Image Source: Wikimedia
As a pet owner, you’ve likely come across flea problems before and if you haven’t, you’re sure to experience the issue at some point in time. In fact, you don’t even have to be a pet owner to come across a flea problem.You’re probably wondering what fleas actually are. Well, fleas are basically insects. They are extremely small in size, which is exactly why detecting them seems like a herculean task. Most pet owners find out about flea
infestations only after watching their dog/cat scratch profusely or by coming across bite marks.A close inspection of a flea will present you with a creature that measures only one-fourth of an inch with an almost flat structure. You will also notice that they have extended hind legs. These extended hind legs function like springs. They are designed to help the flea jump great distances (for its size).Their diet consists of blood, which is why they feed on your cat or dog. The blood they consume is essential to their reproductive process. After successful mating, a female flea hatches eggs into the blood of the host animal. From there, the eggs go through 3 stages as larvae, pupae, and adult. In this write up, we’re going to go through some interesting facts about the larvae stage.Flea larvae don’t stay in one spot
After the eggs turn into larvae, they don’t remain in the same spot. They fall off because of the host’s movement. The larvae function like little balls that bounce. Once the host moves, the larvae practically bounce of the host’s body and end up in places nearby. That’s when they hatch and become pupae.Flea larvae avoid light
Once the eggs are laid by the female flea, it takes the eggs about 2 days to almost a week to hatch into larvae. The larvae are known to be phototaxic i.e. they are not comfortable with light and will try to get away from a light source. In fact, they’ll try their best to occupy tiny crevices and cracks that are free of light.Flea larvae eat dirt
Larvae survive by consuming flea dirt. Flea
dirt here refers to organic debris and dried blood, which is excreted by adult fleas as feces. This process continues for about 2 weeks, after which, they enter the pupae stage. This is characterized by the spinning of the cocoon. Fleas remain in the cocoon stage for extended periods of time and come out only when they sense a host.Getting rid of larvae isn’t the same as getting rid of adult fleas
Adult fleas can be eliminated using chemicals and medicated applications. However, getting rid of larvae requires a different approach. For starters, you must vacuum your home completely to get rid of the larvae. Using an attachment known as a beater bar with your vacuum cleaner can be of great help.Also, makes sure the vacuum bag is disposed of immediately.Secondly, there are sprays and foggers developed to get rid of flea larvae. However, not all products boast of the same effectiveness. So, talk to your vet. Your vet understands your requirements better because he/she has been to your home, seen your pet, and has a basic idea of how you live.Even with all these remedies, it might take a couple of months to be 100% flea larvae free. The next step is to prevent a repeat infestation. So, keep your pets indoors as often as possible and make sure your home is prepared to fend off other animals such as raccoons and possums etc. As mentioned earlier, flea larvae like being in dark spaces, so, seal of areas such as crawl spaces, and attics.Finally, do make sure you treat your pet for fleas. You will need to exercise permanent flea control to prevent an infestation or re-infestation.