According to Wikipedia, Fleas are small flightless insects that form the order Siphonaptera. As external parasites of mammals and birds, they live by consuming the blood of their hosts. Adults are up to about 3 mm (0.12 in) long and usually brown. Bodies flattened sideways enable them to move through their host’s fur or feathers; strong claws prevent them from being dislodged. They lack wings, and have mouth parts adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood and hind legs adapted for jumping. The latter enable them to leap a distance of some 50 times their body length, a feat second only to jumps made by froghoppers. Larvae are worm-like with no limbs; they have chewing mouth parts and feed on organic debris.
There are different varieties of fleas even though most people are more familiar with the the dog flea (Ctenocephalides canis). Fleas feed on blood and other waste products of their hosts such as dogs, cats and rodents. In the absence of their natural hosts, some variety have been known to attack humans.
Fleas have been known to carry and spread diseases such as the bubonic plague and myxomatosis, with studies showing that more than 100 species of fleas can be infected by the plague bacillus which they in turn can transfer to human hosts.
Symptoms of Flea Infestation
Infestation by fleas are typically characterized by skin inflammation and itching. In cases of severe infection, death of the infested host may occur due blood loss as a result of flea bites
Getting Rid Of Fleas
Since fleas invade both hosts and there surroundings, top ways to get rid of fleas include cleaning and treating all spaces your pet spends time. Remove all waste materials and debris around your yard and your pets’s cage. This is especially useful in exposing flea larvae and eggs to chemical products meant to destroy fleas. Clean and treat your yard and your pet’s favorite spots at regular intervals to prevent re-infestation in your home.
For eliminating fleas on your pet, it is advisable to contact your vet. He will prescribe special flea control product(s) which should be applied at regular intervals to keep your pet flea free. These products typically come in form of sprays, shampoos, collars and pills. Your vet would decide which product is most suitable for your pet.