Fleas are flightless insects that feed on the blood of their hosts. They are approximately 1/16 to 1/8 inches in length and are very agile. These pesky pests live on warm-blooded animals including pets, rodents, and even humans. They are often mistaken for bed bugs, ticks, or lice. Fleas are reddish-brown, and contrary to popular belief, they do not have wings. They can jump to a height of four feet though! Pretty shocking, huh?
There are hundreds of flea species around the world. Fleas can be classified into three basic groups – mobile, sedentary, and sticktight fleas:
– Mobile fleas change their hosts frequently and they spend most of their time in nests or on their host.
– Sedentary fleas, as the name itself implies, stay in one place.
– Sticktight fleas dig into the skin of any animal and hold on tightly.
Once they’re in your home, fleas can survive on carpets, sofas, and household goods until they find a suitable host. Female fleas lay eggs in a variety of places and those eggs turn into larvae and then pupae. Fleas can remain safe in their cocoons in the pupal stage for weeks to months. That’s why so many homeowners mistakenly think that their flea problems are over, then they’re surprised to see them again. When this itchy insect feels warmth or notices other signs of a good host, it emerges from its cocoon and jumps onto its victim’s body. This is where they begin their life cycle, feeding on blood.
Fleas can spread a variety of illnesses to pets and humans alike. They’re well-known for spreading the Bubonic Plague in the 14th Century, which killed millions of people. While the other diseases they spread aren’t as serious, it’s best to avoid them altogether. They carry pathogens that can cause tapeworm, cat scratch disease, and typhus. Flea bites can also lead to severe infections as well as irritation of the skin.
Flea infestations generally occur during the warm and moist months of the year. However, keeping your home and pet areas clean year-round can reduce the risk of a flea infestation. Be sure to vacuum, sweep and sanitize often. You should also wash your furry friend’s bedding and toys regularly, and make sure you’re keeping up with their flea medication.
At Clark Exterminating we work to ensure that the spaces you occupy, whether home or office, are free of fleas. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with our professionals. And Remember… The Bug Stops Here!