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Habitat

Adult fleas live exclusively as parasites of warm-blooded animals, especially mammals, although birds may be attacked. Cat fleas (Ctenocepfalides Felis) are responsible for over 75% of all flea infestation. Whilst they show a certain degree of host preference, fleas are by no means specific and will feed on other animals in the absence of the normal host i.e. humans.

Biology

Fleas lay their eggs indiscriminately in the fur or feathers of the host or in its nest or bedding. Four to eight eggs are laid after each blood meal and a single female may produce 800-1000 eggs during her lifetime, which may be as long as 2 years. The eggs hatch in approx. 1 week to give larvae, the larvae thrive in the dark, humid places such as animal bedding and carpet fluff, and feed on organic debris and adult flea excrement. The latter forms a valuable part of the diet as a source of blood.

Pest Status

Although fleas generally are considered to be vectors of disease, there is little evidence to suggest that the cat flea transmits to humans any serious illnesses. Far more important, perhaps if the highly irritating nature if flea bites on humans, especially children, and the ability to remain dormant in buildings over long periods.

Control

All rooms within the premises are to be spray treated with a high residual insecticide treatment, paying particular attention to the resting-places of the host. This will start to reduce the adult population immediately. The residual effects of the insecticide will remain active for at least 4-6 weeks destroying any young adults emerging.

 
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