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To know a Flea: Flea Biology and life cycle

Bug Lady posted this on Oct 5, 2016

Monica Bird |

Fleas are all parasites that feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals. The Cat Flea is the common flea on both our dogs and cats, and got their common name from its association large felines in Africa. The “flea bite” reaction usually is caused by the saliva of the flea and our body’s immune system reaction to it, and for some people the reaction is quite severe, while others may not have any reaction.

 

There are well over 2,400 different kinds of fleas known around the world But when it comes to dealing with fleas in our homes in the United States, it is the Cat Flea. Its Latin name is Ctenocephalides felis.


Fleas 
undergo a “complete” life cycle, similar to a butterfly or moth. The four stages are the egg, the larva, the pupa, and the adult (biting stage). The larva is a scavenger that crawls around in your carpet, feeding on whatever organic material it can find, including one very important organic item is the dried BLOOD, fecal drops that have come out of the adult fleas as they feed on your pets.


The female flea lays her eggs, several hundred of them in her lifetime, on your pet. The eggs fall off the pet onto the surface below. The eggs hatch in just a few days, and become the larva. The larval stage you will never see. They live in the thatch of the carpet and avoid light and activity. You also are not bitten by the larvae. The larva feeds for around 10 days and then goes into the pupa, or cocoon stage, by wrapping local debris around itself with a sticky material that causes it to adhere to the carpet fibers.


Inside the pupa the adult flea develops. Some will hatch in a few days and some that may stay in that pupa case for over 6 months. It may be the vibration of the animal (or people) walking on the carpet, or the physical contact of being stepped or sat upon, that causes the flea to emerge within seconds after resting there for a long time. This is important for performing effective treatments.


What you are looking for is some way to kill the adult fleas and the larvae, and also to kill flea adults that emerge over the next couple of weeks.  Products that contain an insect growth regulator and adulticide are the ideal control method.  Favorites are Precor 2000, Ultracide, Gentrol, and precor.

 

Solutions Pest & Lawn has also put together flea control kits for all types of jobs, small to large.  We have taken the guess work out of flea control.  Shop with us first, low price guarantee, free shipping, free professional advice.

Categories: Fleas
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