A flea is a small, dark speck that will jump on you when you walk across the carpet, sit down on furniture where a pet has been, or pet your dog or cat. About the time you go to grab it, he jumps, and you can’t find him. The frustration is that you know he will be back to bite you again!
The biggest problem with fleas is that they can transmit certain diseases to other animals as well as to humans. When a flea bites a rodent and then bites a human, the disease the rodent may have been carrying can be passed on to the human. Fleas have been known to spread murine typhus and the Bubonic Plague to humans. For this reason, it is very important to control the flea population in and around your home.
Why fleas bite some people more often than others
Each person has a different chemical makeup. Even carbon dioxide emissions and skin secretions vary among different people, causing fleas to be more attracted to some people than to others. People who are allergic to a flea’s saliva would notice more flea bites than a non-allergic person. For some people flea bites are worse than any other type of bug bites.
A flea passes through four stages during its lifetime. It begins as an egg, changes to a larva and then to a pupa before becoming an adult. The time between when the flea is an egg until it lays another egg can be anywhere from 12 days up to eight months, depending on the conditions of the environment. An average flea only lives two to three months. Under optimal conditions, the right temperature, the proper humidity and a steady food supply, a flea could live up to 18 months, but that doesn’t happen very often.
A female flea will lay approximately 200 eggs a month, under good conditions. Seldom will a pair of fleas produce over 500 eggs during their lifespan. Fleas can multiply very fast if their offspring is ready to lay eggs in as little as 12 days.
Interesting facts about fleas
Fleas measure between 1/12 to 1/6 inches in size. They are unable to fly, but they can jump up to eight-inches high. Imagine being able to jump up to 150 times your height!
Since pets are often the hosts for fleas, it is important to keep them clean by bathing them frequently. Have them checked by your vet once a year to make sure they are flea free. Use a tick treatment on them once a month if you notice any fleas.
Keep the inside of your home clean and vacuum your rugs every day when you are having a problem with fleas. Make sure your yard is kept clean and that no pet droppings are lying around. If you can’t get rid of the fleas inside of your house, call a pest control company.