Fleas(Siphonaptera)
View More Photos

Fleas are everywhere. Female fleas lay 50 eggs per day and can live for 3 months, so when fleas find a place to breed they can breed quickly and often. While fleas don’t love humans, they do love pets, and when pets are not around they’ve been known to munch on humans here and there in order to get their fill. When fleas have sufficient food, they can breed quickly and lead to some tremendous flea invasions.

SCIENCE INFORMATION

  • Official Name: Siphonaptera
  • Length: 1.5 to 3mm
  • Color: Reddish brown
  • Poisonous: No
  • Cause of Distress: Itchy Bites

LIFE CYCLE OF FLEAS

Fleas lay enough eggs to equal their body weight, with as many as 50 eggs a day. Flea eggs are so small, they can appear almost like specs of white dirt. They are sticky, and tend to stick to carpets. As soon as they emerge from their eggs they need to feed, but unable to pierce skin they feed off of the remnants of deceased insects, and other food crumbs.


They then form a cocoon around themselves and wait for 18 days, after which they mature and become adults. Adults have strong back legs and a hard shell allowing them to withstand a lot of damage. Adults can also only live a few days without food, so they move quickly to a host to feed.

FLEAS AS PESTS

Fleas most commonly affect pets, whose hair makes them an easy target. But they will bite humans when you are in their space. While fleas do not carry disease, they can cause pets to bite themselves, possibly leading to infections. Untreated flea bites can scab over and cause tremendous distress for pets. For humans, the fleas can leave many bites that are similar to mosquito bites on exposed skin.

HOW TO PREVENT FLEAS INVASIONS

Flea infestations can be prevented by using a safe flea control solution on your pets. Make sure it’s from a trusted brand, as some of the cheaper brands are believed to cause damage to your pet’s organs and do not work for as long. Vacuuming often can also decrease flea numbers, though the eggs usually still remain.


Small flea infestations may not need treatment if your pet has been treated, but if the invasion has gotten out of hand it can be a tremendous problem.