Cat and dog fleas are usually found associated with their hosts and are found in and around homes and kennels. During the summer, fleas often breed outdoors and may be present in yards. Fleas prefer warm, moist conditions, with temperatures of 75 to 85°F and a relative humidity of 70 percent or higher. Adult fleas are primarily external parasites of cats and dogs; however, in the absence of their preferred hosts, will bite humans. Bites are painful and result in blood loss, irritation, itching, and moderate to severe discomfort. In addition, fleas can carry disease organisms and serve as intermediate hosts for tapeworms that sometimes attack humans.
Adult fleas are approximately 1/12 to 1/8 inch (2 to 3 mm) long, wingless, reddish-brown, hard bodied, and compressed from side-to-side like the blade of a knife. The entire body has stout bristles pointing backward to facilitate forward movement through fur or hair. Fleas have very powerful back legs that are used for jumping onto the host, which gives the false impression that they can fly. Fleas can jump 7 to 8 inches (178 to 203 mm) high and for distances of 14 to 16 inches (356 to 406 mm).
Cat and dog fleas are similar in their appearance and life cycles. There are four stages — egg, larva, pupa (inactive stage in a cocoon), and adult . The time required to complete the life cycle depends on temperature, humidity and availability of food. Under favorable conditions, it takes from 2 to 4 weeks to complete development from egg to adult, but it can take as long as 8 to 12 months.
An LA Bugs technician will conduct a thorough inspection and locate areas where the immature stages of the flea population are residing.
After completing the inspection, the next step is preparing the flea management plan. This plan will include:
Species - identifying the flea species causing the problem.
Education - explaining the flea's life cycle and how their habits, habitat and behavior affects the control plan.
Hosts - inspecting for the presence of other animals that are the flea population’s source of food. This may include rodents either inside or outside the home or perhaps a raccoon or feral cat that is living in the crawl space.
Vets - homeowner contacting their veterinarian for advice and purchase of flea control products that can be used on pets.
Bathing - regular bathing and grooming of pets.
Chemicals - explaining the use of growth regulators that will interfere with the flea’s normal development into the adult stage.
Vacuum - using a strong vacuum to physically remove flea eggs, larvae, pupae and adults.
Bedding - frequently washing and drying pet bedding.
Products - treating affected areas by using safe and effective flea control products where immature fleas may be located.
Inspections - scheduling a follow-up visit.
Call our office or book on line for scheduling your inspection.