Continuing from Friday…
Fleas do not fly, but they are excellent jumpers. They are known to jump 13 inches vertically and 7 inches horizontally. Converting that to human terms, it is the equivalent of a human jumping 450 feet horizontally and 250 vertically. Fleas have a limited sense of smell so they must rely on detecting the CO2 of their prey in order to feed.
The flea that is most problematic in the United States is the cat flea. Cat fleas prefer to dine on cats and dogs, but in their absence, they will feed upon other warm blooded animals that cross their pathway, including humans. The goal of a flea is to find a host to receive a blood meal. A flea’s only means of food is blood.
Fleas are adaptable creatures that are able to live without a blood meal for months at a time if need be. This is why people who have returned from holiday are besieged with tiny hungry pests awaiting their arrival back home.
Female fleas must have a blood meal in order to reproduce. Once fed, she will lay up to 500 eggs in her lifespan. Flea larvae can exist for up to a year in its cocoon eating skin cells, debris, and flea droppings. This is why killing these pests are most difficult.
Flea infestations cannot be controlled with store bought pesticides. When pets are present, it takes a combination of efforts from the homeowner, the veterinarian, and a licensed Monmouth County, NJ exterminator to rid a home and yard of the bloodsucking pests.