What Are Cat Fleas?
Fleas are parasites that feed on the blood of any warm-blooded body. They are one of the more significant groups of pests because they not only cause discomfort by biting, but they can transmit several diseases. Cat fleas are the most common domestic flea. They are found throughout the United States and the rest of the world, most often on cats and dogs. However, they can also be found on other urban hosts, including opossum, fox, mongoose and occasionally rats.
- Color: Brownish black to black in color, but may appear reddish black when full of blood
- Legs: 6
- Shape: Flat
- Size: 1/8” (2.5 mm) long
- Antennae: Yes
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What Do Cat Fleas Look Like?
Adult cat fleas are about 1/8″ in length. Their bodies are laterally flattened and brownish black to black in color. Cat fleas may appear reddish black when full of blood. Female cat fleas have disproportionately small heads, as they are twice as long as they are high. Cat fleas are wingless and have six legs with the hind ones capable of helping them jump large distances. Cat flea eggs are about 1/64 (0.5 mm) long. They are oval and white.
Signs of an Infestation
Fleas are relatively easy to see in their adult stage; therefore, seeing actual fleas is the most obvious sign of an infestation. Observing a pet excessively scratching, licking or biting at their skin is another sign of a cat flea infestation.
Cat Flea Infestation
How to Get Rid of Cat Fleas in the House
Looking to prevent and get rid of cat fleas in the home? If you are dealing with an infestation please call PMi for advice on how you should move forward.
When it comes to cat flea prevention, homeowners should make their property less appealing to rodents and nuisance wildlife, which serve as cat flea hosts, by keeping the lawn groomed. Also, seal all cracks and crevices using a silicone-based caulk, steel wool or a combination of both, and screen vents and openings to chimneys. A PMi Certified Technician can inspect the property and identify areas conducive to these invaders. On the other hand, pet owners should practice active flea management by keeping dogs on a leash when outside, bathing and grooming pets regularly, visiting a veterinarian annually, and using flea treatments according to direction.
What Do Cat Flea Bites Look Like?
Cat flea bites can cause itchy, swollen red bumps. If a cat flea bites you, try to refrain from scratching the affected area. Seek out immediate medical assistance if the cat flea bite causes symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as wheezing and shortness of breath, appear.
Cat Flea Education
Cat fleas bite humans if they are dislodged from their animal host. Their saliva can cause serious flea dermatitis in pets and their debris has been reported to cause similar allergic reactions in humans.
Cat fleas have been implicated in the spread of plague and the bacterial disease murine typhus through rats. They can also transfer tapeworms, specifically the dog tapeworm, Dipylidium canninum (Linnaeus), and the rodent tapeworm, Hymenolepis diminuta (Rudolphi). These tapeworms occasionally infest humans, especially very young children. The dog tapeworm infests cats that spend time outdoors.