You've Got What? Fleas
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Fleas are wingless biting insects which are common pests found on domestic cats and dogs, as well as other animals.
Fleas from dogs, cats, rats and mice very rarely spread diseases such as plague, typhus and tapeworms to humans.
Fleas hatch from eggs laid in an animal's fur by an adult flea. The eggs fall from the pet and land on surfaces like bedding, carpeting or soil in the animal’s environment. Eggs hatch into larvae, which next transform into a pupae, and then into adult fleas. . The time for this process varies depending on a number of factors, and in cool temperatures can take up to a year. Fleas tend to be more common during the warmer seasons.
Flea bites commonly cause skin irritation with itching. Some people and pets suffer from flea bite allergy, with intense itching, hair loss, reddening of the skin and sometimes infection.
Only adult fleas bite humans.
Diagnosis is made by identifying the fleas and/or their eggs.
There are a number of simple treatments for flea bites available from a doctor and pharmacist.
The best approach to managing fleas is prevention. New safe and effective products for controlling fleas on pets have made this process much easier, and use of insecticidal sprays is now seldom necessary.
For further advice on flea management contact the environmental health officer at your local council, or a commercial pest control company.