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At the mention of apartment fleas, many frown in disgust, mistakenly believing that these parasites are born only in unsanitary conditions.
In fact, even elite dwellings are not insured against uninvited guests.
Let's take a closer look at these parasites.
Where do apartment fleas come from?
Under the apartment fleas imply about 30 species of fleas up to 5 mm in size, parasitizing in the home. In most cases, parasites are brought by pets, but this attack may appear in apartments where animals have never been kept... Where do apartment fleas come from?
The main sources of infection are:
- Pets: cats, dogs, hamsters, guinea pigs, decorative rabbits, etc. (are fleas of animals dangerous for humans?);
- mice and ratsliving in basements and attics;
- rooms with high humidity (entrances, basements, sewer niches).
IMPORTANT: Due to their tiny size, apartment fleas migrate very quickly through the ventilation ducts to neighboring rooms, so if the parasites start in one place, there is a high probability that the parasites will soon settle in all apartments on the site.
Unlike lice, apartment fleas do not live on the human body due to the lack of a favorable habitat (wool, pile). An exception is hair, but fleas linger there for a short time, since they are inconvenient to move between long hair.
But this does not mean that the neighborhood with apartment fleas is absolutely safe.
At first, fleas, like all parasites, feed on blood, which means that when any warm-blooded creature (human or animal) approaches, the insect seeks to move onto it and bite. Secondly, they carry dozens of diseases, including:
- hepatitis C.
Also, with increased sensitivity to bites, an allergic reaction to insect saliva develops. Its consequence can be a sharp jump in body temperature up to + 40 ° C, fever, anaphylactic shock. We wrote here about what diseases fleas carry and what else is their danger.
How to distinguish from other parasites?
Often apartment fleas confused with body lice or head lice... But these parasites differ in both body structure and color.
Lice are gray or light brown in color, while fleas are black, shiny... In addition, the body of the apartment parasite is narrower, the legs differ only from behind, while the limbs of the lice are located closer to the head.
Finally, apartment fleas are an order of magnitude smaller... At first glance, they look like tiny black grains.
IMPORTANT: It is not difficult to determine the presence of apartment fleas in the room. It is enough to put a sheet of white paper on the floor and observe it for a few minutes. If black specks appear on the paper, which disappear if you move the sheet, it means that parasites have settled in the room.
In addition, you can determine the presence of bloodsuckers in the house on your own skin. If on the lower limbs there are visible mosquito-like bites located in a chain, with small hemorrhages in the center - it means that fleas have already feasted on your blood.
Fresh bites of parasites look like small pimplesfilled with a white liquid that turns red within a few hours. The bites are painful enough, the affected area itches intensely for a while (how to treat the symptoms of a bite?).
How long do they live?
The average life cycle of an apartment flea is 2-3 months... During this period, an insect is able to bite a person or an animal up to a hundred times and lay up to 500 eggs... It is noteworthy that the existence of parasites in an apartment directly depends on the temperature regime.
In a microclimate familiar to a house or apartment (28-30 ° C), parasites can live for up to three months. If the temperature rises by 7-10 degrees, the life cycle of insects is reduced by 3 times.... The flea lives only three to four weeks, but during this time it manages to lay several hundred eggs.
On the contrary, at low temperatures (from 10 ° C to zero) insects live twice as long average indicators.
Apartment fleas do not settle on bare parquet or linoleum. Their places of deployment are fleecy surfaces or pet hair. Most often they live:
- in pet litters;
- in floor carpets;
- in soft toys;
- behind the skirting boards;
- in boxes with old junk.
IMPORTANT: Hiding in one of these places, a flea can remain immobile for a very long time, up to several weeks or even months, without suffering from hunger. But she will not be able to lay eggs without "feeding" with blood, therefore, for reproduction, it must be saturated.
This means that even in the absence of people in the room for a long time, the parasites will not die out of hunger or move to another place. As soon as a warm-blooded creature is in the immediate vicinity of the insect, the insect will come out of suspended animation and bite it.
Due to the wide variety of means for removing apartment fleas, it is not necessary to share living space with parasites. It is advisable to fight bloodsuckers immediately after their detection, until the number of egg-laying and larvae has increased significantly.