“I just found these on my daughter’s jacket hidden under her dresser” says this reader about the creatures photographed below. Our reader asks us if we have any idea what these black-colored creatures are and how she should handle them.
Our reader states that her daughter has two kittens that stay in her room and previously had fleas. Because of this, our reader is “bombing her room”, presumably with flea bombs and not incendiary bombs. First of all, we think it likely that these are flea larvae on the jacket. Flea larvae tend to be translucent, with a black stripe of entrails visible through their skin, but we think that these creatures only appear black because they are set against the backdrop of the pink jacket, making their actual skin harder to see. If our reader wants to confirm or deny this by taking a closer look at the creatures and reporting back to us, she is welcome to share her answer in the comment section below. Unlike their adult counterparts, flea larvae do not feed on blood but on other organic materials. These include dead insects, skin, hair, feathers, food debris and more. It is likely that the mother flea laid her eggs on the jacket because there was a source of food here for the larvae. And to clarify, we are not saying that an infestation is definitely going on, but if there was an infestation happening, this would most definitely be the source of it. This is because the concentration of roaming larvae is very high on the jacket. Either way, the presence of the flea larvae is definitely a direct product of the kittens having fleas; the adult fleas must have laid eggs in the daughter’s room before they were eliminated.
Secondly, we do not recommend that our reader flea bomb the room, as not only is this type of pest control ineffective, but it is not safe. The ‘mist’ that flea bombs release to kill fleas is essentially pesticide fluid in gas form, and once that settles, it does not simply disappear. Instead, that poison sits on everything it touches in that room and taints it. This means that our reader’s daughter will be using and touching pesticide-soaked items. Of course, our reader may have taken the necessary precautions and removed most things from the room, or at least covered them, but still the pesticide will be on the floor, the walls, and anything left uncovered. There is also nothing keeping that gas from leaking out to the other rooms too. Hence, we generally do not advise the use of flea bombs, or any pesticides/insecticides for that matter. Instead, we recommend simply vacuuming up any infested (or potentially infested) items and laundering all the clothing that the larvae may have come into contact with at the highest temperature they can withstand.
In conclusion, the worm-like creatures our reader found on her daughter’s jacket are flea larvae. The larvae themselves are not dangerous to humans or pets, as they do not feed on blood until they are fully matured. Of course, if our reader does want to get the kittens checked again for fleas, that might be a good idea, just to be on the safe side. We hope that this article proves helpful to our reader and wish her, her daughter and the kittens the very best!
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