Adult fleas live exclusively as parasites of warm-blooded animals such as cats and dogs. Flea bodies are specially designed to be able to withstand difficult conditions. They have a hard outer coating which means they are not easily crushed. Additionally they easily guide their small flat bodies through hair, feathers and animal fur.
These external parasites can cause year-round problems and also spread tapeworm and severe diseases to pets. Adult fleas, larvae and eggs need to be removed in order eradicate these pests from an environment.
Fleas have four life stages – egg, larvae, pupa and biting adult. The female flea can lay up to 50 eggs a day, 400 eggs in her lifetime. Eggs fall off your pet and develop into worm like larvae which hide in carpet, furniture, bedding and other dark places. The larvae mature as they feed on faecal matter dropped by adult fleas and the cycle continues. The time it takes for a flea egg to develop into an adult flea can vary from as little as 12 days to as long as 325 days. Fleas can only lay eggs after taking blood from a host animal.
You can limit fleas from your home by taking a few simple precautions, - vacuum regularly – wash pet bedding and place in direct sunlight every few days – keep pet areas clean – block off pet access to underneath homes.
Did you know?
• A flea can live more than 100 days without a blood meal
• The female flea consumes 15 times her own body weight in blood daily
• A flea can jump up to approximately 150 times its own height.
• The largest recorded flea is the North American found on beavers, it can measure 12mm in length