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FleasFleas



Fleas are small (1/16 to 1/8-inch long), agile, usually dark colored wingless insects with tube-like mouth-parts adapted to feeding on the blood of their hosts. Their legs are long, the hind pair well adapted for jumping: a flea can jump vertically up to 7 inches (18 cm) and horizontally up to 13 inches , this is around 200 times their own body length. The flea body is hard, polished, and covered with many hairs and short spines directed backward which also assist its movements on the host. The tough body is able to withstand great pressure, likely an adaptation to survive attempts to eliminate them by mashing or scratching. Even hard squeezing between the fingers is normally insufficient to kill a flea.

Fleas are holometabolous insects, going through the four life cycle stages of egg, larva, pupa, and imago (adult). The flea life cycle begins when the female lays after feeding. Adult fleas must feed on blood before they can become capable of reproduction. Eggs are laid in batches of up to 20 or so, usually on the host itself, which means that the eggs can easily roll onto the ground. Because of this, areas where the host rests and sleeps become one of the primary habitats of eggs and developing fleas. The eggs take around two days to two weeks to hatch.

Fleas pass through a complete life cycle consisting of egg, larva, pupa and adult. A typical flea population consists of 50% eggs, 35% larvae, 10% pupae and 5% adults. Completion of the life cycle from egg to adult varies from two weeks to eight months depending on the temperature, humidity, food, and species. Normally after a blood meal, the female flea lays about 45 to 50 eggs per day up to 600 in a lifetime usually on the host (dogs, cats, rats, rabbits, mice, chickens, humans, etc.). Eggs loosely laid in the hair coat, drop out most anywhere especially where the host rests and sleeps, rugs, carpets, upholstered furniture, cat or dog boxes. Eggs hatch in two days to two weeks into larvae found indoors in floor cracks & crevices, along baseboards, under rug edges and in furniture or beds

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