The Rat Flea
The rat flea is a common parasite to rodents and do not enter households, but they can still feed on other warm-blooded mammals if the need arises. If you have pet mice or rats then they can be the medium through which these fleas enter your house. They can be identified through their bites. Their bite tends to leave a tiny red bump and usually doesn’t cause discomfort or itching sensation. In some cases, if a pet is allergic to the saliva of rat fleas then they can feel itching sensations.
HOW TO IDENTIFY RAT FLEAS
Rat fleas are easily distinguished from the other fleas because of the absence of genal combs. Apart from that they are brownish in color and share the laterally compressed body along with the ability to jump easily with their long hind legs. They are wingless use their senses to locate a host. They can feel the heat radiated and carbon dioxide emitted by the host, then jump to cover the distance between them.
The life cycle of a rat flea includes four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. In the first stage, the egg is white in color and takes 1 to 10 days to hatch. During the second stage, the egg transforms into larva and are 2 mm in size. In the third stage, the larva undergoes metamorphosis from one week to six months. In the fourth stage, the flea becomes an adult and starts feeding on hosts and mating with other fleas. The female fleas can lay up to 50 eggs each day.
The lifespan of a rat flea lasts a year. In unfavorable conditions, they can also spend a year remaining in the cocoon.
The most common sign of a rat flea infestation can be their bites. Though their bites can be identical to some other flea bites so it is best to take an expert’s opinion on it to be sure. If you have suspicions that your pet might have fleas then you can look out for their behavior. A flea infestation can make them restless. If your pet is scratching or biting the skin more than usual then it can also be a sign of flea infestation.