Facts of a Fleas Life

Reproductive Behaviour

Human Fleas (Pulex Irritans) have four stages of distinction within its life cycle which are the Egg, the Larvae, the Pupae and an Adult. After three or four weeks of feeding as a larvae, it will spin a weakened silk-like cocoon where it will pupate, though the duration this takes depends on the surrounding temperature. Once developed it will either leave the cocoon as an adult seeking a host or reside within the cocoon springing from it once a host is within jumping distance, though in this stage they are capable of staying dormant for a number of months without being able to feed.

To a flea, most mammals whether in a domestic or an outdoor environment are potential hosts and giving the fact they’re barely visible to the human eye, and extremely good at jumping no potential host is safe. Fleas can cause severe discomfort after a bite and the possibility of disease being transmitted is reasonably high meaning a serious threat for occupants and homeowners. Female fleas are capable of laying 500-1500 within a lifespan (20-50 eggs a day) which is why swift action is recommended before the problem spirals out of control.

Identifying a Infestation

There are generally 3 ways of identifying a Flea infestation which is listed below:

Physical Sightings

The easiest way of determining an infestation is a physical sighting of a flea. These may seen jumping short distances from point to point and its best advised not to dismiss an infestation just because only one was sighted. A thorough check should be carried out by if not yourself, than a specialist.

Faeces Stains

This will usually look like a cluster of small black dots in multiple locations on either the Bedding (humans or pets) or Mattress, though flea droppings may be hard to spot.

Bite Marks

The first thing brought to your attention from a flea bite is the irritation it causes resulting in scratching (though this should be avoided). Flea bites are usually within close proximity of each other, so upon seeing markings resembling bites check for visual confirmation.

Identifying a Flea

The physical appearance of a Flea is one of a compressed narrow line and they may vary between the colours of either black or reddish-brown and approximately measure 1mm in size.

They may be seen jumping amongst each other (flea pool) within the bedding area of a host but may also be seen in other fabricated areas that are commonly used throughout a premises (sofas, carpets, etc). The most common way of identifying fleas is the irritation caused from a bite resulting in an itching sensation which usually occurs below the waist on a human hosts (but can occur anywhere on the body).