There are billions of ‘em — those blood sucking parasites that feed on your cats and dogs and you, too, if all else fails. The female of the species routinely consumes 15 times her body weight in blood (the flea’s favorite meal) every day. This very high protein diet enables her to lay about 25 eggs every 24 hours or so, or between 600 and 800 eggs in her lifetime.
Fleas are amazing little critters. They can jump seven or eight inches up in the air, and jump more than a foot horizontally. Fleas don’t eat only when they are hungry. In fact, they are absolute gluttons, and will continue to bite its host until they can’t eat any more. There is a reason they do this and it is critical to the survival of a flea’s life cycle. Here’s how it works.
If you see a flock of fleas on your pet and think that killing them will get rid of the problem, think again. Actually, the fleas you can see dining on your dog represent only 5 percent of your total flea population. The life cycle of these little bugs has four stages so, for the purpose of illustration, let’s say that there are 100 fleas in this happy congregation. There would be 5 little black specs you can see — the biting adults — along with 50 eggs, 30 in the larvae stage and 15 that are all wrapped up in the pupae or cocoon stage.
From egg to biting adult, the cycle can take from just two weeks to eight months. Females lay their eggs on all kinds of furry mammals — dogs, cats, squirrels, rats, rabbits, foxes, chipmunks, opossums — you name it. Flea eggs have also been found on chickens and humans. The eggs are cleverly laid in the hair so they will drop out where the “host” spends its time, nests or sleeps. That means that the pesky hitchhiker’s eggs can be found hiding in rugs and carpets, on furniture — in any of the host’s favorite places.
It gets worse. As they begin to hatch, the larvae — stage two — settle into cracks in the floor, deep into the rug and under cushions on the furniture. The nasty creatures at this point are virtually blind and stay out of bright light. Here’s where it gets really disgusting. The main diet of the larvae consists of digested blood from adult flea droppings along with morsels of dead skin and other organic debris. Finally, they weave cocoons (PUPAE) themselves — which can contain an assortment of pet hairs, carpet fibers, dust and other appetizing refuse, where they subsequently evolve into the next stage as pupae.
After a few weeks, the adult can break out of the cocoon…or stay in this comfortable nest until they detect the telltale vibration or warm pressure that alerts them to the nearby proximity of a potential host and blood banquet. The minuscule cocoons are very sensitive to heat, vibration and noise, and even carbon dioxide as pets or humans exhale nearby. At this point, the adult flea ties on his bib and tucker and leaves for dinner.
If their cocoon “sonar” never goes off, the pupae can rest safely in their protective silk sheath for up to one year without feeding. If you want to test this theory, take a vacation, put your pets in the kennel, and walk back into your house after your flea community has had nothing to feed on. Then, suddenly, the ever-alert adult fleas sense that dinner is served, and you’ll find yourself ankle deep in hungry hordes of tiny black specs elbowing the competition out of the way for a place at the trough.
“All this biting and blood sucking is essential to the flea’s survival. They cannot breed until they have gorged themselves on blood, but once they get started, watch out”.
Getting rid of fleas calls for a determined, coordinated effort. “Each stage in the life cycle has to be attacked individually, so don’t be misled into thinking that one measure can do it all. Take a rational and thorough approach to the battle.”
Vacuum regularly after treatment.
This not only removes the eggs and food source for the larvae, but the noise and vibration may trick adult fleas into emerging early only to be sucked up by the vacuum cleaner or to be exposed to insecticide residues.
There are some effective insect growth regulators intended to prevent eggs from hatching and also control the larvae. Unfortunately, nothing we know of kills the pupae, so insecticides and growth regulators used in household and yard environments have to terminate the emerging fleas. Bug Busters Pest Control, Inc. treatments includes all carpeted areas of the house with both an ‘adulticide’ and an insect growth regulator.
Be patient and vacuum everyday to activate the pupae to hatch out and expose themselves to the treatment. If for some reason there is still flea activity after two weeks of vacuuming, please contract the office of the service rep. that treated your home and schedule another treatment, all activity in your home should be gone after two weeks. Have your pets treated by a vet near you.
Prepare for your treatment
- Pick up all loose items off the floors and from under the beds.
- Put all foods away, off counters and tables
- Cover fish tanks with a towel
- Vacuum all carpets completely
- All people and pets must remain out of the unit for 4 hours after treatment
- Any pregnant woman or asthmatic people need to stay out for 8 to 10 hours
If you are not ready when the Technician arrives at your appointment time there will be a $60.00 trip charge assessed and it will be the responsibility of the resident to pay the management for the inconvenience of the wasted appointment.