Pestgon FactSheet
“ If they fly they die…if they crawl they fall”

FLEAS (Ctenocephalides felis)


Description:

Cat fleas are the most frequently encountered fleas in the commercial office environment. Since they are common pests on domestic cats and dogs, fleas or their larvae may be brought in to the office by an employee having personal contact with them. Being very tiny insects, adult fleas are difficult to see and identify. They are wingless insects, approximately 1/8 inch in length and reddish brown to black in color. They are slim and compressed-looking from side to side, so appear to be walking “on edge.”

Biology:
Fleas have piercing-sucking mouthparts through which they obtain blood meals from their host animal. Flea larvae develop more quickly at higher temperatures. When temperatures are cool, fully formed fleas may remain in their cocoons for up to 12 months. Warm temperatures and carpet vibrations stimulate the emergence new fleas. Fleas may be found on pets throughout the year, but their numbers tend to increase dramatically during spring and early summer. So, a similar scenario can happen in an office environment because of those having close contact with infested pets.

Economic Impact:
The cat flea is suspected of transmitting murine typhus to humans, but its primary importance is its annoyance to people and pets. Cat fleas readily try to feed on almost any warm-blooded animal. Bites tend to be concentrated on the lower legs but can also occur on other parts of the body. Needless to say, a flea infestation can disrupt a whole office and cause a costly shut down until the pest problem is eliminated. Pestgon is quick to solve any such problems— often even the same day.

Management Methods:
The best approach to managing fleas is prevention. New and safer, and more effective products aimed at controlling fleas on the pet have made flea management, without pesticide sprays, feasible in many situations.
Controlling common fleas in office buildings requires a variety of approaches. Before Pestgon technicians start a control program, they seek to determine areas where larval development may be occurring. Flea populations are highest in areas where dogs or cats or people carriers spend the most time. Flea larvae are not usually found in areas of heavy pedestrian traffic or locations that receive exposure to sunlight.

Additional Links:
http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7419.html