Fleas

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Habit
Parasitic as adults, adapted to living among the fur of the host and feeding on its blood. Larvae live on floor or in bedding of host feeding mainly on faeces (droppings) of adult fleas.
Biology
Eggs - up to 1000 per female, 1 mm, white, laid after a blood meal in small batches amongst the fur of the host. They usually drop off the host onto the floor or among bedding. Hatch in a few days .
Larvae - legless, whitish up to 5 mm long, thrive best in humid places in host bedding on or floor. 2-3 moults, fully grown in about 3 weeks.
Pupa - in cocoon spun by larva. Normal emergence in 2-4 weeks in response to vibration. Delayed by up to several months if not stimulated.
Adults - about 2 mm long, brown, wingless, laterally flattened and with large hind legs for jumping.
Importance
Irritation caused by bites. Cat flea not implicated in disease transmission in UK. Dog Flea is intermediate host of a tapeworm.
Control
Treatment of host animal using veterinary products only. Vacuuming (dispose of bag contents). Disposal or cleaning of bedding. Careful insecticide treatment of floors, carpets. Use residual products and consider those containing insect growth regulators.
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