In the household area, infestations often start with the pets or other domestic animals (dogs and cats) and are then spread into the home. They can be seen near places where the host usually rests or sleeps. In addition, they could also be found in shoes, on blankets, sofa and other furniture.
For a rural area, attention should be focused on poultry farms where fleas would normally be found. Fleas are not only nuisance but their painful bites can also cause itchiness, swelling, rashes, irritation or even inflammation to the affected skin. Bites of human fleas are generally distributed over the human body. However, a cat flea bites tend to be concentrated on the lower legs.
This pest is regarded as medical importance due to their capability of disease transmission. They act as a vector for various harmful pathogens that can cause diseases such as murine typhus, plague and anaemia (by transferring the tapeworm). Eradication of this small and hardy insect shouldn’t just rely on insecticide treatment alone. Other methods, for example, proper sanitation practice such as frequent cleaning and maintaining a hygienic environment is crucial in helping to suppress the flea population.
Fleas are external parasites that live closely with the host where they spend most of their life span on it. Some fleas prefer to live on dogs (Ctenocephalides canis) and cats (Ctenocephalides felis), however, they can also be found on human (Pulex irritans) and other animals. Similar to other blood-feeder insects, their mouthpart structure is meant for piercing the skin and sucking blood from the host.
Adults are small, measuring about 2.5-3mm long with a laterally flattened body, which is usually darker in colour (brown or reddish-brown). They are wingless but are equipped with a pair of strong hind legs enabling them to jump vertically up to 18cm and as far as 33cm. After each blood meal, females could lay 4-10 eggs and a total of up to 400 eggs are produced in a lifetime. The shortest developmental time (egg to adult) could be 17 days. Adults may live more than 2 years if the condition is favourable.
RESIDUAL AND ULV (ULTRA-LOW VOLUME) SPRAYING
An insecticide is sprayed at cracks and crevices, wall edges, furniture and other possible bed bug harborages. Chemical with flushing agent will drive the bug out from their hiding place and this would also increase their frequency of contact with the toxic.
Make sure that pets are always clean and are in healthy conditions. Keep them away from hanging out with stray cats or dogs. Apart from that, frequent vacuuming will also help to remove fleas and their eggs.