Adult fleas are not only a nuisance to humans and their pets, but they are also a risk for transmission of numerous very serious diseases to both humans and pets. Fleas are very important pests in Massachusetts and Rhode Island during the spring and summer but they can persist all year when indoors. It is estimated pet owners alone spend over $1 billion each year controlling fleas. The common route that fleas are introduced to your home is via your pet but with wildlife (squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, chipmunks, etc.) encroaching on our land they will also piggyback on them. Even if you have on animal protection for your pet the fleas still have the ability to be deposited in your home.
Adult fleas are about 1/16 to 1/8-inch long, dark reddish-brown, wingless, hard-bodied and they are actually quite difficult to crush between fingers. They have three pairs of legs with the hind legs enlarged to enable extraordinary jumping ability, leaping vertically up to seven inches and horizontally thirteen inches. If a flea were a human that would equate to 250 feet vertically and 450 feet horizontally!!! Their flattened body allows for easy movement between the hair, fur or feathers of the host. They have piercing-sucking mouthparts Larvae are ¼" long, legless, yellow-colored, wormlike, creatures, that are active, and avoid light. Pupae are enclosed in silken cocoons covered with particles of debris.
Fleas have a complete life cycle consisting of egg-larva-pupa-adult. Flea populations = 50% eggs, 35% larvae, 10% pupae, and 5% adults. Their life cycle can be completed in two weeks to eight months depending on the temperature, humidity, food, and other factor. The female flea lays about 15-20 eggs per day up to 600 in a lifetime. Eggs loosely laid in the fur, drop out most anywhere especially where the host rests, sleeps or nests both indoors/ outdoors. Adult fleas emerge when they detect vibration (pet and people movement), pressure (host animal lying down on them), heat, noise, or carbon dioxide (meaning a potential blood source is near). Most fleas overwinter in the larval or pupal stage with survival and growth best during warm, moist winters and spring. Newly emerged adult fleas live only about one week if a blood meal is not obtained.
The drawback with this pest is that homeowners think they can treat it themselves and when they fail (sometimes after several attempts) the infestation is much more severe. EHS is very successful at eliminating fleas but it is a cooperative effort as indicated on our treatment preparation sheet. When you need tour home, yard, or business protected from fleas count on EHS for a solution.