Flea (Cat & Dog)

Color: Brown
Family: Many
Order: Dermaptera

Fleas are troublesome pests carried on mammals and birds. They infest homes, bird cages and poultry houses. Both males and females bite and suck blood. The bite often leaves an itchy, red spot. Some kinds of fleas transmit diseases such as bubonic plague, endemic typhus and tularemia to humans.

Several kinds of fleas attack mammals and birds. The Dog flea and the Cat flea, which look very much alike, are the most widespread and the most troublesome as household pests. Both species attack dogs and cats, and sometimes man; especially if the family pet(s) are temporarily away.


Flea (Cat & Dog) Identification

The adults are small, wingless insects with hard, dark-coloured bodies. The female usually lays her eggs loosely among the hairs or feathers of the host, where they will stay for a few days and then drop off. In homes, they develop in crevices in flooring, and along baseboards, under edges of rugs, and between cushions in upholstered furniture.

Flea (Cat & Dog) Habitat

Fleas are parasites, feeding on blood. They are found on the host and in various household cracks and crevices where they shelter after feeding. They are also found in pet bedding.

Flea (Cat & Dog) Life Cycle

Females lay several hundred eggs in their lifetime. Eggs hatch in about 10 days and become mature in about 10 days. Flea infestations can number in the thousands.

Flea (Cat & Dog) Prevention

The use of a quality flea shampoo on your pet during the peak summer season will help prevent an infestation.

Preparation Steps for Flea (Cat & Dog) Treatment

1. Arrange to have your pet(s) professionally treated for fleas while the premises are being treated.

2. Vacuum all rugs, carpet, and upholstered furniture. Special attention must be given to pet resting areas. Vacuum bag should be discarded immediately upon completion.

3. Mop all tile and vinyl floors; Sweep all floors that cannot be mopped.

4. Remove and clean or dispose of all pet bedding.

5. Vacate the premises during service and do not re-enter until at least 4 hours after treatments. Open windows for 20 minutes after re-entry if possible.

6. Before service, infants, pregnant women and people suffering from heart, kidney, respiratory ailments or allergies should consult a medical doctor.

7. Place blanket on the floor in areas where an infant may play, for one week after treatment.

8. Avoid waxing or washing floor surfaces, especially the edges for at least 3 weeks after treatment, and do not steam clean carpets. Vacuum as usual. Expect to see adult fleas for up to 1 week after treatment.

Download Flea Preparation Sheet

Flea - Questions and Answers

How do I recognize a flea?

Fleas are common external parasites of humans, animals and birds. Fleas are small, black to brownish-black, wingless insects with stout legs used for jumping and crawling. Fleas measure 1 to 4 mm (1/16").

Where do you find fleas?

Fleas are parasites, feeding on blood. They are found on the host (dog, cat, human etc.) and in various household cracks and crevices where they shelter after feeding.

Are fleas hazardous to humans?

Yes. Due to their numbers and world-wide distribution, fleas are a serious health hazard. They have been known to transmit diseases including the bubonic plague which is transmitted to humans from fleas living on rats. Since the reaction to a flea bite is allergic in nature, itching can be intense. Secondary infections can be caused by scratching, especially in children. The presence of a flea infestation should not be tolerated.

What causes fleas to bite?

Fleas feed on blood and are attracted by host's exhaled carbon dioxide and body heat. In the case of the human flea, bites can be numerous because of interrupted feedings.

What causes a flea infestation?

Fleas hop from host to host, so even a brief encounter can cause you or your pet to become a host. Stray animals sleeping on porches or window sills can start an infestation. Once they enter the home, fleas spread rapidly.

What are their breeding habits? Do they multiply quickly?

The female flea lays several hundred eggs in her lifetime. Eggs are laid loosely on the host drop or are shaken off on to floors, carpets, bedding or other sheltered spots. Eggs hatch in about 10 days and become adults in one to three months. A flea infestation can number in the thousands.

Do fleas die off in cold months?

Yes. Outdoor infestations die off, however once established inside the home, fleas are active year-round.

Can I do anything to prevent a flea infestation?

Yes. The use of a quality flea shampoo on your pet during the peak summer season will help prevent an infestation.

If I have a flea infestation, what can be done to eliminate it?

Your local Abell Pest Control office has products and equipment specially formulated for the control of fleas. Please use extreme caution when applying treatments to animals. Flea control can be a difficult and time consuming project. For fast, effective results, call Abell Pest Control.

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