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Topical Issues
August

Ants: flying ants are now causing many problems. Easy to control. Give us a call.

Wasps: Season now in full swing. The nests are about the size of a foot ball or more!

If you need help with these or any other pest problem Call us!

Dog Flea Fleas

Hedgehog, Bird, Dog, Cat,
Crab Louse, Human 
Cat Flea

Size:

2-3mm overall body length

Markings: 

Adult fleas are dark mahogany in colour. Larval stages are white/straw coloured, small and hairy.

Location: Carpeting, bedding, under furniture, roof spaces (bird's nests). Any areas that pets frequent.
Detection:

Visual sightings of adults. Bites, most often on the lower leg.

 Fleas as adults are parasites on warm blooded animals, eg humans, cats, dogs, birds, etc. These are known as hosts. Those most commonly found in homes hospitals and offices are cat fleas, but others (dog fleas, bird fleas, hedgehog fleas and occasionally human fleas) may also occur. The historical links with the Bubonic Plague, caused by a bacterium carried by the black rat flea, are widely known. What may be surprising is that plague has not been eradicated, and can still be caught in areas such as Madagascar and some areas of the Far East.

Female fleas lay eggs of about 1 mm in small batches on or near the host after a blood meal. After 2 or 3 days, the eggs develop into bristly, legless larvae. These feed on scraps of organic matter and specks of host blood passed by the adult fleas. After 3 moults and a period of typically about 3 weeks, the larvae pupate, turning into adults within days or laying dormant for many months.

Vibrations caused by the presence of a host triggers off the hatching process. Once hatched, the flea jumps towards any source of heat and vibration. They also 'taste' the air and detect the presence of carbon dioxide from the host's breathe, enabling them to home-in on their target. The complete lifecycle is temperature-dependent, but in favourable conditions one pair of breeding fleas can produce 6000 off spring in four weeks.

Reasons for Control

It is important to control fleas for various medical and social reasons, i.e. fleas can be carriers of serious bacterial diseases and are vectors of tape worms to domestic animals and humans. In recent years flea infestations have increased due to a number of reasons, including central heating, fitted carpets (especially long pile) and increasing numbers of pets kept in homes (especially cats).


 

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