Fleas and Ticks Control | South Florida


Fleas and Ticks Control | South Florida

Fleas and Ticks Control | South Florida can arise from cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis) which are frequently encountered in homes and are common pests on family cats and dogs. Dog fleas (Ctenocephalides canis) look like cat fleas, but are rare in Florida. Sticktight fleas (Echidnophaga gallinacea) can become a problem when pets frequent areas near poultry. Female sticktight fleas firmly attach themselves around the ears and eyes of their host. Fleas on either cats or dogs in California are most likely cat fleas.

IDENTIFICATION

Adult fleas are no larger than 1/8 inch long, so it is difficult to see a number of the characteristics used to describe them. These reddish-brown, wingless insects are laterally compressed, so they look as if they are walking on edge. Cat fleas have both pronotal and genal combs. They have piercing-sucking mouthparts through which they obtain blood meals from their hosts.

LIFE CYCLE

Unlike most fleas, adult cat fleas remain on the host where feeding, mating, and egg laying occur. Females lay about 20 to 50 eggs per day. Cat flea eggs are pearly white, oval, and about 1/32 inch long. The eggs are smooth and readily fall from the pet and land on surfaces such as bedding and carpeting in the animal’s environment. They hatch in about 2 to 5 days.

Flea larvae are no larger than 3/16 inch long, hairy, and wormlike with a distinct, brownish head but no eyes or legs. The larvae feed on dried blood and excrement adult fleas produce while feeding on the pet. Larval development is restricted to protected places where there is at least 75% relative humidity. The larvae feed and crawl around for 8 to 15 days before building small, silken cocoons in which they pupate and develop into adults. Debris, such as pet hair or skin or carpet fibers, usually covers the pupae, providing visual camouflage.

Flea larvae develop more quickly at higher temperatures, preferring areas that are 70° to 90°F. At cool temperatures, fully formed fleas can remain in their cocoons for up to 12 months. Warm temperatures and mechanical pressure caused by walking on or vacuuming carpet stimulate emergence from the cocoon. At normal room temperatures, the entire life cycle can occur in about 18 days.

An adult cat flea generally lives about 30 to 40 days on the host. When normal grooming activity is restricted, 85% of adult females survived for 50 days. You can find fleas on pets throughout the year, but numbers tend to increase dramatically during spring and early summer when conditions favor larval development.

All Things Pest Control will complete a full assessment of fleas and ticks in your home, making the necessary accommodations to ensure you’e rid of these nasty creatures.

Fleas and Ticks Control | South Florida