The flea is a small insect that sucks the blood of mammals
and birds for food. In Quebec, it is most commonly found in cats and dogs. Only the adult flea bites and it does that several times a day. The flea measures from 0.04 to 0.16 in (1 to 4 mm). Its body is dark brown to reddish brown, flat and wingless. The flea is equipped with grips, bristles, claws and paws, allowing it to cling firmly to the skin of animals. The flea is able to jump up to 8 inches in height (about 20 cm) and almost 16 inches in length. It is between early August and early October that one notices the largest number of flea infestation. Their droppings look like small curved and dark red sticks because they are made of half-digested blood.
The flea lays white oval eggs
that are barely visible. They
do not stick
and thus fall in places frequented by cats and dogs. The female flea lays about 25 eggs a day, and between a 1000 and 2000 throughout its life, with a peak between midnight and 3 a.m.
After incubation which lasts 1-2 weeks, the larvae of the flea come out of the egg and grow by successive moults to give nymphs which are also white-coloured measuring about ¼ inch. From the laid egg it takes between 12 and 174 days for the flea to become an adult because of changes in heat and humidity.
Not only will the fleas attack cats and dogs, but cats infest each other,
accelerating the introduction of new fleas in the cat habitat.
Comments concerning fleas
The flea usually attacks pets such as cats
but it also takes to humans. It can also simply survive with its peers.
One of the worst cases of extermination that we had to deal with at Exterminateur P.M.
was in an unoccupied house without any furniture in it.
The flea can invade an urban environment
such as Montreal as well as the
The extermination is then done in two stages. First, we apply an insecticide on all floor surfaces to kill the adult fleas. Then the exterminator sprays a growth regulator to prevent flea eggs from hatching.
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