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Fleas the Pest Guest you Did Not Invite

Updated on October 3, 2012

Fleas What a Huge Pest!!

Wow, I can't stand these things!! We had them really bad one year and of coarse before we had an infestation. I didn't know a thing about the little blood suckers because I moved from an area that didn't have to deal with them. But I had to learn about them fairly quickly!! I learned that I was allergic to them! (slightly) Someone once told me that if you put little lids around the house with dawn dish soap and water and one of those little bendable lamps, with the light directly over the soap dish, that it attracts them and they get stuck! Of coarse there is glue traps too. And sprays of coarse! And all kinds of fun things that do not seem to work fast enough!!

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look and learning something new today by using your eyes to see. Make sure to leave a comment or a note at the bottom and if you liked the page then please feel free to hit the like button at the top of the page for me!! Have a great day and once again thanks!

Wikipedia Life Cycle

Life cycle and habitat

Fleas are holometabolous insects, going through the three life cycle stages of 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 easily roll onto the ground. As such, 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.Flea larvae emerge from the eggs to feed on any available organic material such as dead insects, feces, and vegetable matter. They are blind and avoid sunlight, keeping to dark places like sand, cracks and crevices, and bedding. Given an adequate supply of food, larvae should pupate and weave a silken cocoon within 1-2 weeks after 3 larval stages. After another week or two, the adult flea is fully developed and ready to emerge from the cocoon. They may however remain resting during this period until they receive a signal that a host is near - vibrations (including sound), heat, and carbon dioxide are all stimuli indicating the probable presence of a host. Fleas are known to overwinter in the larval or pupal stages.

Once the flea reaches adulthood its primary goal is to find blood - adult fleas must feed on blood in order to reproduce. Adult fleas only have around a week to find food once they emerge, though they can survive two months to a year between meals. A flea population is unevenly distributed, with 50 percent eggs, 35 percent larvae, 10 percent pupae, and 5 percent adults. Their total life cycle can take as little as two weeks, but may be lengthened to many months if conditions are favorable. Female fleas can lay 500 or more eggs over their life, allowing for phenomenal growth rates.

Adult female rabbit fleas, Spilopsyllus cuniculi, can detect the changing levels of cortisol and corticosterone, hormones in the rabbit's blood that indicate she is getting close to giving birth. This triggers sexual maturity in the fleas and they start producing eggs. As soon as the baby rabbits are born, the fleas make their way down to them and once on board they start feeding, mating, and laying eggs. After 12 days, the adult fleas make their way back to the mother. They complete this mini-migration every time she gives birth.

Household items used to rid fleas

My Battle

Well, my battle began when I was 8 months pregnant with my fourth son. Now keep in mind I had never messed with them before, much less knew anything about the little suckers. Anyway, I was getting bites on my lower legs and thought at first that it was mosquito bites. Until my legs kept getting worse. So then I thought that it could be a rash because by this point I had so many bites and no one else in the house was getting them. Then my son was born. The first day home I laid him on the changing table which is all white (the easier to see the fleas) and 2 black specks jumped and landed on the baby and I realized this was some kind of bug as I tried to hurry to get those off of him a few more appeared. Then I looked down at my own legs and had them around the top of my sock line biting. I freaked out. I looked over at my other 2 children sitting on the couch and they were watching t.v. scratching away. I then knew we had a flea problem. I called my pest control people and the cost was going to be around $200.00. On top of that the fleas do not go away until they go through the life cycle of 10 days. And then our problem was so bad that it would be more like 20-30 days later. I didn't want to hear this. So I started the research and had the pest people come and spray to get started. Now keep in mind I didn't have any animals at all. The people we had bought the house from had dogs and we had the fleas here and of coarse didn't know what we were looking for when they were around so had ignored it until it was too late.

So, I went to the local feed store and talked to them about it and they referred me to a place to buy a product called demon. I bought a can to spray with the product and something to add to it called a birth inhibitor. The demon just kills the live ones and does not effect the eggs or larvae. And by the time you kill the adult they could have already laid 100-200 eggs that would hatch and keep the process going. So the birth inhibitor you mix with the spray and it does not stop them from laying eggs but once they are laid and they hatch they would be unable to lay eggs. So I started spraying also because they were so bad you could see them everywhere.

My garage is where they had gotten started and little did I know that the squirrels that were running around in my back yard were dropping fleas and adding to the problem. Cause my kids would play in the back and then come in the house. So a vicious cycle of problems. Had to spray the backyard too. But had to borrow a lawn mower and cut the grass to the lowest setting possible. Because the fleas hate sun and dry areas. They love pine needles, tall grass, moisture and shade.

Here's the other thing! Vacuum like your life depends on it. And throw out the bag in the trash can and take it outside or if you have a bag less them dump and throw out. These flea are so bad that they will not die when you vacuum and they do not drown and they do not smush either. So flushing them down the toilet can work and bagging them and taking them out. The vacuum also helps hatch them eggs out just like mowing because of the vibration. Oh, and sweeping will help break them out of the eggs. Why do you want this so you can kill them. When in egg form or pupa they are untouchable with the poison. Also, they can lay dormant for 3-5 years. So while your getting rid of these might as well go ahead and really get rid of them. I had never looked so forward to winter in all my life that year. This is where I knew we would def. not have a problem with them because they go dormant or die! Thank God! I Scratched probably for the next year after we had gotten rid of them. I always look at the top of my socks when scratching looking for the little blood suckers! I never ever want to have this problem again. Also, found out that they are harder to get rid of with hard wood floors because they can get down into the cracks of the wood. So, all of my wooden furniture took a trip outside and was sealed off on the bottom side just like the top of it had been done. Usually when you get this kind of furniture they do not worry about sealing the bottom. If you live in an area that has fleas you might want to think about it!!

Natural Ways that may help

1. Banana peels are good to throw under the house and around the yard. Fleas tend to stay away from these. Plus they are great for helping add

nutrients to your plants!

2. Victorpets.com has a thing called a flea dome or like a sticky pad. It looks like a little spaceship and has a bulb overhead inside of it. If you

turn out all the other lights and let the traps do the trick. Takes a week to get the first wave gone. Then another week to get the second wave

of eggs that have to hatch to be gone. But vwalla!!! It feels wonderful to have them gone. If there is a continuous problem due to animals or

kids coming and going in and out of the house bringing new ones into the house. So in this case jusr keep the traps around to continue

keeping your home pest free.

3. Banking soda and salt. By sprinkling these in equal amount on your carpet it will help dehydrate the fleas and kill them. Make sure to leave it sprinkled on your carpet as long as possible. Such as overnight. Then make sure to vacuum the next day and keep repeating for at least 7-10 days. Fleas live in cycles so you will have to male sure to take care of each cycle as they hatch. The vacuum bag needs to be removed immediately and taken outside to the garbage. If it is a bagless make sure to take it outside and dump it and rinse. Do not leave sitting in your house, so do it immediately after vacuuming. Not just the floor but also the furniture and wash sheets too!

Take Back Your Life - Get rid of your flea problem

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look and learning something new today by using your eyes to see. Mkae sure to leave a comment or a note at the bottom and if you liked the page then please feel free to hit the like button at the top of the page for me!! Have a great day and once again thanks!

Flea Riddens! Leave a note to tell your side!

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    • StewartClan profile image

      StewartClan 5 years ago

      Really sorry to hear about your flea problem and thanks for letting us know your personal accounts of what happened. We use Frontline for our pets but since I live in Scotland UK we don't have the weather to attract lots of fleas.

      Once when I was younger I got a flea bite and it got infected, it was really painful. Thanks for a great lens!

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 5 years ago

      Wow, what a problem you had to face. We get only rare outbreaks of flease here and lately the weather favoured them so I had to do my animals with Frontline. But if you grow tansy in the garden it keeps fleas at bay and my animals are quite free of them. Featured this on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2012 and also on Why do Humans Suffer, Hugs

    • Demaw profile image

      Demaw 8 years ago

      I'm sure they have a purpose in the greater scheme of things but..... nowhere near me though. I have pets and work hard at keeping them free of this life form. 5*

    • thepartyanimal2 profile image

      thepartyanimal2 8 years ago

      I hate fleas and with 9 pets it can be a big problem - so it is important to treat your pets. I would rather do that then deal with the infestation. YUCK. I gave you 5 flea free stars