Fleas are insects that most commonly on furry animals like your pet cats and dogs or even on birds. They are parasites that feed on the blood of their hosts. Fleas can cause a lot of trouble, especially in those households that have pets in them.
Keep reading to find out more about fleas and what they look like!
What do adult fleas look like?
Adult fleas are tiny insects, visible to the naked eye. They are about 0.3 cm in length and are flattened from side to side. They have a strong mouthpiece that enables them to suck blood from their hosts. Their nails/legs are very muscular and powerful. This enables fleas to stick to their hosts. They aren’t blown away by the wind.
Fleas can actually jump pretty far. They don’t have wings but they have strong muscular legs, enabling them to cover a distance of about 100 mm or more. Whenever you’re dealing with a flea infestation in your pets, be careful not to get them on yourself because they can bite humans too.
There are many different species of fleas, and each usually feeds on a specific host. However, some fleas may feed on non-specific hosts too.
Life Cycle of Fleas
Fleas have an average lifespan of 2-3 months. During their life, they go through four stages of growth: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Let’s take a look at each of the separate stages and their identification points below.
Flea eggs make up most of the flea population. They can take any time from a few days to about two weeks to go into their next stage of growth, depending on their species and the climate they live in. Flea eggs are usually found in the same areas where there’s a flea infestation. If you have a cat house or a dog house, you should check for flea eggs on the floor of the house.
What do flea eggs look like?
Flea eggs are very tiny and have a whitish to translucent, shiny appearance. It is possible for you to see flea eggs through the naked eye, but you need to look very closely. Using a magnifying glass may boost your search for flea eggs.
Flea eggs have a size of about half a millimeter, which, frankly, is very small. If you suspect a flea infestation in your pets, look closely at the area where they usually sleep and sit. It is easier to spot flea eggs on darker clothes and pets with darker fur coats. On the other hands, finding fleas on lighter surfaces is a very hard and tedious task. The picture below shows what flea eggs look like.
What is the best way to get rid of flea eggs?
Flea eggs aren’t easy to get rid of. Using the wrong method, you may even aid in their dispersal and spread rather than fixing the problem. Here are a few ways you can successfully remove flea eggs from your home:
- Vacuum away! Vacuuming is the easiest and cheapest solution for getting rid of flea eggs. Not only will this save you the cost of getting a flea terminator, but it will also produce minimum damage as you won’t have to deal with the side effects of toxic sprays. Furthermore, this method also prevents the eggs from spreading in different directions by just sucking them all up! There’s no easier and more effective way to deal with flea eggs than using a vacuum. The heat of the vacuum, if enough, may also kill the eggs.
After vacuuming, heat the dirt in any way you can and then dispose of it. Heating is important because it kills the eggs if some of them escaped death by the vacuum’s heat.
- You should wash and then hot dry your clothes in a proper dryer. This method is not a foolproof method of getting rid of the eggs, but if done in conjunction with the other methods listed here, will give amazing results. Hot drying will kill the flea eggs on any clothing surface. If you’re facing a flea infestation on a pet, then wash and then hot dry the clothes of your pet.
- Use a flea comb to comb your pet’s hair so that all of the eggs fall down before performing any of the methods listed above. This step is very important if you have furry pets with thick fur coats because flea eggs can easily get stuck on those thick coats! Your goal is to get rid of every last egg so that the fleas never return!
- The last option is to use some kind of spray or medicine recommended by a terminator. This option is the least preferred because residue toxins from the sprays or medicines may affect your health or the health of your pets.
Flea larva is worm-like creatures that live in organic soil. They may be found in the litter trays of your pet. Therefore, whenever you clean out the litter, keep an eye out for flea larvae! Larvae usually do not feed on blood but use other organic sources for their energy.
The pupa is like the baby versions of the adult fleas. They resemble the adult fleas but are smaller in size and lack the function of a proper adult!
The larva changes into the adult form based on the presence of stimuli that indicate the presence of a suitable host. When a host is available, the temperature becomes warm and the carbon dioxide content of the air increases. These stimuli promote rapid growth of the pupa.
The flea adult has already been discussed above in the initial sections!
So, these were the four stages of a flea’s lifecycle!
What are flea bombs?
Flea bombs are basically chemicals that you live in one area of the room. Over time, the chemicals diffuse into the air and kill all the fleas they come in contact with. However, this isn’t a recommended method of flea removal because it may affect your food and any other exposed item!