Fleas are external blood-sucking parasites that host on humans, dogs, cats, rats and other animals. They are often brought into homes by infested pet dogs and cats, or by rats. Fleas usually bite humans around the ankles and lower legs. The bite wound can develop into skin inflammation. Fleas are also carriers of human diseases, the most significant of which is the deadly plague, as well as murine typhus.
Adult fleas are about 2 – 2.5 mm long. The body is flattened vertically to enable them to move rapidly between the host’s body hairs. Their legs are very well-developed and powerful, making them ideal for jumping.
Fleas prefer warm and humid conditions and are attracted by the body warmth of the animal host. When the host dies, the fleas leave the body in search of another host The eggs are not glued/stuck to the hairs or body but are deposited on or between hairs, or in the nest or bedding material. Hence, eggs on the animal either fall or are shaken off, and are frequently found in cracks and crevices where pets sleep or lie down. This explains why after treating a pet, fleas are found on them soon after.
It is not necessary to have pets in the building in order to have fleas present. Since fleas can jump about 6″ (15 cm) vertically, they can easily hitch a ride on shoes, trousers, etc. Fleas are typically found where animals sleep or frequent.
To reduce the likelihood of a flea infestation at home, follow these simple measures:
The professional approach would be: