What do fleas look like

What do fleas look like?

Whether or not you have pets in your home, fleas can be a big concern. One of the biggest problems with fleas is that they are often misidentified as other pests. The insect you’re seeing might be a flea, but it also might be a bed bug, a tick, or something else. In order to properly treat a flea problem, you need to be able to identify the pest that is plaguing you. Of course, your best option for pest identification is to bring in the experts. If you think you have a flea infestation, contact Ehrlich today. One of our flea control specialists will come to your property and help put your mind at ease.

How to identify fleas

Fleas are a dark red to brownish color. Their exoskeleton is hard and covered in backward-pointing hairs. If eyes are present, they are simple, as fleas usually depend on their antennae and sense of smell for navigation. These parasitic insects have extended mouthparts that they use to feed on their host’s blood. Additionally, you may see fleas appearing to “fly” through the air, but they’re fooling you. Fleas do not have wings. They travel by crawling and jumping. Their long back legs enable them to jump up to 80 times their height and 200 times their body length.

How big are fleas?

Even as full-grown adults, fleas are small insects. Generally they don’t get much larger than 3mm in length. Fleas are at their largest in the larval stage at approximately 3-5mm in length. Flea eggs are about .5mm in length. Though very small, they can still be detected by the human eye.

What do flea eggs look like?

As mentioned previously, flea eggs are very small. They are round or oval in shape and white in color. Flea eggs are unlike other parasites’ eggs in that they are not sticky. Therefore, once they are laid, often directly on the host, they usually fall to the ground.

What does flea larvae look like?

Flea larvae looks much more like a worm than a flea. In this stage, fleas have no legs or eyes. Flea larvae is white but translucent. As it progresses through three molts to the pupal stage, it will gradually get darker in color.

What do cat fleas look like?

There are over 2,500 species and subspecies of fleas in existence, but one of the most common is the cat flea. Despite its name, the cat flea can be found on various mammals such as dogs, cats, foxes, rabbits, and even humans. Many dog owners assume that the pest causing their canine friend so much distress is the dog flea, but it is likely the cat flea. Dog fleas are much more prevalent in Europe. Dog fleas and cat fleas are similar in appearance, their differences only distinguishable under magnification. To the naked eye, both cat fleas and dog fleas fit the general appearance of a flea as described above.

What do sand fleas look like?

Sand fleas are really not like fleas at all. In fact, they aren’t even insects. The term “sand flea” is often incorrectly used to describe various insects such as regular fleas, gnats, midges, and flies. This misidentification generally occurs because all of these pests can leave behind a itchy bite. These tiny crustaceans are usually tan or grey with long front antennae. Like fleas, their exoskeletons are hard, but they can grow up to 1.5 inches in length and have visible eyes.

No matter the type of flea that is giving you trouble, Ehrlich can help. Fleas are an obnoxious pest for humans and pets alike, so don’t let them stick around. Give us a call or send us a message and we’ll send a pest specialist out to help you identify and eliminate your flea problem.

www.jcehrlich.com

What Do Termites Look Like?

There are over 40 species of termites in the United States alone. Although they have distinct characteristics, most look similar.

  • Size & Length: they typically measure between 1/4 and 1/2 of an inch long.
  • Body: The pests have soft bodies and straight antennae.
  • Color: Colors range from white to light brown in color. Worker termites often appear lighter, while swarming termites are darker.

Differences in Species

There are variations in size and color between termite species. For example, western subterranean termite soldiers have yellowish heads, while western drywood termite soldiers have reddish brown heads. Dampwood and drywood termites tend to be larger than subterranean termites.

Differences in Castes

Termites have three different castes, each of which performs different roles within the colony. Each caste has unique physical features to help it fulfill its role in the colony.

Even within the same species, termites that belong to different castes can look very different.

Workers Worker termites tend to be lighter in color. Workers are the smallest of the castes. In general, workers and nymphs are soft-bodied and look like larvae.

Soldiers
Soldiers tend to have worker-like bodies, but with hard heads that are often dark in color and have large jaws. Soldier termites have soft bodies with hard, enlarged heads and large jaws (mandibles) that help them protect the colony. Fully mature, reproductive termites have wings and hard bodies that prepare them for leaving the nest to start new colonies.

Alates Or Flying Termites
Alates (swarmers) have wings and hard exoskeletons that may be very dark in color. Additionally, flying and swarming termites can be recognized by their prominent wings. Flying termites have two sets of wings of equal length, and these wings are almost twice the size of the termite’s body. Termite swarmers appear to have two body segments with a straight abdomen, and straight antennae.

Subterranean Worker and Soldier

Termite Look Alikes
Some homeowners may confuse flying ants and flying termites. Pest control experts are trained to distinguish between these two insects based on differences in their appearance.

Can You See Termites with the Human Eye?
While the pests are small, termites are visible with the human eye. Winged termites, or swarmers, are somewhat larger than workers and can be more easily spotted. This is helpful since homeowners are most likely to encounter swarmers, which take flight during mating season to look for new nesting sites.

Identifying Termites by their Habitats

Knowing where termites live helps homeowners identify infestations.

Dampwood termites, for example, are found in areas with moist climates; however, these termites can be found in areas of the home where water leaks occur. They typically set up colonies in damp basements or bathrooms.

Nevada Dampwood Soldier

On the other hand, drywood termites are found in dry environments of the coastal, southeastern and southwestern portions of the U.S. Drywood termites typically live in undamaged, dry wood of houses and apartments.

Drywood Termite Worker

Identifying Damage

Since the pests eat cellulose found in wood, termites destroy, walls, furniture, and other wooden materials in homes. The damage they do may appear in the form of sagging floors and ceilings or infested wood might look water damaged. Additionally, homeowners may find piles of sawdust, mud tubes or the shed wings of swarmers.

Professional Identification

While you should regularly monitor for pest activity, you should contact a trained professional for termite identification, prevention and treatment. Pest control experts can distinguish between termites and other insects, and identify termites by species to make sure prevention and treatment techniques target that specific species- unique behavior.

www.orkin.com

What Are These Tiny Creatures That Look Like Fleas?

What Are These Tiny Creatures That Look Like Fleas?

If you are seeing tiny jumping insects in your Georgia home, you may be tempted to think they are fleas. But, if those tiny jumping insects aren’t biting anyone, you may be dealing with a little critter called a springtail. Springtails are fascinating bugs that are less than a half a millimeter in length. That is about the size of the period (at the bottom of the exclamation point) at the end of this sentence!

Here are several other facts you may find interesting about springtails.

  • In one square yard of soil, there may be more than 10,000 springtails!
  • Springtails, as their name suggests, are very good jumpers. A springtail has a unique feature on its tail, a tiny, two-pronged lever beneath its abdomen that allows it to spring a full six inches into the air. That is the equivalent of a human being jumping over the Eiffel Tower!
  • These bugs must keep moist at all times, as drying out is fatal to them. They come equipped with a special grooming dispenser that has fluid inside it that they spread over their bodies to keep moist. They also have two inflatable tubes which help them get at all those hard-to-reach places.
  • If a springtail jumps and happens to land upside down, they use their grooming fluid dispenser to stick on the ground so they can get themselves back upright.
  • Most of the time these creatures live in the soil, but sometimes they move into homes. They are commonly found under landscape timbers, paving stones, and wood piles. If they are inside, it is because they have found a nice moist area and, once established, they will begin to reproduce.

What can you do if you have discovered springtails in your home?

Although springtails do not bite, sting, or cause damage to belongings it can be distressing for you to see thousands of them jumping around in one area. So it is important to know how to get rid of them. If they are in your home, chances are you have a dampness problem, since they require a lot of moisture to survive. Here are a few things that may get rid of springtails:

  • Clean out gutters and downspouts.
  • Trim back bushes or trees that are against your house creating damp areas.
  • Create a bare zone around your home that is dry and free of leaves.
  • Use a waterproofing compound for your basement walls.
  • Look for the cause of dampness in your home and remove the moisture. Fix leaky pipes, remove damp items, and dry out wet areas with fans or dehumidifiers.
  • Contact a professional pest-control company.

At Allgood Pest Solutions we offer FREE inspections from friendly, experienced pest experts who will be able to identify all pest activity and recommend an appropriate course of action. Whether you have a springtail invasion, or any other household pest, Allgood can help. No matter how fascinating pests may be, they do not belong in your home. Get help today.

What Are These Tiny Creatures That Look Like Fleas? in Atlanta & Knoxville Metros and Surrounding Areas

Serving Clients in Atlanta GA and Knoxville TN

www.allgoodservices.com

Making Sure They Are Actually Termites

  • Termites have a thick waist
  • Termites have straight antennae
  • Termites have shorter legs
  • When wings are present, both pairs of wings will be the same length on a termite
  • Ants have noticeable waists
  • Ants have clubbed or bent antennae
  • Ants have longer legs
  • When wings are present, the front wings will be longer than the back wings on ants

Once you have determined you are indeed dealing with termites you will need to find out if you have subterranean termites or drywood termites because a subterranean termite treatment is quite different than a drywood termite treatment. If you have determined that you actually are in fact dealing with ant infestation, please visit our Ant Control Guide.

  • Subterranean termites have the main portion of their nest underground
  • Subterranean termites make mud tubes to access structures
  • Subterranean termites usually have large colonies
  • Subterranean termites do not kick out feces and debris
  • Subterranean termites typically eat along the grain of the wood
  • Subterranean termites are known to make “carton” nests in wall voids and in trees. A carton is a nest made from the termite fecal matter to maintain the correct moisture level when the termites are unable to return to the actual subterranean nest.
  • Drywood Termites do not require soil contact
  • Drywood Termites nest inside of the wood they are infesting
  • Drywood Termites do not make mudtubes
  • Drywood Termites fly into infest wood
  • Drywood Termites make small “kickout” holes in wood to push feces and debris out of the nest
  • Drywood Termites leave small piles of debris outside of the infested wood
  • Drywood Termites usually eat across and along the grain of the wood
  • Drywood Termites are usually found in coastal regions but they can be transported in infested wood

If you have determined that you actually are in fact dealing with a drywood termite infestation, please visit our Drywood Termite Control Guide.

www.domyown.com

What Does A Flea Look Like?

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Fleas are found throughout the world. Like any other living organism, from as big as tigers to as small as ants, fleas also experience genetic modifications due to the climate and areas they live in.

This means that they all do not look exactly similar, but come in various varieties. In fact, there are over two thousand species of fleas globally and over three hundred types of them in North America alone.

How To Identify Fleas

Despite the diversity in the fleas’ species, they are all usually easy to >‘flea dirt’ .

Appearance:

Fleas are flightless insects, which means that they do not have any wings on their body. They make use of jumping to travel from one point to another, much like a grasshopper. To help in their locomotion, the fleas have developed three pairs of limbs.

The limbs, especially the pair at the back, are long and provide powerful thrusts, thus enabling the fleas to jump long distances. Veritably, fleas are one of the most proficient jumping species and can leap up to two hundred times the length of their body!

Since they jump so quickly, it is very difficult to catch them manually. Also, they rarely tend to stay in one spot and keep moving, so usually you will only catch a glimpse of them, before they vanish in a blink.

Fleas have bodies of darker shades. The young ones have a blacker body, while the older ones have a brownish tint on their body. They are small in size and thin in width. The small size allows them to easily move through the host animal’s fur.

The body is covered in hair which gives the flea’s better traction as they move across the host’s body. However, despite their size, their bodies are very strong and can withstand great pressure, which allows these pests to survive the biting and scratching from their host animals.

The external cartilage is so strong that even if you squeeze a flea between your fingernails, with all your strength, chances are the flea will still be alive when you release it.

If you feel that your animal may have fleas, you can investigate by spreading the fur across its body. When you spread the fur, you will notice the fleas, in dark colored bodies, running away from you to hide and their presence will be further marked by reddened skin.

Reproduction Process:

Fleas produce eggs to give birth to their offspring. Luckily, these eggs are easily noticeably by the naked human eye. The eggs are small and white (translucent immediately after being laid, but turn white after drying), with an oval shape. These eggs can be found anywhere from the carpets of your floor, to your animal’s fur or your grass lawn.

However, as easy as it may be to spot the eggs, once the larvae hatch out from these eggs, they are harder to spot. The larvae urgently start developing a cocoon, to protect themselves from visibility. The cocoon is sticky in nature and collects dust all over its body, which helps in camouflaging the larvae. The larvae spend about two weeks inside their cocoon and then break out as fully mature fleas.

Excretory Process:

‘Flea dirt’ is another easy to spot attribute. If you notice small black spots (or black pepper, small dots, specks, black dandruff, black flakes), referred to as ‘flea dirt’, on your animal’s body, then you have a strong reason to believe that the pet’s body is infested with fleas.

‘Flea dirt’ is made up of the dried blood of the host, and is left on the host’s body after the flea has sucked on its blood. It is most easily visibly on the stomach, where there is less fur and the skin is of lighter color.

If you want to confirm that the black spots on your animal is ‘flea dirt’ and not dirt, you can easily test for it by taking a wet patch of white cloth and rubbing it on the spot. If the spot turns red in color, it means that the animal has fleas.

When to look for fleas

If your pet is showing odd behavior, like chasing its tail or continuously scratching its body, you should be aware that it could possibly have fleas on its body. The behavior is due to the fact that fleas cause itchy and swollen spot where they suck at, which can be very painful for the animal.

Moreover, you might notice hair loss on the animal’s body, due to excessive scratching. Areas where the animals scratch the most, if infested with fleas, include ears, stomach and tail. If you notice such a behavior, you should inspect the animal using the methods described above.

Conclusion

Fleas can be hard to manage, particularly amid the hotter months when the conditions are optimum for their growth. Getting your eyes on the fleas in time can spare you a great deal of hassle and bother, as fleas are an inconvenience, as well as potential transmitters of various sicknesses.

If the fleas start to plague your animal, they can also readily spread to other pets in the house and even to individuals. However, using the methods prescribed above you can look out for the fleas and stop a potential infestation dead in its tracks. The above methods will allow you to investigate and identify if a flea problem exists or not.

If you are sure of having fleas on your animal and in your house, it is imperative that you immediately get the situation under control by killing all the fleas in your house. You may carry out this objective by calling upon professional pest controllers or resort to homemade do-it-yourself strategies.

You will also find further instructions about controlling and maintaining the fleas on our website, by clicking on the following link.

neverpest.com

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