CATS FLEAS AND TICKS

Fleas are the worst kind of pest. They cause you so much grief, they pester your pets, and they cannot be seen. As the weather warms in Singapore the fleas are out in full force Resulting in the deaths of an estimated 75 to 200 million people. The Black Death is estimated to have killed 30% to 60% of Europe’s population.
Fleas are wingless insects and are not capable of flight. However, they have long legs and have extensive jumping skills meaning they can move through dense fur or hair. Fleas are common throughout the world, with numerous species residing primarily in households.

Here are three of the most important things you should know about fleas in your home.

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Fleas feast on the blood of their host, but they can go more than 100 days without feeding on blood. A female can consume up to 15 times her own weight when she feeds.

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Fleas don’t only feed on dogs and cats. Hosts for feeding can be birds, other mammals, reptiles, and humans.

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Fleas can jump up to 150 times their own height – that is about 8 inches.

The Process

Egg

An adult female flea can lay up to about 40 eggs a day. The eggs are laid on the host but will dry and fall off that host into the environment. They land on pet bedding, carpet, wood floors, upholstery, etc. Eggs typically hatch within about two days.

Larwa

When the eggs hatch, the larvae emerge. These tiny worm-like creatures feed upon flea feces in the environment (this is essentially dried blood) The larva goes through three molts before it can spin a cocoon and enter the pupal stage. The larval stage typically lasts from 5 to 15 days.

Pupa

Once in the cocoon, the larva begins its transformation into the adult flea. The cocoons are nearly indestructible and attract dirt and debris that camouflage them. Pupae can remain dormant in the environment for many months. Fleas in the pupa stage will not emerge until they sense a host. They are able to do this by sensing factors like warmth, vibration, and carbon dioxide from host exhalation.

Adult flea

A fully-developed flea only emerges from its cocoon when a host is available. The newly-emerged flea jumps on the host right away and begins the blood meal. A female flea will begin to lay eggs within 24-48 hours of her first blood meal. She defecates blood from her host that will fall off the host along with the eggs, re-starting the life cycle. Adult fleas can live for about 4-6 weeks depending on the environment.