Description: Adult Cat fleas/Dog Fleas are 2 to 3 mm in length and generally of a brown appearance. They have a thin, laterally flattened body and large hind legs which allow them to jump onto passing hosts. The larvae of both species are nearly twice as long as the adults. Fleas are found throughout the UK including cities such as London.
Biology: Flea eggs are about 0.5mm long, oval, pearly-white in colour and laid indiscriminately in the fur or feathers of the host or in its nest or bedding. A typical female flea may lay 200 eggs over a period of five days. They will hatch in a further 4 to 12 days, depending on the temperature and humidity. The larvae thrive in dark, humid places such as animal bedding and carpet fluff, and feed on organic debris and adult flea excrement. Animal bedding may support a flea population of 8000 immature and 2000 adult forms.
Control: Where very high populations of fleas are present, a single application of insecticide may not be sufficient, as even a 99% kill rate can still leave sufficient survivors to form the basis of a new infestation. In such cases, additional treatments will need to be carried out until the infestation is eradicated. All floors and upholstered furniture should be vacuumed to remove animal hairs, organic debris, flea eggs and pupae. Dispose of vacuum bag in an outside bin. Any cats and dogs should be treated for fleas with an insecticide recommended for this purpose and pet bedding should be destroyed or washed. All floor areas should then be treated with a residual insecticide or a desiccant spray from skirting board to skirting board.
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