The cat flea or Ctenocephalides felis, is one of the most abundant and widespread species of flea on earth in terms of contact with man. Even though they are called the Cat Flea they are just as commonly found on Dogs and other animals.
They are best known for their irritant bite and feeding on the host animal. The cat flea is flat and has no wings, they have large hind legs which they use to propel themselves to the next host. If you are unsure that you have fleas you can use this simple test, cover your hands with old white socks and hit the carpet after a few minutes they will appear on the socks. Fleas have mouth parts which pierce and suck and before they jump they are ready to feed on the next host as soon as they land.CONTACT US NOW
A single female flea can produce up to 1,500 eggs each month, which hatch into larvae after 2-5 days
Flea pupae can survive as dormant in the environment, without the pet, for up to 1 year.
Adult fleas can survive on your pet for up to 113 days, or even longer!
The female cat flea lays her eggs on the host, but the eggs, once dry, have evolved to filter out of the haircoat of the host into the resting and sheltering area of the host. The eggs hatch into larvae, which are negatively phototaxic, meaning that they hide from light in the substrate. Flea larvae feed on a variety of organic substances, but most importantly subsist on dried blood that is filtered out of the haircoat of the host after it is deposited there as adult flea faecal material. Thus the adult population on the host feeds the larval population in the host's environment. Flea larvae metamorphose through 4 stages before spinning a cocoon and entering the pupal stage. The pupal stage varies greatly in length; the pre-emergent flea does not normally emerge as a young adult flea until the presence of a potential host is perceived by warmth or vibration. Newly emerged fleas are stimulated to jump to a new host within seconds of emerging from the cocoon. The new flea begins feeding on host blood within minutes..
A few fleas on adult dogs or cats cause little harm unless the host become allergic to substances in saliva. The disease that results is called flea allergy dermitius. Small animals with large infestations can lose enough bodily fluid to fleas feeding that dehydration may result. Fleas are also responsible for disease transmission through humans. If the fleas have been sucking blood, then they will have a reddish-brown colour when squashed. Cat fleas can transmit other parasite and infections to dogs and cats and also to humans. The most prominent of these are Bartonella, murine typhus, and apedermatitis. The tapeworm Dipylidium caninum can be transmitted when a flea is swallowed by pets or humans. In addition, cat fleas have been found to carry Borrelia burgdorferi, the etiologic agent of Lyme disease, but their ability to transmit the disease is unclear.
Fleas are controlled by the use of insecticide sprays. Attention should be focused on corners, vents, carpets, cracks and crevices.
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