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Fleas

Fleas

All adult fleas are external parasites of warm-blooded animals and birds.It is suspected that they have evolved from a group close to flies. The adults are blood-sucking and there for parasitic. But flea larvae are not. The larvae lives on dust, fluff, animal protein in the form of skin scales and especially on blood-rich droppings from the adult fleas. The mouth parts are developed for biting.

Cat/Dog flea:

Parasitic as adults adapted to living among fur of the host and feeding on its blood. Larva live on floor or bedding of the host feeding mainly on faeces (droppings) of adult fleas. There is very little differences in physical appearances or inhabits between dog and cat flea. Dog flea is less common in the UK than the cat flea. Irritation is caused by bites of dog or cat flea. Cat flea not implicated in disease transitions in UK. Dog flea is intermediate host of a tape worm.

Adult fleas are 2-3mm in length and generally of a shiny brown appearance. They have a thin laterally flattened body and large hind legs which allow them to jump onto passing host.

The female flea lays its eggs after each blood meal in small batches amongst the fu of the host. They usually drop off the host onto the floor or among bedding and hatch 2-3 days later. Normal emergence in 2-4 weeks in response to vibration. This can be delayed up to 6 months if it is not simulated.

Treatment starts identifying the source of infestation (the host animal). The host should be taken to the vet by the owner to get it treated. All the floor and upholstered furniture should be vacuumed to remove animal hairs, debris, flea eggs and pupae. Dispose of vacuum bag in an outside bin all floor areas should then be treated with a residual insecticide.
 
Human flea:

Adult flea is an ectoparasite of man but is also commonly found on some wild animals such as badgers, foxes and hedgehogs and frequently occurs in great numbers in piggeries. Adults are 2mm long shiny dark brown. Irritation caused by bites.

For control treat the host domestic animals using veterinary products only. Dispose or clean of bedding. Residual insecticides treatment of floors and carpets, paying particular attention to sleeping quarters.

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