The most common species of Flea is the Cat Flea, known for readily biting humans. The Bird Flea are next in importance, followed by the rare Dog Fleas, although other species may become temporarily attached to dogs. Finally, there are Human Fleas which are extremely rare.
Pets constantly scratching may be the first sign, which can be confirmed either by seeing fleas or flea droppings in the coat of your pet. These signs are easily spotted in light coloured animals by brushing back the hair. In dark coated breeds it may be better to comb the animal over a sheet of paper to highlight any flea droppings as they fall. The identity of the black specks may be confirmed by adding a few drops of water if they turn red, your pet has fleas.
If you are unable to solve the problem using DIY products then get in touch with us. As we are trained and experienced in removing flea infestation you can rest assured of a quick and professional resolution to the problem.
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Adults of both sexes range from 1–2 mm long and are usually a reddish-brown colour, although the abdomens of gravid females often swell with eggs causing them to appear banded in cream and dark brown. Like all fleas, the cat flea is compressed laterally allowing it to slip between the sometimes dense hairs of its host just above the top layer of the skin, resulting in an extremely thin insect that may be difficult to observe even if the host's coat is pure white.
The cat flea affects both the cat and the dog worldwide. The cat flea can also maintain its life cycle on other carnivores and on omnivores, but these are only chosen when more acceptable hosts become unavailable. Adult cat fleas do not willingly leave their hosts, and inter-animal transfer of adult fleas is rare except in animals that share sleeping quarters. A flea which becomes separated from its host will often die within hours from starvation.
The dog flea (Ctenocephalides canis) is a species of flea that lives as an ectoparasite on a wide variety of mammals, particularly the domestic dog and cat. It closely resembles the cat flea, Ctenophalides felis, which can live on a wider range of animals and is generally more prevalent worldwide. The dog flea is troublesome because it can spread Dipylidium caninum. Although they feed on the blood of dogs and cats, they sometimes bite humans. They can live without food for several months, but females must have a blood meal before they can produce eggs. They can deliver about 4000 eggs on the host's fur. The eggs go through four lifecycle stages: embryo, larva, pupa, and imago (adult). This whole life cycle from egg to adult takes from two to three weeks, although this depends on the temperature. It may take longer in cool conditions.
The dog flea is troublesome because it can spread Dipylidium caninum. Although they feed on the blood of dogs and cats, they sometimes bite humans. They can live without food for several months, but females must have a blood meal before they can produce eggs. They can deliver about 4000 eggs on the host's fur.
The eggs go through four lifecycle stages: embryo, larva, pupa, and imago (adult). This whole life cycle from egg to adult takes from two to three weeks, although this depends on the temperature. It may take longer in cool conditions.
The Pulex Irritans or human fleas, despite their name, are normally associated with many other mammals like skunks, foxes, coyotes etc. The human fleas have a life cycle similar to dog and cat fleas; they are capable of laying up to 400 eggs under favorable conditions.
When it needs to feed, the adult Pulex Irritans is found on the host’s body. It prefers temperate, tropical and terrestrial habitats. The life cycle of human fleas consists of eggs, larvae and pupa and these are commonly seen in human homes along with the adult fleas.
Human fleas are more or less similar to dog and cat fleas in physical description: The female Pulex Irritans is 2.5 to 3.5mm long while the males measure 2 to 2.5 mm but have complex genitalia. The bodies, in either case, are reddish brown or rust colored, wingless and laterally compressed. They have 6 legs and mouthparts that are equipped for sucking and biting. Human flea eggs are typically white in color and oval shaped.
Chicken fleas or the Ceratophyllus Gallinae are a common problem in Europe and North America affecting nearly 75 species of birds and mammals. They are known to infest bird cages, poultry shelters and other building structures where animals and birds are housed. Both, the male and female Ceratophyllus Gallinae, are known to bite their hosts, leaving behind red bite marks and spots.
In case of very large infestations, it is not uncommon to see a decrease in egg production owing to chicken fleas. Other common poultry fleas include the Sticktight flea and the Western Chicken fleas (Ceratophyllus Niger) which might be encountered depending on the area one lives in. Morphologically, chicken fleas can be identified based on the 4-6 bristles present on the surface of the hind femur.
The adults are 2-2.5mm long. They have eyes and 24 teeth. There are no spines on the basal section of the legs. The life cycle consists of eggs, three larval stages, pupa stage followed by adult chicken fleas.