Flea is the common name for insects of the order Siphonaptera (classification: phylum Arthropoda, class Insecta) which are wingless insects with mouthparts adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood. Fleas are external parasites, living by hematophagy off the blood of mammals.

The blood intake of a female flea can be equivalent to more than 15 times its body weight. Well-fed this way, adults survive on a host for up to 140 days. Several thousands of eggs are laid by female fleas and dropped wherever the host animal goes. The warm temperature and humidity in homes provide a favorable microclimate for multiple flea life cycles.

Some flea species include:

Cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis)

Dog flea (Ctenocephalides canis)

Human flea (Pulex irritans)

Moorhen flea (Dasypsyllus gallinulae)

Northern rat flea (Nosopsyllus fasciatus)

Oriental rat flea (Xenopsylla cheopis)

Over 2,000 species have been described worldwide

Life cycles

The life cycles of all fleas are basically the same. They consist of six stages - egg, 3 larval stages, pupa and adult (male or female).
Eggs: are laid 24 to 36 hours after first blood meal. 
Larvae: three larval stages, life span 5 to 12 days. 
Pupae: best protected and resistant life stage. 
Preemergent adults: The waiting stage, emergence of adults upon stimuli (pressure, heat).

Adults are the only flea stages spending most of their time on a host. They leave the host occasionally and usually only when one host makes contact with another.
All other flea stages - eggs, larvae and pupae - are found in the immediate environment of the host. In dogs and cats this would primarily include places in the home and kennel used for resting and sleeping.
The life cycle of the flea is based on holometabolic metamorphosis. It can be completed in as little as 14 days or be prolonged up to 140 days, depending mainly on temperature and humidity.

Harmful effects of flea infestation

In pets, flea infestation may disrupt the general feeling, cause itching, redness, hair loss, severe skin infections in some cases, and in many cases, an allergy to the flea saliva. Hypersensitivity to flea saliva is the primary cause to the flea allergy dermatitis (FAD), usually appears as red hot spots. Other harmful effects are anemia, severe cases of reproduction (puppies may even die), and transfer of bacterial diseases and tapeworms.

The most harmful effects are:

Blood loss

Young animals may develop severe anemia and it can cause even death.

Flea allergy dermatitis (FAD)

Hypersensitivity to flea saliva not only causes itching and irritation following the bite of fleas, but it is a major cause to the flea allergy dermatitis (FAD). FAD in dogs usually expressed in the form of hot spots on the skin ((while in cats it takes the form of tiny lumps in the skin. Dermatitis is a most common disease among skin allergies in dogs and cats, and it is most prevalent during the summer.
Allergic reaction causes pimples, seborrhea, hair loss and stinging leading to injuries due to the constant pet's licking and scratching .

Transmission of tapeworms

Fleas are often infected by tapeworm of the type Dipylidium caninum. When infected fleas ingested by an animal, the infection stage D begins in which the caninum develops to adult worm. We must be aware and remember that children are exposed to the risk of tapeworm infection due to their natural close contact with pets.

Transmission of bacterial diseases

It is well known that fleas may be vectors of various bacterial diseases. In the past, epidemics constituted a real threat to humanity. Fleas can transmit various kinds of fever such as Malta fever, typhoid and infections if they were exposed to disease-causing by Microorganisms in the past

Prevention and control

The degree to which you need to control fleas will vary from person to person, and from pet to pet.
You might think that a pet kept entirely indoors would be at no risk of catching fleas. But don't forget that it only takes a visit from one untreated animal to trigger an infestation in your home, so even housebound pets may require flea control.
Pets that routinely go outdoors will likely come into contact with fleas from time to time, and require regular treatment
Do not use collars, sprays and ampoules (spots on) containing chemicals substances in no way.
Articles about pets' mortality and irreversible damages, results of chemical pesticides use, are published every year in the world.
Be sure to use only botanical products even if it requires more attention and more activity.
When you are using natural pest control products, be sure that they contain essential oils and not extracts.
The percentage of essential oils is most significant.
One of the criteria for the amount of active ingredients (essential oils) is the container.
Only container or ampoule made of metal can contain effective percentage of active ingredients.

This is your pet – one of the family members. It depends on you and you certainly do not want to cause harm and suffering

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