Common Name: Cat Flea Scientific name: Ctenocephalides felis Size 2.5mm
Biology: Female’s lay 4-8 eggs after each blood meal, laying some 400-500 eggs during their lifetime. The eggs are not glued or stuck to the hairs or body but are deposited on or between hairs, or in the nest or bedding material. The eggs will hatch 2-3 weeks later depending on the temperature. Eggs that are deposited on an animal either fall or are shaken off, and are frequently found in cracks and crevices where pets sleep or frequent. Adults usually begin to seek a blood meal on the second day of emergence, but can live for several months on stored body fat. Although they have a preferred host, they will readily bite and can survive using other species as hosts, spreading a variety of known infectious diseases.
Habits: It is not necessary to have pets in the building to have fleas present. Since fleas can jump 6ft or more vertically, they can easily hitch a ride on trousers and shoes etc. if a building has been vacant for some time they are often greeted and attacked by fleas. This can happen even if a building has been vacant of animals and humans for as long as 6 months or so. This can happen because of the potentially long pupae period, and adults can live so long without food.
Treatment: Before a treatment can be carried out any pets should be treated for fleas using front line, all carpeted areas will need to be vacuumed and hard floors cleaned. The floor space of each carpeted room should be as clear as humanly possible.This is so that we can treat as much of the floor space as we can. Once the property has been vacuumed the hoover bag should be removed and disposed of outside, bagless hoovers to be cleaned with hot water and detergent. All skirting boards where they meet the floor, all carpeted areas, cracks/crevices and soft furnishings will be sprayed with an insecticide. The treatment may have to be repeated if biting continues after 2 weeks. It is advised that all treated areas cannot be cleaned or vacuumed for at least 2-3 weeks after the treatment.
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