What do fleas look like?
The wings of the flea have been lost, but they still have powerful jumping legs. With this they move quickly from one place to another. An adult flea is about one to three millimeters in size and is dark red in color. Their eggs are barely visible, they are only half a millimeter in size.
Fleas feed on the blood of warm-blooded vertebrates with a coat or feathers. So pets are often the victims of flea bites. Fleas attack their host when they eat. They bite the victim and suck his blood. Then they leave their host again. Fleas do not basically use people as hosts, but they sometimes do a test bite in humans.
Lifecycle of fleas
The flea has several life stages. First the egg stage from which a larva emerges after two to four days. The larva will pupate after two to three weeks. The pupal stage lasts about six weeks, after which the adult flea emerges. After each blood meal, the fleas lay eggs, up to a hundred eggs per day.
Extended pupal stage
The mature flea in a pupal knows, before he crawls out of the pupal, whether there is a host nearby that he can jump on. If the host is not there, the flea will stay in the pupal. The flea can sustain this for up to a year. Due to vibrations in the environment, the flea in the pupal knows that there is a host. Quickly he works out of the pupal and immediately jumps his host for a blood meal. Then they lay eggs immediately.
Of course, that one flea is not the only one, so a flea infestation is the result. This phenomenon often occurs when after a temporary absence, for example when you come home from holiday, a house is again entered by its residents.
Living environment of fleas
Most of the life of a flea takes place outside the host. That means that both the eggs, the larvae and the adult fleas mainly live on the ground, hidden in the seams and chinks of your house and the sleeping place of your pet. They attack their host when they need a blood meal. They leave their host after dinner. The eggs that they lay after that, they just drop.
Types of fleas
There are more than two thousand different types of fleas worldwide. About 50 species of fleas occur in the Netherlands. The most common species in the Netherlands is the cat flea. The cat flea lives on both cats and dogs. The human flea and the dog flea are still very rare in the Netherlands.
Professional flea control
Do you suspect that you have fleas in your house and would you like to get rid of it? If you are not sure if the bumps on your body come from fleas, please contact a pest control agent. You can also have this examined by the local GGD or the KAD. If it turns out to be fleas, it is best to have an effective flea control. On our website you will find a professional pest controller in your area who would like to do that for you.