Do Fleas Fly
Fleas have no wings and therefore do not fly, but they can sure jump! Their back legs are quite amazing in that they can jump forward through your pet’s hair at high speed. If your pet tries to bite or scratch at the flea, the flea’s back legs help them escape and jump to another area of the pet’s body.
• Small, wingless, with a flattened appearance (like they were squeezed on their sides).
• The color of a flea ranges from yellowish to dark brown. A female who has recently fed will be larger. They are blood-sucking parasites that infest mammals (i.e., dogs, cats, birds, rats, farm animals, etc.) and even humans.
• Over 2,400 species worldwide and about a dozen that will commonly attack humans. The most common flea is the “cat flea” which is found primarily on cats and dogs along with several other animals such as, ferrets, guinea pigs and rabbits.
Fleas stay close to the host for breeding, feeding, resting, and sleeping. They may also stay in cracks in your floors or walls, dirt, carpet, pretty much anywhere they can hide and be sheltered.
Animals vs. Humans
Fleas prefer animals over humans because they like to hide and feed under cover. You will notice it can be hard to catch a flea on your animal if there are just a few because they will scatter out of sight.
The Female Flea
A female flea can lay as many as 40 to 50 eggs per day and over 2,000 in her lifetime. Flea eggs are oval in shape, of a pearly white color and the size of a grain of sand. The eggs are laid within the animal’s hair. They will easily fall off of the animal because the eggs do not stick to anything and will end up in your carpet, under furniture cushions, basically in any place that is protected. Eggs will hatch anywhere from 1 to 10 days. High humidity will dry out and kill the eggs.
The Areas on Your Pet to Find Fleas
You will find the majority of fleas on the rump and belly area of your pet. You will probably notice some on its head and top of the neck…basically in places where your pet has a hard time to reach.
Detecting Flea Feces
Since the adult fleas spend most of their time on the animal (not in your carpet), this is why you will come across flea feces. If you are searching your pet for fleas and you see black specs, take a wet paper towel and smear those specs. If they turn reddish in color, you have found flea feces.
Surviving the Winter
Normally if the temperature drops down to 37 degrees or colder for a period of 10 days, neither fleas, eggs, larvae or the pupae will survive. Although they have been known to survive these temperatures. How you ask. By living on stray animals such as, raccoons and opossums. They can remain alive inside your heated garage, your pet’s kennel bedding, carpets left in sheltered structures, barns, farming equipment or trucks holding hay. There are many places a flea can keep itself sheltered until spring rolls around.