Fleas are parasites that feed on the blood of any warm-blooded body. The most common species is the cat flea, which often feasts on cats, dogs and humans.
|Size||1/12" to 1/6" long|
Fleas can use their powerful legs to jump as high as 8 inches vertically and 16 inches horizontally. Fleas also transport themselves on rodents and other mammals. They infest both household pests and wild animals.
Fleas feed on the blood from any warm-blooded creature, including humans. However, they prefer to dine on furry animals like dogs, cats, rabbits, rats, mice, opossums, raccoons and skunks.
Without a meal from a host, a flea can live anywhere from a couple of weeks to more than 3 months, depending on other conditions. With consistent access to a host, a flea can live up to a year.
Fleas can live and reproduce indefinitely in carpet if no measures are taken to get rid of the fleas and they have a host like you or your pet to feed on.
Fleas usually remain on their warm-blooded hosts at all times, and a new flea infestation usually originates from contact with another infested animal. They are often found infesting opossums, raccoons and skunks in urban settings. Outside of the home, fleas can be found in shady areas near tall grass or bushes. Fleas can also be found on shoes, pant legs or blankets, which can transfer the fleas to new environments.
Fleas are the most common transmitter of the rare Bubonic Plague. They also transmit the bacterial disease murine typhus to humans through infected rats. Their saliva can cause serious Flea Allergy Dermatitis in pets, and their debris has been reported to cause similar allergic reactions in humans. Fleas can also transfer tapeworms and cause anemia in pets. Flea bites commonly cause painful, itchy red bumps.
Clean and vacuum frequently to help remove flea populations and prevent the laying of eggs. Keep your lawn groomed to avoid rodent habitation. Protect pets by keeping them on a leash when outside, bathing and grooming pets regularly, visiting a veterinarian annually and using flea treatments according to direction. It is important to hire a pest professional to rid your home of rodents and fleas.
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