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Shiny new flea FAQ: input welcome

(9 posts)
  1. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Nov 9 2012 16:38:49
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    Please leave suggestions or other feedback as COMMENTS on the FAQ:

    Flea FAQ

    Paul and David, I took the liberty of quoting your flea trap/treatment tips there and linking back to the original posts on the forum. I appreciate your sharing them, as always.

    Thanks also to the "anonymous Bedbugger" who shared her flea photo for the FAQ.

    Thanks!

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  2. P Bello

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Nov 9 2012 17:14:18
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    Here's some info you can add to your Flea FAQ:

    > Fleas must have a host present to support the population. In homes where there is no pet(s) there may be host animals that the homeowner is unaware of. Such animal hosts are responsible for the fleas and, when the flea population builds, the human inhabitants may be bitten. Such animal hosts may include: feral cats, rodents, squirrels, racoons, oppossums, skunks, woodchucks and other such animals that may burow or build a nest either in or immediately adjacent to the home. In fact, one of the worst flea situations I was involved had a family of raccons living/nesting within the drop ceiling of the basement. The homeowners were totally unaware that their home was providing shelter for raccoons and the raccoons were responsible for the fleas being present within the home.

    > Flea larvae are tiny worm like creatures that are difficult to see. They are usually found in carpets and other such areas. These larvae feed on the excrement or fecal matter from adult fleas.

    > When the larvae have sufficiently grown/developed, they create a pupal case in which they go through metamorphosis to later emerge from as an adult.

    > Fully developed fleas may wait for extended periods of time within the pupal case awaiting a suitable host. This is why people who unknowingly have a flea problem may return home, say from vacation, where they are bitten many times by the fleas waiting for a host to arrive to emerge.

    > Successful flea control includes; inspection, identification, cultural or non-chemical methodologies (vacuuming, habitat alteration, etc.), direct on animal treatment (done either by the veteranarian or the pet owner), pesticide applications, monitoring and follow up as needed.

    Hope this helps ! paul b.

  3. caligirl is freakin

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue Nov 13 2012 13:46:45
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    One thing there seems to be conflicting information about is whether fleas will reproduce where there is no animal host to live on. I have seen sites saying they can't and I have seen sites saying you can have a long-lived infestation without pets (which would suggest they are reproducing, somewhere because their lifespan is not that long). Can any of the experts say which is true? I know the story of the vacation house left for months and filled with hatching fleas, but what about a place you have occupied for many years without any pets? Can you bring in a few fleas on your pant leg and have them multiply?

    I'd be obliged if anyone can answer that question.

  4. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue Nov 13 2012 15:07:09
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    Caligirl,

    Good question.

    When you say "animal host", are you including humans?

  5. caligirl is freakin

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue Nov 13 2012 16:00:13
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    Thanks, Nobugs!

    My understanding is that the most common kind of flea in the U.S. (cat fleas) do not live or lay eggs on humans and therefore humans don't count as an "animal host." But then I've also read that adult cat fleas can reproduce as soon as they've had a blood meal . . . so is a human blood meal sufficient for them to reproduce without any furrier mammals around? I'm confused on that one!

    I've had a persistent, low-level "bite problem" since early summer and have found a few fleas in my apartment (with no pets.) I guess I'm wondering if they could be reproducing in here or if they could be breeding elsewhere (like on my adjacent neighbor's dog)and traveling here.

  6. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Nov 18 2012 14:35:12
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    Hi,

    Just bumping to say I read, all looks good. I have another artists pic you you want, embedded below, it was commissioned by me through a London artists called TracieArt.

    Flea Drawing

    David

    I am happy to answer questions in public but will not reply to message sent directly or via my company / social media. I am here to help everyone and not just one case at a time.

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as the inventor and patent holder. Since 2009 they have become an integral part in how we resolve bed bug infestations. I also have a professional relationship with PackTite in that they distribute my product under their own branding. I do not however receive any financial remuneration for any comments I make about pro
  7. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Nov 18 2012 15:24:00
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    Thanks, David! Will add it.

    Can you comment on caligirl's question here? Thanks!

  8. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Nov 18 2012 16:08:38
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    Hi,

    I have always heard that cat fleas bite cats and humans while dog fleas only dogs and humans.

    I am note sure if host affects ability to lay eggs, fleas are not really much of an interest to me due in part to the ease of control.

    I will try and do some online research when I am back in the office.

    David

  9. caligirl is freakin

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Nov 18 2012 20:15:31
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    Thank you, David. It is appreciated. Even though this is a bedbug board, there is no other place on the web with such a crack collection of pco's, entomologists and other experts, I'm pretty sure! And differentiating between the two seems very useful to the many in situations where we aren't sure what the heck is biting us in our home.

    I did finally find this, which I think suggests that at least under laboratory circumstances, they can reproduce on human blood, though not as well as they can with an animal host.

    My other question, if you happen to know it from your experience, is if one puts out a flea trap for say 72 hours and catches nothing, would you consider that ruling out fleas? Or might they sometimes not "find" the trap? (But still find you if you happen to walk by and wake up a pupae?)

    Survival and reproduction of the cat flea (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae) fed human blood on an artificial membrane system.
    Pullen SR, Meola RW.
    Source
    Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University, College Station 77843, USA.
    Abstract
    Adult cat fleas, Ctenocephalides felis (Bouché), survive and reproduce when fed human blood through an artificial membrane system. When a dog hair substrate was included in cages with the fleas, mean adult mortality was 2.4 after 12 d of bloodfeeding. Egg production began after 3 d and was continuous for 12 d, ranging from 3 to 4 eggs per female per day. In cages without hair, mean adult mortality was 61.2% after 12 d of bloodfeeding. Egg production began after 2 d, reached a maximum of two eggs per female per day after 7 d, and decreased thereafter. No significant differences in egg hatch were seen in treatment groups sampled from 5 to 7 d after the onset of bloodfeeding. After 7 d, however, egg hatch for fleas maintained in cages without hair was significantly lower than in cages where fleas were maintained on dog hair. Adult emergence from these larvae did not differ significantly between the two groups. Egg hatch and adult emergence in both groups of fleas fed on human blood did not differ significantly from egg hatch and adult emergence in fleas fed on colony cats.


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