Fleas are small (adults only get up to about 3 mm, or .012 inch, long), usually brown, wingless insects that can jump 50 times their body length. That ratio is 2nd only to froghoppers! If they were the same size as an average human that would be nearly 1,000 feet! They have a flattened (sideways) body that is perfect for moving around between the hairs, fur or feathers of their host and mouthparts that allow them to pierce their hosts skin and suck out a blood meal, much like a mosquito. Their larvae are worm-like with no appendages, have chewing mouthparts – as opposed to the piercing/sucking mouthparts of adults – and feed on organic matter.
In the most of the U.S, including the Surprise AZ area, cat fleas are by far the most common species found on both dogs and cats. Fleas usually lay their eggs directly on the host, but they may fall off of the host, thereby infesting the surrounding environment, such as your house – and bed – as well. The female flea starts producing eggs shortly after (35-48 hours) her first blood meal and can lay around 2,000 eggs total during her life. The average flea will live for 2-3 months, but if they are lazy and conserve energy they can live considerably longer. She can consume up to 15 times her body weight in blood every singe day! Fleas will feed on almost any warm-blooded vertebrate including birds, cats, dogs, ferrets, mice, rabbits, rats, squirrels and – you guessed it – humans.
Flea bites can cause itchy, irritated, swollen areas on the hosts skin that can last for several weeks. When the bitten person or animal scratches and/or bites the area, the inflammation can get worse, even leading to hair loss and anemia. Flea bites are also a known vector for disease and parasites to both humans and other animals. They can transmit murine or endemic typhus, bubonic plague, Rickettsia typhi, Rickettsia felis, Bartonells henselae, myxomatosis virus and tungiasis. They also carry Hymenolepiasis tapeworms and Trypanosome protozoans, too. So being bitten by a flea can cause a host of problems beyond the discomfort of the actual bite itself. Fleas were actually used by the Japanese army as a biological weapon in world war II! Americans spend nearly $5 billion annually on fleas including veterinary bills, pet groomers, prescription flea treatment and flea pest control services.
We provide quality, effective Pest Control Solutions, including for fleas and ticks, in Surprise, AZ and throughout the Phoenix area with 1000’s of happy Pest Control customers. Call or fill out the contact form below for your free quote and let us provide you and your family with a flea free environment, too.