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Cat and dog fleas are very similar in appearance and can be found in the same area. They are small, 1/8-inch in length, wingless, flattened on the side and have piercing-sucking mouthparts. Fleas can jump at least six inches straight up. They are black-to-reddish brown in color. Its body is covered with backward projecting spines, which help it to move between the hairs on the host animal. The head of the female cat flea is twice as long as its height while the head of the female dog flea is less than twice as long as its height. Cat and dog flea larvae are 1/4-inch long when fully developed. They have 13 body segments and are dirty white in color with backward projecting hairs on each body segment. They also have a pair of hook-like attachments on the last abdominal segment.
Adult fleas feed on blood with their piercing-sucking mouthparts. They typically seek a blood meal within two days of becoming an adult. A flea bite injects saliva, and sucks blood, then leaves a red spot on the skin. The saliva is irritating to the host, causing dermatitis and hair loss in allergic animals. Adult fleas remain on the host animal throughout their lifetime, while at times they get knocked off the animal by scratching. So they can be found in the pet bedding and resting area sometimes. The larvae can be usually found in areas where pets spend most of their time as well as in animal nesting areas.
The females lay 4-8 eggs after every blood meal (but 400 to 800 total within her lifetime) on the host animal and/or in its bedding. The eggs hatch in about 10 days, and the growing larvae feed on bits of dried blood contained in the feces of adult fleas. They may molt three times from seven days to several months, depending on temperature. Once matured, they spin silken cocoons and pupate in them. The pupal stage is up to 20 weeks. An adult cat flea often stays within the cocoon until vibrations stimulate it to emerge. Growth may span from 16 days to a year or even more.
How to Prevent Damage
- Use flea carpet powder on carpets and furniture.
- Flea bombs can also be used with proper guidance.
- Vacuum clean the house and each crevices.
- Call professionals if things go beyond control.
Our pest control methods and equipment are highly effective and eco friendly, we specialize in green approaches for a complete solution.
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