The Biting Flea
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Flea is the common name for insects of the order Siphonaptera which are wingless insects with mouthparts adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood. Fleas are external parasites, living by hematophagy off the blood of mammals (including bats and humans) and birds.
EEEEWWWWW!!!! Piercing and Sucking Blood! Fleas bring such lovely visions to the forefront of our imagination. I for one am grateful that they are only the size of specs of dirt! But as little as they are, they are definitely a force to be reckoned with. Just one pair of fleas can produce TRILLIONS of other fleas in a nine month period, if no foul play is met with. And a flea in its pupae phase can survive dormant for MONTHS just waiting for the right conditions to be met to make his/her reappearance, which is just one reason why it is so very difficult to eradicate fleas.
Therefore it is imperative if you are to free yourself of these blood suckers that you follow closely the recommendations of bug experts when attempting to spray, fog, or powder fleas to their death.
Inside your home, one of the best recommendations is regular vacuuming and disposal of the contents of your vacuum cleaner. I would suggest dumping the contents into a zip lock bag, sealing, and relocating it to the trash bin. Vacuuming will suck up fleas in their egg, larva, and pupae stages. Even if you kill fleas in your home by chemical means, these different forms of the flea could be hiding in your carpet, pet bedding, and low hanging drapes, just waiting to emerge. If you plan on using spray or fogging chemicals to kill your fleas, please be sure to evacuate the area that is treated until all fabrics, etc. are completely dry. Be careful to not spray toys, clothing or personal belongings. Instead run these through the hot cycle on your washer to release eggs, larva, and pupae.
Fleas love to take a free ride on your pet or your ankles from the yard back into your home. In order to completely kill your flea population, make sure that you treat your yard in conjunction with your home. This should occur simultaneously so that you are not contributing to the cycle of flea/no flea/flea. Your mental health is of the utmost importance, and we don’t want you thinking that you’re going batty because they keep reemerging! For your yard, there are chemical insecticides/pesticides that can be mixed with water, and sprayed generously with a pump sprayer where ever you and your pet frequent. The insecticides can be mixed with an insect growth regulator to disable the larva from growing into adult fleas. Again, be kind and remove all outdoor pets from the area being treated and do not reintroduce them until the chemicals have dried.
The life cycle of a flea is three to four weeks, so keep your eyes peeled for signs of life around that time. If any fleas are noted, repeat the above process “once more with feeling”, and your flea trouble will be nothing but a distant memory.