All species of Fleas are categorised under the name of Siphonaptera. Cat Fleas [Ctenocphalides Felix] are the most common type of Flea and can infest cats, dogs, birds and humans.
Fleas like warm, moist conditions. Fleas feed on blood from the host.
The saliva of Fleas, like with other biting insect pests, contains an ingredient that softens the skin of the host which allows feeding to be easy - it is the Fleas saliva that causes irritation such as itching or scratching.
Fleas have become a common insect pest in houses in the UK, partly due to the ideal environment of centrally heated houses keeping a comfortable temperature throughout the year.
A light population of Fleas in a house will usually go unnoticed by the human occupants as the Fleas will feed exclusively on the Cat or Dog host. Only when the Cat or Dog host is temporarily removed or the Flea populaton grows to a noticeable infestation level are the human inhabitants likely to be aware of them. One or two people in the house may be affected by the bites of Fleas, usually to the lower parts of legs. Mainly women or children are affected, it is thought due to their more sensitive skins.
The life cycle of the Flea is in 4 main stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult. The time span of the Flea life cycle can be from a couple of weeks to several months depending on its environment and conditions.
Flea eggs usually are found in carpets or pets bedding. The Flea eggs hatch after a couple of days or they can take longer.
Flea Larvae is the next stage of the life cycle. The Flea larva are found in carpets and pets bedding and it feeds off the faeces of the adult Flea [ dried blood ]. This larva stage lasts for about 5 - 18 days.
Flea pupa is the stage prior to a flea emerging as an adult. The adult Flea can emerge from the pupa/cocoon between 3-4 days, or it can remain in the cocoon for up to a year waiting for the right conditions.
Adult Fleas are flat with hairy bristles on the body. The adult Flea has 3 pairs of legs. The hind legs are "jumping" legs. The adult Flea is normally about 2mm long.
The adult Flea likes to live on the animal host taking its blood meals regularly. The female Flea will lay around 50 round, cream coloured eggs per day. The Fleas eggs drop off the host and lay in the carpet or bedding.
How to get rid of Fleas?
Because the life cycle of the Flea can vary so much, you must make sure that you give a full Flea treatment to your pests regularly. Precautionary measures such as spraying carpets and bedding with one of our Flea insectide sprays and sprinkling pets bedding with one of our Flea killer powders is our advice. You may also consider a twice yearly Flea and insect fumigation treatment by using our smoke fumers especially in any room where pets are present but also in other rooms to make sure you are totally insect pest free.