Fleas are insects that belong to the Siphonaptera order. The most interesting flea species is Ctenocephalides felis (cat flea) which is found in homes and generally in places where pets live.
Fleas are about 2mm long. Thrushes are small, brown, wingless insects. They are pressed to their sides and have strong, spiny legs that are adapted for jumping. They have floating mouthparts of the mucinous type that are specially formed to feed on blood. Their life cycle ranges from 5 weeks to over a year depending on the conditions. Female fleas lay 4 to 8 eggs after each blood meal, and can lay several hundred eggs in their lifetime. Larvae, although legless, are quite mobile and are usually found on the floor or where the host sleeps and often feed on the feces of adult fleas. Under favorable conditions, flowering occurs in one to two weeks, but under adverse conditions, the larval as well as pupal stage can be extended up to a year.
Many species of fleas have the ability to jump from one host to another indiscriminately, while others are more tied to their host species. For example, the flea C. felis that indiscriminately parasitizes dogs and cats, parasitizes humans with the same ease. The ease of host change and frequent blood sucking makes fleas serious carriers of disease.
People are bitten on various parts of the body, most often on the extremities, on the body of those who will come in contact with pets or on substrates visited by animals, but the most common place on the body for flea bites is on the bottom of the legs. In some cases they can cause severe inflammation of the skin and severe itching.
Many species of fleas are carriers of important diseases such as plague, endemic type and honey fever.
Modes of Management
Prevention: Regular cleaning of the areas where pets sleep with a vacuum cleaner, shaking the carpets outside and washing the bedding of the pets at high temperatures (over 50°C), flea collars on pets, are some of the measures prevention that should be taken into account.
Treatment: Application of pesticides to animals by a veterinarian. Residual sprays in indoor and outdoor areas of pets where fleas may harbor. Residual sprays or thermal fumigation in houses and warehouses.
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