By Elizabeth Morgan
There are more than 2,000 species of fleas around us. Out of these, the most common one is the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis. The cat adult fleas, unlike many other fleas, remain on the host. Though it exists worldwide, it is most commonly found in the United States. Cat fleas are commonly found on both cats and dogs.
In order to reproduce, cat fleas needs fresh blood. They lay eggs at the rate of one egg per hour. Their life cycle consists of four stages of metamorphosis, namely egg, larval, pupa and adult. Depending on external environmental factors like temperature and humidity, this cycle lasts 30 to 75 days. The most common problem occurring due to flea bites is flea allergy dermatitis, the severity of which depends upon the sensitivity of the host. Pet owners in the United States spend millions of dollars each year on flea allergy remedies. Cat fleas often carry infection too, and are feared to be capable of carrying plague and typhus. They also serve as the intermediate host to the dog tapeworm, an intestinal parasite, which gets transmitted to the pest when the flea carrying the tapeworm cyst is ingested.
The only possible way to detect fleas is to observe the behavior of your pets. Early detection of the fleas enables you to control them and minimize the suffering that can be caused to you and your pets by allergies or more serious infections transmitted by them. The most important way to control the breeding of fleas is to take proper care of sanitation of your indoor and outdoor premises. Ensuring proper care of pets by washing and shampooing them regularly is also another important factor. There are varieties of shampoos available in the market for pets, which contain pesticides, and are helpful in eradication of fleas.
Only by being conscious of cleanliness can we rid ourselves of the annoyance and hazards spread by cat fleas: by preventing them from breeding in and around our homes and pets.
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