Pest Of The Month
JANUARY PEST OF THE MONTH:
There are several different species of fleas in Florida. Fleas are dark in color, small (1/16 inch), wingless insects. Their bodies are reddish- brown and compressed laterally, which allows for easy movement through the host body’s hair. Their legs are long and adapted for jumping. The mouthparts of fleas are made to suck blood from the host.
Cat fleas are the most common flea that is found. Even though they are called “Cat” fleas does not mean they only attack cats. These fleas attack humans and a wide range of warm-blooded animals including dogs, rabbits, chickens, rats, squirrels and mice. Other types of fleas in Florida consist of Human, Dog and Stick Tight fleas.
- Female fleas lay their tiny eggs on hairs, feathers or in a habitat of the host. The eggs fall off the host onto the ground when ready.
- The tiny egg will hatch in 1-12 days. A white, wormlike larva with emerge. This larva will avoid light and will feed on dried adult flea feces, dead animal parts and other organic matter they come across.
- If conditions are right, within 7-14 days the third larval stage will be complete. The larva will spin a tiny cocoon and pupate.
- After about a week in the cocoon the adult flea will emerge and begin to search for blood.
Did you know?
- Fleas lay batches of 3 -18 eggs at a time and have the potential to lay around 500 eggs of the course of several months.
- It is possible for fleas to remain in the pupal stage for 5 days to 5 weeks.
- Hot & wet summer months are favorable for egg laying.
- Flea infestations will become more evident when pets are removed.
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