It’s about that time again. Although fleas pose a threat to pets and humans year-round, they become most active during the warmer months. In the winter months, outdoor fleas, larvae and eggs can die off due to low humidity levels but the ones indoors can still survive and remain dormant. Therefore, all year-round flea control is recommended. Fleas continue to pose a challenge to pet owners all across the world.
What is a Flea
Ctencephalides felis species is the common household flea. Cat flea is the English name. This is the species that can be found on your dogs, cats, birds and rodents.
They jump very high due to their strong hind legs. Fleas can jump up to 200 times their own length, almost as far as 13 inches. Fleas are ½” in length and have six legs.
Do Fleas Hurt Humans?
Humans are not the preferred diet of fleas. Fleas prefer dogs and cats to get their blood meals and complete their lifecycle stages. Although, fleas can bite you if you allow your pets in your bed. Fleas staying on your pets’ bodies will likely remain with them but if you have used flea powders or sprays, they will jump off and land on your skin. Children tend to get bitten more frequently than adults do, so it is best to discourage your pets from getting into bed with you.
Fleas can bite humans in absence of other hosts. However, fleas are typically not dangerous to humans (although they have been known to carry diseases. They can often cause severe itchiness and in some case, dermatitis and allergies.
Fleas spread rapidly because a female flea can lay nearly 25 to 50 eggs per day. Within 3 to 4 weeks, these eggs then mature into adult fleas creating new populations. Before you know it, you have a full-blown flea infestation in your home. It is very important to take necessary steps to eliminate fleas as soon as you spot the first one.
Harm to Animals
“Fleas can transmit a surprising number of diseases to animals and humans. Fleas can cause serious harm to you and your pet’s health through their bites and when they are ingested (such as when self-grooming) by the animals they target” states PetMd.
PetMed Express lists these five health problems from fleas:
- Bartonella infection
- Hot spots
- Flea allergy dermatitis
Fleas can also cause severe anemia in kittens and harm them enough to kill them.
Most fleas can survive for nearly 3 months without having a blood-meal. However, fleas need blood for completing many of their lifecycle stages and females cannot lay eggs until they have had their first meal when they reach the adult stage.
Die in the Winter?
Fleas usually begin to populate our homes and gardens during later winters and early spring. But in warmer climates like Florida, they can be found all year round. So, if you wait until summer to treat your pet, you are going to be months late and fleas will already have been established in your home. Therefore, it is important to keep up with flea control throughout winter especially if you have had a flea problem in the warmer months.
Flea fumigation is a form of flea control. Professional flea exterminators can handle the problem quickly and effortlessly.
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