say about us.
We provide modern pest control services and techniques, using the latest and most advanced technology in the business, making our service to you more efficient, safer and more convenient. We have a team of expert professionals who can provide the best pest control services to residents and business establishments all throughout North and South Carolina.
Go-Forth Pest Control has earned the trust of residents and businesses in North Carolina for more than 50 years. For more information, or to set an appointment, just dial 336-841-6111. Our friendly operators are standing by.