Fleas

What do fleas look like?

Cat fleas are the type of flea most Floridians contend with and despite their name, they feed on a variety of hosts including dogs, rodents, chickens, wild animal, and humans.  Identifying characteristics of fleas include their small size.  They resemble a speck of dirt, only growing up to 1/6 of an inch in length.  Cat fleas are wingless and have dark brownish-red bodies that are hard, flat and shiny.  Not necessarily visible to the eye, fleas have powerful back legs that allow them to jump great heights and specialized spines on their mouths, legs, and backs that prevent them from falling off their hosts.

close up of a common flea

Do fleas bite?

Yes, fleas bite. Parasitic in nature, cat fleas feed on blood.  Flea bites leave behind red spots that are typically quite itchy. 

Are fleas dangerous?

Fleas have the potential to be dangerous pests.  They can transmit serious diseases to people and pets as well as pass tapeworm on to both.  Like the saliva of roaches, flea saliva can create an allergic reaction in some individuals. Severe itchy dermatitis; the constant itching can lead to a secondary infection that requires medical attention and the loss of fur in pets. In addition, if a pet has a very severe infestation the fleas, anemia can occur.

Can I have a flea problem even though I don't have pets?

You might be surprised, but the answer is yes. It’s very possible to find your home infested by fleas even if you don’t have a pet.  Cats and dogs are not the only animals that fleas feed on.  Wildlife passing across your lawn or rodent infesting your structure can introduce these pests.  And, it’s even possible that fleas introduce themselves by jumping right in through an open doorway.  Other ways you might develop a flea infestation include:

  • Fleas hitching a ride in on a person
  • Introducing second-hand items already infested by fleas (i.e. furniture and rugs)
  • Moving into a new home/apartment that already had a flea problem

How do I get rid of fleas?

If you’ve discovered flea bites on a family member or pet or if you’ve found actual fleas in your home, contact Keller’s Pest Control for relief.  In addition to our professional flea control, it is important to contact your veterinarian (if you have pets, of course) to discuss treating your pet at the same time you treat your home.  For details on our pest control service, please contact Keller’s today!

Additional Flea Articles

How Did Fleas Get On My Pet?

 

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