The Flea is the common name for the order Siphonaptera and includes 2500 species of small flightless insects that survive as external parasites of mammals and birds. Fleas survive consuming blood from their hosts. Adults fleas grow to about 3mm in length, are usually brown and have bodies that are flattened enabling them to move through their hosts fur or feathers. Fleas mouth parts are adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood and their hind legs are extremely well adapted for jumping. They are able to leap a distance of some 50 times their body length.
Female fleas can lay up to 1000 eggs. The eggs drop onto the floor and the animals bedding. They cant lay viable eggs in the absense of the host animal.. After several days the eggs develop into larvae. When fully grown the larvae spin well camouflaged silken cocoons.
When fully developed the adult waits within this until it detects the vibrations caused by a potential host. Only then does it emerge. The complete life cycle takes a month in the summer.
In the UK there is little evidence that fleas spread disease. However, flea bites can cause intense irritation. Different people react differently to a bite , both regarding the degree of reaction and the time taken to react.
HOW DO I PREVENT FLEAS?
Its difficult to prevent fleas but there are some things you can do to reduce your chances of getting them.
Pet maintenance-Applying veterinary approved flea products to your pets on a regular basis.
Vacuuming- Frequent vacuuming especially around your pet areas and furniture.
Washing- Regular washing your pets bedding on a hot wash.
Gardening- Try and keep your garden neat and tidy by mowing etc.
HOW TO GET RID OF FLEAS.
For a flea infestation, we strongly recommend you contact a professional pest controller. Here at LadyBug we have the technical knowledge and access to a range of professional use insecticides which are not available to the public.
Before an insecticidal treatment, clear as much floor space as possible to ensure that the treatment is as through as possible. Vacuuming all areas to remove debris, eggs, larvae and adult fleas. Remember to remove the waste bag and dispose.
The standard treatment for a flea infestation is the application of residual insecticide either as a liquid or powder. The insecticide is applied to floor surfaces. Please do not vacuum for at least 2 weeks afteror your be in danger of removing insecticide which will lead to a failed treatment.