Fleas are small, wingless insects whose average adult measure is 1-4 mm. An adult flea is usually reddish-brown to dark in colour. Its body is laterally compressed (flattened side-by-side), permitting easy movement through the hairs or feathers on the host’s body. Fleas are considered pests mainly because they are blood-sucking insects. They are also considered as external parasites. Because of their blood-sucking behaviour, fleas are a nuisance to human beings. In urban pest management, the common hosts of fleas are dogs, cats, rats and birds. They normally stay on the body of the host because they need to suck blood several times a day to become reproductive. They are good jumpers and some species can jump as high as 30 cm. Fleas also prefer dark environments and usually avoid light.
How to Detect Fleas
- Fleas hopping on your carpet, rug, furniture, curtain, clothes and pet bedding
- Multiple black dot-like insects in your pet’s fur
- Constant scratching, licking or biting of your pets
- Presence of brown and black debris (flea’s droppings) throughout your pet’s fur coat
- Reddened areas of pet skin with some fur loss in the infested area
- Presence of blood stains due to the excretion of undigested blood by the fleas is a clear sign
of fleas in the vicinity
- Bites on your body
Medical & Economic Importance
The most commonly found fleas include:
- Cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis)
- Dog fleas (Ctenocephalides canis)
- Human fleas (Pulex irritans)
Fleas normally bite around the ankles & legs and their bites are extremely irritating; which may result in dermatitis. On top of that some people and animals suffer allergic reactions to flea saliva resulting in rashes.
Flea bites generally result in the formation of a slightly-raised swollen itching spot with a single puncture point at the centre. The bites often appear in clusters or lines, and can remain itchy and inflamed for up to several weeks.
How Did I Get Fleas When I Don’t Have Pets?
Fleas reproduce quickly, mostly if you have pets in the house. But even if you don’t have pets, there are several ways your house can possibly become infested with fleas.
- If you have moved into a new house and the previous occupants had pets, there could be eggs left behind that will hatch and cause an infestation.
- Rodents, possum, squirrels, and bats could become host to fleas. Therefore, if you have had problems with these animals in your home, you have a higher probability of having a flea problem.
- Neighborhood pets that wander through your property or live near your house also may leave behind fleas that then jump on your clothes or your belongings.
- You may also introduce fleas in your home when you bring in the used furniture or items that may have fleas or their eggs hidden within.
- Guests that have visited your home with their pets also may have unintentionally brought fleas into your home.
Flea Management by Ridpest
An important component of our flea management program is the cooperation of homeowners in maintaining proper sanitation and continued flea control on their pets.
- Our team will conduct an inspection of pet lounging areas, garages, wooden frames, the porch area, crawl spaces, etc.
- All possible flea harbourage areas should be treated, including carpeting, other floor areas, pet resting areas, upholstered areas, with pesticides using ULV foggers.
- Customers have to keep their children and pets off sprayed surfaces until they are absolutely dry. This is essential to avoid pesticide-poisoning incidents.
- Follow-up treatment and inspection should be done in 7 days’ time to get rid of the newly-hatched adults.