Having a problem with fleas in and around your home can affect your whole family. Not only are their bites itchy and cause irritation, but did you know they can also transmit infectious diseases?
Unpleasant as it may sound, fleas live off the blood of their hosts, hence the allergic reaction in some humans and constant scratching from your family pet.
Like many pests, fleas are most active in spring and summer, and thrive in humid conditions.
They are reddish-brown to black and vary from 1-4mm. Using their strong hind legs, they jump from host to host. They can jump up to 200 times their body length and have hard bodies which protect them from being squashed easily.
There are Three types of Fleas
Although human fleas can survive on mammals and birds, and are most commonly found on pigs, their preferred food is human blood. When they bite, their saliva can cause allergic reactions, and with this contact, can transmit many diseases.
Adult human fleas are wingless, have a curved head and appear flattened when viewed from the side. They are around 1.5-4mm in size, dark brown in color and can live for up to one year.
Dog fleas live amidst dog fur and can only remain alive on their host dog. Their feed comes from the blood of their host dog and they can live for months without a feed. However, the female needs a meal before she can reproduce. Dog fleas are around 2mm and are reddish brown colour. They have tube-like mouths, a rounded head and a hard flattened body covered with hair and spines. Dog fleas also have long hind legs.
Some adult cat fleas live for up to one year, and as the name suggests, primarily live on domestic cats. But they are also found on dogs. Since cat fleas prefer cats and dogs to humans, we can be bitten but not infested. You’ll commonly find their eggs laid in your carpet or soft furniture.
Just like the dog flea, they can survive months without feeding. However, the female cat flea needs a blood meal before she can reproduce. They have a sloping forehead and spine covers, which are projected towards the rear of their body. Cat fleas have piercing/sucking mouthparts and long, powerful legs. They are 1-3mm long and reddish-brown to black.
The cat flea is the most common species in Australia and is the most likely of all the types of fleas responsible for biting and infecting both dogs and humans.
Female fleas lay eggs on their host. The eggs then hatch into larvae and take up residence in carpets, cracks in flooring or soil. Even if the conditions are unsuitable, larvae live for up to 200 days while the actual pupae can lay dormant for up to a year. This is why you can have a sudden infestation in your home, especially if the area of your home has been empty for some time before being re-occupied. The pupae pick up on the vibrations from its potential food source and that is the trigger for the fleas to hatch.
Best Flea Treatments
Treating a flea infestation in your home needs a two-pronged approach.
Firstly, our Hitman technician conducts a thorough inspection of the area affected and determines how severe your flea problem is. Hitman will treat your flea problem using the most effective treatment both inside and outside your home. The treatment continues to remain effective over time.
Secondly, you will need to follow a series of housekeeping and pet grooming exercises which will reduce further infestations. Hitman technicians always supply professional advice on these exercises as for our flea control services.
Facts About Fleas
- In one day, a flea can bite your pet 400 times
- In just one month, that one flea could multiply to over 1,000
- You can freeze a flea for 12 months and it can still be revived
- The female fleas are hungry pests and will eat up to 15 times her own weight each day
- Each time a flea jumps, it changes direction and can do this up to 30,000 times without stopping (I wonder who counted that?!)
- Fleas are pretty much blind and deaf
Hitman conducts professional flea control treatments and is your best choice to reduce fleas in your home. Plus, we’ll save you all the hassle. At Hitman, our technicians are fully trained in flea breeding habits and the most up-to-date treatments to keep your home flea-free.
Give the girls a call at the Hitman office and we’ll have your fleas under control in no time.