Fleas are important group of insect pests because they cause discomfort by biting and they can transmit several diseases like the plague and murine typhus. They are about 1/8 inch – laterally flattened, wingless, brownish black to black, but reddish after a blood meal. The mouthparts are piercing-sucking - and mature larvae are twice as long as adults (1/4 inch) Fleas can jump about 6 inches and they can hitchhike into a building by jumping on a shoe or sock and hitching a ride indoors.
Females lay 3-4 eggs after a bloodmeal and they can lay over 500 in their lifetime –The life cycle is as follows:Eggs – 2 days to hatch; Larvae – about 2 weeks; Pupae stage – anywhere from 14 days to a year under harsh conditions; Adults – about a year.
To control – any wild animals or rodents in or around the structure must be removed or destroyed – Pet owner’s must have pet treated – indoors a flea treatment to all the resting sites of pets and using a labeled pesticide and IGR - and outside spots treatment should be done where the animal frequents – like porches, patios and if the infestation is severe an overall yard spray may be necessary.
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