Fleas are quite small measuring 1/16 of an inch to 1/8 of an inch. They do not have wings they have six small legs they use to climb and jump. Cat fleas account for most home infestations in Minnesota.
They can jump 200 times their own body length. Fleas spread quickly a single adult can lay between 40 and 50 eggs in a single day. The life cycle of fleas consists of four stages the egg, larva, pupa and adult. Fleas can remain in the pupa stage for up to eight months if necessary.
They will wait until a suitable host is present and environmental conditions become favorable. Each life cycle phase requires different methods and treatments for elimination making flea control extremely difficult.
For successful flea control the home, the pet, and often times the yard must be treated. Adult fleas spend most of their time on your pets for this reason treatment of the pet is a must.
Also the pets environment should be treated, eggs are laid on the pet and soon fall off onto carpeting, furniture and anywhere a pet rests, sleeps, and spends its time. Eggs hatch and develop into larvae these tiny worm like larvae hide deep in carpet fibers, in and around furniture and other protected areas.
During the pupa stage flea larva develop into pupa within a silk-like cocoon these cocoons are insecticide resistant making it common to see fleas for an extended time even after treatments have been made.
Proper cleaning and preparation is absolutely essential to flea control. Remove all items from floors including under beds and in closet spaces. Wash dry clean or destroy all pet bedding. Vacuum vacuum vacuum!
Thorough vacuuming removes many eggs, larva and pupa from carpeting and furniture. Vacuuming can also cause pupa to emerge from their cocoons sooner speeding up end results. Vacuuming also improves insecticides penetration down to the base of the carpet fibers where flea larva live.
Pay special attention to areas where pets rest and sleep, edges of rooms, beneath furniture, cushions, beds, rugs, and drapes. After vacuuming seal the vacuum bag and immediately remove to an outside dumpster.
Frequent vacuuming removes vital elements necessary for flea’s development and survival. Thorough cleaning of your home on a regular basis paying special attention to pet resting areas and bedding will greatly reduce materials necessary for the immature flea to develop. Glue board traps can aid in treatments and detect infestations early on.
Your pets may not be the only animal carrying fleas onto your property stray dogs, cats, rats, mice, squirrels, fox, raccoon, coyote, and bats are usually found infested with fleas. Maintaining a clean property with properly trimmed grass and removal of vegetative litter and food sources will help keep these flea carrying animals out of your yard. Trapping and removal of these animals may be necessary.