Pest Facts: Fleas
Fleas are one of the most important groups of insect pests because they not only cause discomfort by biting, but they can transmit disease such as plague and murine typhus fever. Cat fleas are the most common flea and are commonly found on both cats and dogs
- Color: Brownish black to black; reddish black after a blood meal
- Legs: Six
- Shape: Laterally flattened
- Size: 1/8 inch
- Antennae: Yes, very short
- Flying: No wings
- Region: All 50 states
Adult fleas once on a host will tend to spend all their time on the host feeding and mating. Only adult fleas take blood meals. Flea eggs are not found on the host. Female fleas lay 400 to 500 eggs in her life time.
Fleas are typically found where any warm-blooded animal sleeps or frequents, including their usual avenues of travel, because this is where eggs and adult fecal blood accumulate. Flea larvae and pupae are found in both outdoor and indoor situations.
Cat fleas and other species of fleas may transmit plague and murine typhus fever. Cat fleas also serve as intermediate hosts of the dog tapeworm and rodent tapeworm. These tapeworms infest both cats and dogs and occasionally very young children.
Vacuum all furniture, flooring, and carpeting particularly wall to floor junctions. Have a licensed veterinarian treat pets on the same day as treatment to the yard or inside the home. Be sure to remove all pets, including birds before treatment.