Fleas are one of the more important groups of insect pests because they not only cause discomfort by biting, but they can transmit several diseases such as plague and murine typhus. Cat fleas are found throughout the United States and the rest of the world.
Female fleas lay 4-8 eggs after each blood meal, laying some 400-500 during their lifetime. They usually hatch in 1-12 days. The pre-emerged adult remains in the cocoon for up to 20 weeks, where it is protected from adverse conditions, including pesticides. Adults are stimulated to emerge from the cocoon by mechanical depression of the cocoon, an increase in temperature, and possibly vibrations. Larvae and pupae are typically found where the animals sleeps or frequents. Adult fleas usually begin to seek a blood meal on the second day after emergence, but can live for several months on stored body fat.
Cat fleas may transmit plague. There is very strong circumstantial evidence that they may transmit murine typhus. Cat fleas serve as intermediate hosts of the dog tapeworm. These tapeworms occasionally infest humans, especially very young children. The dog tapeworm commonly infests cats that spend time outdoors.
Fleas are typically found where animals sleep or frequent, including along their usual avenue of travel, because this is where eggs and adult fecal blood accumulate.
Cat fleas are also found on other urban hosts such as opossum, fox, mongoose, and occasionally rats.
- The best way to remove a tick found attached to a person or pet is to firmly grasp it with a pair of tweezers as close to the skin as possible.
- Pull firmly but gently backwards until the tick pulls free.
- Do not touch the tick, but save it in rubbing alcohol for later identification.
Bill Clark offers quality Flea and Tick Control service throughout the Southeast Texas region.