Fleas are small insects, adults being 1.5-3.5 mm long and seen by the naked eye. These wingless insects are found all over the world, and have large hind legs that help it move around fur and hair by jumping or leaping. Fleas are dark brownish to blackish in color, and have small compressed bodies that help it maneuver around small crevices. In order to attach their bodies to surfaces it has spines that project backwards from their bodies.
Due to the small size, it might be hard to detect. Flea eggs are oval shaped and white in color and can be seen on carpets and other furniture around the house. Fleas are parasites that feed on warm blooded animals like cats and dogs and are frequently found inhabiting their fur and bedding. These pests thrive in warm and humid places.
The life cycle of a flea includes the larval and the papal stage. Eggs hatch in a week and larvae are also white in color. Full grown larva spin a cocoon to pupate after two to three weeks and the pupal stage lasts for six to seven weeks. The pupa emerges only when the condition are favorable and can remain in the cocoon throughout the winter season.
As all parasites fleas are also carriers of certain diseases of parasitic worms. Flea bites result in itchy redness on the skin that disappears after a few days. This is a reaction to flea saliva which is injected into the skin while feeding. Though, people gradually become immune to flea bites, some people might be allergic to flea bites and might require treatment in case they are bitten by one.
Though it is not hard to detect fleas, it might be a challenging to remove it from your house, and pets. Check your dog or cat for fleas regularly. The common areas to check are behind the ears and the area around the nose. If your pet is irritable and itchy all the time, this might be an indication of flea infestation. There are insecticides available in the market that can rid your pet and house of fleas. Clean and vacuum your house on a routinely basis and take extra care to suck out dirt from corners and crevices. Clean your pets bedding with hot water. Fleas infestation can cause great discomfort to your pet, so make sure you consult a veterinarian for proper advise.