Flea Control Berkshire
Flea Control Info
Fleas are parasites, feeding directly on man or other warm blooded animals. Usually you or your pet serve as their "hosts". A flea can jump 180mm-200mm vertically and 350mm – 400mm horizontally.
A skin reaction to a flea bite would be a slightly raised, red, itching spot. Sometimes bleeding does occur. Fleas usually require warm and humid conditions to develop. Due to the flea cycle and weather conditions many people don't realize they have a flea problem until they return home from vacation or a move to new premises and are confronted by "hungry fleas". There are several types of fleas but the most common is the cat flea even on dogs. Fleas are attracted to body heat, movement, and exhaled carbon dioxide.
The average size of a flea ranges from 2mm – 4 mm long, being very small and without wings. Their bodies are narrow if you view it from the sides allowing them for movement in narrow areas. Because their bodies are covered with spines projecting backward, they are difficult to remove by shaking or scratching.
The cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis) is one of the most widespread of flea species found across Europe.
Habits and Biology:
Fleas go through a complete metamorphosis. There are four distinct stages: eggs, larvae, pupae, and adult. Flea eggs are laid on the host or are deposited on the floor or ground surface. They are also often found in upholstery or pet's bedding. A female flea will continue to lay a few eggs every day until she has reached up to 200-400. These eggs will develop into flea larvae from 2 days to several weeks, depending on the temperature and humidity. Flea larvae are active and look like maggots. The larvae will feed on organic debris, but particularly like to feed on faeces of the adult fleas. This "flea diet" contains undigested blood. The flea larvae are hard to spot and are found deep in the carpets or the cracks and crevices of floors and upholstery. They are very difficult to vacuum, becoming entwined in the carpet fibres. The next stage called the pupae will look like a cocoon, also hard to spot. No spray will kill flea pupae. But a vacuum cleaner can pull them up. Under warm conditions many adult fleas will emerge from this protective cocoon within 7-14 days, longer under less favourable conditions. This flea cycle from eggs through the adult stage is generally 30-60 days. It is critical to break the flea cycle as soon as possible. The insect growth regulators do break the cycle, but at the larvae stage. You have several weeks of the pupae, continuing to hatch out. So a good residual insecticide is needed to kill the emerging adults. Many times you need to spray the residual insecticide again, because the emerging pupae can be very forceful.
A consistent hovering program will help greatly. This will help in particular if you have a great amount of flea pupae left.
The Fleas Diet:
Adult fleas feed on the blood of a host, the flea bite caused from this feeding by the adult flea can become inflamed. After the feeding the flea will begin mating, starting the vicious cycle all over again.
You will need both an insect growth regulator to cut the cycle and a good residual insecticide labelled for flea control to reach the adult stages.
Whenever you see adult fleas crawling on your pet, it is only a symptom of a much larger problem. Current studies indicate that adult fleas account for only 5% of the total flea population in any given situation. Eggs account for 50%, larvae account for about 35%, and the remaining 10% are the cocoons. That means that for every single adult flea living on your dog or cat, there are 10 eggs, 7 larvae, and 2 cocoons. These various life cycle stages will be found anywhere in the pet's environment, but will be most concentrated in the areas that the pet spends most of its time. Remember, when the adult flea on the pet lays an egg, it will fall off the hairs in just a few minutes....it is very similar to them sowing "seeds". So, areas where the pet sleeps or lies around will have the most eggs. If the pet usually walks through certain paths (either indoors or outdoors), there will also be a substantial amount of eggs scattered in those areas. What this means is that environmental flea control must be spread over the pet's entire environment, focusing on the areas the pet spends the majority of its time.