The cat flea is the commonest of all the flea species and is the one generally encountered when dealing with flea infestations. Even when dogs are present it is often the cat flea that is the culprit. It bites and feeds on warm blooded animals be that pets or humans. Usually cat flea bites are noticed more around the area of the ankle and lower legs unlike bedbug bites which may be on any part of the body.
Adult fleas are small (averages 2mm in size) wingless insects, with flattened and red-brown, with backwardly directed spines and legs designed for jumping.
Fleas need the host animal to breed, in the case of the cat flea eggs are laid in the fir, many of these eggs will become dislodged as the pet sleeps and travels around it’s environment. These eggs will stay on the pet and in the environment until they hatch at approximately 2-3 days at which point the first larval stage emerges. The larvae moult 2-3 times over a 3-4 week period at which point it enters the pupal stage of it’s life cycle, adults start to emerge after about a month later but this is highly dependent on temperature, however adult fleas can remain in the cocoon in a state of semi dormancy until the vibrations of a potential host passing nearby stimulate it’s emergence. At this point it will emerge, find the host and start feeding.
How to prevent and get rid of fleas
- Applying veterinary approved flea treatments to your pet on a regular basis.
- Regular vacuuming of the pet bedding and areas that your pet frequents.
- Regular washing of pet bedding at the hottest possible cycles.
If after these measures you suffer from a flea infestation we would advise that the entire property is treated with the approved methods and insecticides. This would normally include mattresses and other soft furnishings. We will also advise the client about procedures they can do to help. It’s not likely you will eradicate a flea infestation yourself due to the widespread nature of most infestations and also the necessary application methods.