Fleas are parasites that feed on the blood of humans and their domestic animals. They are dark coloured, wingless insects 1/16″-1/8″ long. They are jumpers, with the ability to jump up to 7″ vertically and 13″ horizontally. This is 200 times their own body length, making them one the best jumpers in the animal kingdom. Female fleas lay 500 or more eggs in their 2 week life allowing for phenomenal growth rates. They are a nuisance to their hosts, leaving bites that are similar to a mosquito’s that can remain itchy for up to 2 weeks.

Fleas spend ¾ of their lives on their host, so treatment of the host’s environment is necessary, along with treatment of the host animal itself. Vacuuming, washing of linens and treatment of the site with insect growth regulators are mandatory methods of flea control.

A flea, Siphonaptera SEM

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