All ABOUT FLEAS

Flea belongs to order Siphonaptera is a group of bloodsucking insects that are major disease carriers and can be a serious pest. Fleas are parasitic insects that live on the host’s exterior. They are ectoparasitic.

What do Fleas eat?

A flea feeds on human blood, animal material, pet blood, decomposing plants, and feces. Fleas are well recognized for being hematophagic or feeding only on blood. Given their ability to eat everything, it is logical to conclude that fleas are omnivores. Before they begin sucking blood, flea larvae and baby fleas frequently eat flea feces or other wastes, as well as rotting animal and plant debris [1].

Life cycle and reproduction of Fleas

Fleas go through a four-stage metamorphosis: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. . Fleas like a warm, moist habitat with temperatures between 70- and 90-degrees Fahrenheit and relative humidity of at least 75%. The cat flea life cycle, from egg to adult, takes about 18 days under optimal conditions.

Before mating, adult fleas (male and female) require a blood meal. They prefer blood from your pet, although fleas may bite humans in the absence of a feline or canine host.

Female fleas may lay up to 50 eggs every day on your dog or cat once mated. Because an adult flea normally lives for several months, a single flea can quickly establish a significant infestation. Many flea eggs fall off while your pet moves about your home. Cat flea eggs are extremely little, average about 1/32 inch in diameter, and hence go undetected in your pet’s carpets, bedding, and furniture [2].
Within two to five days, larvae resembling worms emerge from the eggs. With no eyes or legs, you may believe that flea larvae would struggle to survive on your carpet. However, flea larvae thrive huddled between carpet threads, feeding on everything organic, from hair to adult flea feces.
The larvae eat and molt for approximately one to two weeks before pupating within silk cocoons. The flea cocoon is frequently concealed by waste such as hair, skin fragments, and carpet fibers. Adults may emerge in approximately a week in a warm environment of your dog or cat. When your pet walks by, the new adult flea will jump on him and instantly begin sucking on his blood.

Prevention

There are a few precautions that individuals should take to avoid fleas becoming an irritating nuisance.

Around the House

Keep your home clean. Sanitation is critical for avoiding an infestation. Vacuum furniture, carpets, and floors and wash linens on a regular basis to eliminate any existing fleas and to help prevent egg hatching.

Due to the fact that fleas may be transported by rodents, it is critical to prevent any rodent harborage areas by maintaining well-maintained grass. This involves regularly mowing the lawn, fixing loose masonry and weather stripping around the basement windows and basement foundation, and eliminating all moisture sources throughout the property.

Animal Care

Fleas should be routinely checked on pets’ coats, especially after spending time outside. Avoid excessive licking and scratching by cats. After walks or playing with other animals, bathe pets. Pet bedding, collars, and soft toys should be washed often. Consult a veterinarian for information on flea preventive treatments[3].

References

1. https://a-z-animals.com/blog/what-do-fleas-eat/

2.https://animals.howstuffworks.com/insects/flea2.htm#:~:text=Fleas%20reproduce%20a%20lot%20like,eggs%20and%205%20percent%20adults

3. https://www.cdc.gov/fleas/index.html

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