Although many insects are beneficial to humans, plants, and animals—pollinating plants, forming soils through decomposition, and producing honey and other useful substances—fleas are known principally as disease-carrying parasites that feed on blood. When pets have fleas, it can be challenging to rid them from your home without intervention from a qualified pest control service.
What Should You Know About Fleas?
1. Function in Nature
Insects are members of the largest class of animals. They’re arthropods, which means they have external skeletons, segmented bodies, and jointed legs. Lobsters and crabs are also arthropods.
Fleas can make pets and other animals miserable and sick because of the micro-organisms they carry, and their bites cause irritation, itchiness, allergies, infections, and disease. They can also transmit tapeworms to pets and also cause anemia.
2. Anatomy & Locomotion
The body of a flea has three parts: head, thorax, and abdomen. Females are larger than males, and adults, which may grow up to 0.4 inches, have mouthparts designed to pierce and suck.
Although fleas have three pairs of legs, they also efficiently move about by leaping onto hosts that carry them from place to place. Their ability to propel themselves would vastly exceed records set by Olympic long jumpers if fleas were the same size as humans.
3. Life Cycle
Flea larvae hatch out of eggs that fall off an animal host. As they mature into adults, which usually takes about three weeks, fleas grow larger by shedding their outer skeletons and forming new ones. After a few molts, they cocoon themselves, undergo some changes, and later emerge as adults that begin searching for blood.
Fleas reproduce at high rates wherever food sources are abundant and climate conditions are right. Although they can live for a time away from their hosts, the life span of adults lasts only a few months.
4. Flea Control
In the United States, the cat flea is responsible for most harm to pets and humans. Regular vacuuming and washing are necessary to reduce their numbers. In addition, to protect your animals and home from fleas, enlist a team of pest control professionals to treat the breeding sites, furniture and carpets.
Also, take your pets to the vet for an insecticidal pill or topical lotion. They may also recommend shampooing, spraying, combing, and putting on a flea-repellant collar.
If your home has fleas, contact the pest control experts at Bug-A-Pest. With offices in Mason and King’s Mill, they’ve been serving clients throughout Butler, Clermont, Hamilton, and Warren counties since 1992, providing inspections, preventative services, and exterminations. Visit them online to learn more about their experienced teams, or call (513) 459-7700 to speak with Mason, OH’s leading pest control service.