The flea belongs to the order of insects known as siphonaptera, they are wingless insects with well-developed rear legs, which allow them to jump. Their mouth parts are adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood.
There are 4 types of fleas: Cat, Dog, bird and human.
The cat flea causes the most problems British home owners and if there is not an animal around or there are a lot of fleas they resort to biting humans, usually around the ankles and legs.
Once fleas have established themselves within a home animals will need to be carefully treated as well as the home itself, off the shelf aerosol products are not normally effective.
Description: (Group characteristics)
- Laterally compressed body 2mm in length with shiny or dark brown overlapping body plates
- Distinct black eye
- Long well developed jumping hind legs
- Rows of rear facing stiff spines
Habits and behaviour:
- Will live on a host of domestic animals including dogs, cats, pigs, badgers, foxes,
- Lays eggs in clothing, bedding, carpets or in a wild infestation, animal (host) fur.
- Eggs can be seen in cracks of floor boards/seams of a mattress etc.
- Hatch into larvae in 2-3 days. Adult flea may emerge 3-4 weeks later, generally with mechanical stimulation such as vibration i.e. a host passing by
Will feed on organic debris, however, blood is a valuable part of diet. A flea can survive several weeks without blood.