Project Description

Fleas

Cimex lectularius(L.)

Appearance:
Fleas have a hard, polished body that is dark brown and red in color. They are also covered with hairs and small spines. Their bodies are flattened from side to side so that they can easily maneuver through the hair on a host’s body.

Size:
Fleas usually only grow to be about 1/6 inch in length.

[jbox title=”Interesting Fact”] At least 13 cases of the bubonic plague that were reported by the Center for Disease Control in 1994 were apparently the result of flea transmission of the plague. Of these 13 cases, one case lead to death. There were another 7 cases, which also included one death, reported in 1994.[/jbox]

Behavior:
Fleas have to live on the bodies of hosts so that they can feed on their blood. They tend to eat and lay eggs while the host is asleep so sleeping areas are likely to be where the greatest infestations are to be found. Recent studies have suggested that fleas are often transported to residential properties by raccoons, opossums, and other types of urban wildlife where pets come in contact with them. When the pets are allowed indoors, the fleas are then transported onto humans or their belongings. Fleas can also propel themselves to new hosts by using their powerful legs to jump over 7 inches high and approximately 14 inches to the side.

Habitat:
The vast majority of fleas, over 95 percent, lives and feeds off of mammals. They live in a variety of habitats including the bodies of hosts, their host’s surroundings, and in burrows and nests. Very few flea species are free-living; although there are a few species found in warm, coastal areas that can live off of a host. Almost all flea larvae, on the other hand, are free-living. Once that have grown to be adults, most fleas live and feed off of humans and pets and then alternately spend time off of their hosts on floors, paths, and on animal and human beds.

 


Flea Pest Control in Seattle