Pest & Vermin Control
The Joint Is Jumpin’ – The Story Of The Flea -Contrary to popular opinion cat & dog fleas do not live on their chosen animal, they merely jump onto their host at feeding time, and dinner for a flea of course is blood.
In nature, the fleas live and breed in the nest of animals they feed on, in reality of course in a modern house the ‘nest’ becomes the carpets, rugs and soft furnishings.
Flea infestations are becoming much more prevalent in recent years, centrally heated homes provide an ideal environment for the life cycle of the insect, which can be completed in as little as 16 days.
The increased presence of urban foxes in many towns and cities may be responsible for the increased number of flea infestations as foxes always carry a generous population to share with the neighborhood cats and dogs.
The well-fed flea lays its eggs in the nesting material, carpets in a modern dwelling, which hatch out into larvae which crawl away from light and hence are to be found deep in the pile. In the egg and larval stage, they are also pretty resistant to insecticide which is why it is rarely possible to cure a flea infestation with one treatment.
The larvae eat the blood-rich droppings of the adult flea before pupating to emerge as a young, hungry flea.
Human beings do not taste especially nice to fleas and our blood is not of sufficient quality for them to breed, but in the absence of a cat or a dog we will do!
In the absence of a host, the immature flea can go into a dormant state without feeding for up to a year or more and then revive within seconds on feeling the vibration from the footfall of a potential meal. For this reason, properties that have been empty for a while often provide a little surprise for the new owners.
Often the family holiday is the time when people notice they have a flea problem, having put the family pet in kennels for a couple of weeks the resident flea population is starving and eager to greet them on their return.
There is however a dangerous side to fleas, we all know they were responsible for the transmission of plague and thankfully we don’t have that to contend with anymore but they can set off serious skin irritations in susceptible people including dermatitis.
They also have a more sinister side. The flea is an intermediate host for tapeworm.
When the flea dines on an animal infected with tapeworm it can ingest the worm eggs which pass into its guts. These infected fleas can then be ingested by a cat or dog during self-grooming and the worms infect the new host.
Worse still it is easy for a human baby or toddler to accidentally ingest these fleas when crawling on flea-infested carpets.
In order to clear a flea infestation, it will be necessary to treat both the animal and the carpets and soft furnishings of the property and outdoor areas where the animal may frequently visit. A professional pest controller will often use both an insecticide and a growth retardant hormone to interfere with the flea life-cycle. The cat or dog will need to be treated at the same time by a veterinarian.
This post was brought to you by Jenkins Pest Control and Lawn Services in San Antonio Texas