Cat Fleas - Ctenoce Phalides Felis | Dog Fleas - Ctenoce Phalides Canis
Fleas are very common and often carried by domestic pets, but can also be carried by birds or brought home unintentionally after visiting an infested home. Adult fleas are parasites and live on warm blooded animals including humans, but fleas are host specific (i.e. A cat fleas needs to live on a cat to successfully reproduce) however they can take a feed of blood from anywhere. Fleas are brown in colour and about 2mm long. Flea eggs are pearly white in colour, about 1mm long and slightly sticky. Droppings found in clusters next to the skin are black but when dropped into water turn red. Fleas jump onto a host when it is alerted to its presence by vibrations and warmth. They feed and lays eggs in small batches which will hatch into larvae within a few days. These feed on flea droppings, over the next 3 weeks they will molt 2-3 times eventually spinning a silky cocoon near their food source, which maybe in pet bedding, carpet, or in floor boards. The adult will stay in this cocoon until it senses a host jumps on board and the cycle starts all over again. Often flea bites are located below the knee as they don’t jump very high. Successful treatment is undertaken on several levels. First the host must be treated by a product with vetinary approval. Pet bedding and soft furnishings are treated with a residual insecticide, but because eggs and cocoons are tolerant to this treatment, an insect growth inhibitor will prevent these growing into an adult.