Fleas are small (1/16 inch), dark, reddish-brown, wingless, blood-sucking insects. Their bodies are laterally compressed (flattened side to side), permitting easy movement through the hairs on the host’s body. Their legs are long and well adapted for jumping. The flea body is hard, polished, and covered with many hairs and short spines directed backward. The mouth parts of an adult flea are adapted for sucking blood from a host.
Several species of fleas may be pests in San Diego. The cat flea is the most frequently found flea. Cat fleas may attack a wide variety of warm-blooded animals including dogs, humans, chickens, rabbits, squirrels, rats and mice. Although the dog, human, and sticktight fleas are also found in San Diego, multiple species of fleas may be found on a single animal.
The female flea lays her tiny, white eggs loosely on the hairs, in the feathers, or in the habitat of the host. The eggs readily fall off the host onto the ground, floors, bedding, or furniture. Some fleas can lay 500 eggs over a period of several months by laying batches of three to 18 eggs at a time. The tiny eggs hatch in one to 12 days after being deposited. The white, wormlike larva avoids light and feeds on dried adult feces mainly, but may feed on dead animal parts and other organic matter. Within seven to 14 days, unless food has been scarce, the third larval stage is completed, and the larva spins a tiny cocoon and pupates. Usually after a week the adult flea emerges and begins its search for blood.
Prevention is the best way to control flea bites. Take preventative measures before flea season begins in spring and summer. Effective products that control fleas have made flea management on pets without pesticides possible.
Signs of a Flea Infestation
There are many signs to indicate a flea infestation. Your pet may be scratching, grooming or even biting themselves to relieve themselves of the bites. Your pet will do this more than normal and it will be noticeable. Examine your pet’s fur closely to spot them although they will appear very small. Adult fleas are only 2.5 mm long and practically flat. Another indication would be bites on your pet’s human, particularly low on your leg that make itchy spots.
Treating a Flea Infestation
Flea infestations in San Diego require treatment plans based on a flea’s life cycle or they may return to your residence. Getting rid of fleas on your pet will not guarantee that fleas have left your home. Coastal Pest solutions will utilize physical and chemical methods to remove fleas from your San Diego home.
The sooner a flea infestation is discovered, the quicker Coastal Pest Solutions can exterminate your flea issue. We will instruct you in the initial preparation for the treatment which will including a thorough vacuum of the home, cleaning hard-surfaced floors, wash all bedding and linens and clear the floor of debris. This will rid your home of some fleas and flea eggs and prepare the area for a chemical treatment. This treatment is typically done twice, the first time to get the active fleas and the second time to rid your home of the fleas that hatched since the treatment.
Coastal Pest solutions will provide our clients with a prevention plan to prepare for long lasting results of the tretamine to aid in reducing future flea infestations.