Cat fleas are parasitic pests that love feeding on mammal blood. The flea bites can be very uncomfortable and itchy, but the worst is that they can transmit serious illnesses. They are very common throughout the United States with most people suffering infestations in their homes.
The fleas are very small in size considering that adults can grow up to 1/12th to around 1/6th of an inch long. They have reddish to dark brown color with flattened hard bodies. They have a total of six legs that are very powerful in that they make it possible for them to jump 8 inches vertically. These parasites are wingless but have the ability to jump very far.
Adult cat fleas live for about 100 days with females producing anywhere between 400 to 500 offspring. The life cycle starts after blood meals because the females get the nutrients they need to start producing the eggs. The eggs are laid on hosts, but they can fall on flooring, ground and even on furniture depending on where they land. Two days after the laying, larva that is worm like emerges from an egg and start feeding on organic debris or fecal matter of the adults for 5 to 15 days before pupal stage is entered.
The pupal lasts for days, weeks and even months, depending on the conditions and how favorable they are to the development. When adult stage is reached, the fleas find hosts as fast as they can and start feeding.
Indoors, flea reproduction is constant, but outdoors the weather conditions can limit the process with warm weather being favorable to the reproduction process.
Habits and risks
Rodents and other small mammals offer very convenient transportation, but your pets could end up bringing the fleas into the house too. Cats and dogs that spend a considerable amount of time outside are more likely to make hosts. However, because cat fleas can jump very far, they could also end up jumping on your clothing and shoes giving them easy access to your home. Rugs, furniture and other household items can also give them access indoors.
Cat flea bites can cause spread of disease such as murine typhus and plague. The fleas are also hosts to rodent tapeworm and dog tapeworm that can infest cats, dogs and humans too. There is therefore a need to find a control solution as soon as you suspect an infestation.
Prevention and control
Treat your pets with the help of your veterinarian to keep the cat fleas at bay. They should also get regular flea checks and their beddings washed on a regular basis.
Vacuum and clean your carpets and floors on a regular basis to keep infestations low. It is also a very good idea to vacuum furniture and wash beddings.
Structural changes can go a long in limiting hosts like mice, raccoons and squirrels from introducing the cat fleas on your property.
If you have an infestation, find reliable pest control services to inspect and eliminate infestations and also offer you helpful tips and advice to keep future infestations at bay.
Contact us today for a free consultation and we will be at your service.