Where do Fleas Come From?

flea-infestationFleas are a type of disgusting external parasite since they carry a lot of germs. If you are one of those who are sensitive to flea bites, you are very likely to get some skin diseases because of that. The presence of these small, agile insects in your house is easy to understand if you have pets like dogs and cats. However, the surprising thing is that you may still find them even though you don’t keep any pets. So, where do fleas come from if you don’t have pets?

According to Wikipedia, they belong to the order Siphonaptera. They have special mouthparts that are adapted for piercing skin and withdrawing blood from mammals and birds. On earth there are more than 2,000 species of fleas, among which the most common ones are Cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis) and Dog flea (Ctenocephalides canis). In addition, in comparison the former one is more commonly found in canines and felines than the latter.

Fleas thrive in hot and damp weather. However, constant scratching and licking in dogs or cats doesn’t necessarily mean that this is flea infestation since it is also the signs and symptoms of other diseases like mites, eczema, and allergies. In fact, you can basically confirm it if you find some dark cinder-like particles hidden in the belly hair of your pets. It will be more certain if the particles turn loose and red once your rub them on moist paper. If hair loss and scabs are accompanied as well, it could be other skin diseases.

Usually fleas will no longer leave and begin to lay eggs two days after they jump on a host. Females tends to lay their eggs in a dusty corner, small holes in walls and floor, or mammals and birds. And they land on the ground or migrate with the activity of hosts. So, you should fill these holes with lime or mud if you want to prevent them from spreading.

Adult ones can live on nothing for up to 12 months, but they will jump at it once they have opportunity to get the nutrients by sucking blood. Because they have no specific host, they parasitize a variety of furry animals and even some hairy inanimate objects like carpet. This explains why there are fleas breeding in your house even though you don’t keep a single pet at all. As a result, flea control on pets alone does very little on getting rid of them.

Your pets should take the blame in most cases if you spot fleas and ticks in the home. As mentioned in the beginning, the flea bite can cause some skin diseases like seasonal eczema, especially when you keep dogs, cats, or other pets in the summer. Besides, this parasitic insect will still defecate upon your skin while sucking blood and, worse still, the excrement contains a large number of Yersinia pestis, which will make you catch the plague by attacking the tiny bite wounds while you scratch them. So, it is necessary to eradicate them all.

As mentioned above, flea eggs are laid on animal hair, fabrics, carpets, and the like. When fleas are short of blood supply for a long time, they will starve but their eggs can survive the winter thanks to the protection of egg shell. And come the spring, a new generation will be hatched and go back to the animals. So when there are dogs, cats and other pets in your home, try not to use carpet since it can be one of the best breeding grounds. In addition, the outdoor lawn is an ideal hotbed for flea eggs too because your pets tend to play outside on the grass and then make fleas live outside.

If your house is a favorable flea breeding environment, you need to change it right away. Firstly, immediately wash your carpets, mats, bedding, and clothing; secondarily, the dust bag should be first processed with insecticide before the use of vacuum cleaner. Or, the dust bag is another ideal place for flea eggs or larvae to hide; thirdly, run your dehumidifier to keep your rooms dry and reduce humidity. By doing so, it helps kill the young fleas.

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