What Are Fleas?
Fleas are parasites that feed on the blood of any warm-blooded animal. 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
“I called Pest Management Systems, Inc. requesting information about pest services concerning a particular insect I was seeing in my rental property. The receptionist was very knowledgeable concerning the insect with regards to how they breed and their season for egg hatching. She also advised me of alternative approaches to handle the situation. I really appreciate the fact that Pest Management Systems, Inc. did not attempt to sell a service that probably would not have provided the results I wished (like other popular pest control companies in my area attempted to do). I will definitely consider Pest Management Systems, Inc. in the near future. ”
Harold, Verified Google Review
What Do Cat Fleas Look Like?
Adults are about 1/8″ in length. Their bodies are laterally flattened and brownish-black to black in color. They may appear reddish black when full of blood. Females have disproportionately small heads, as they are twice as long as they are high. They are wingless and have six legs, with the hind ones capable of helping them jump large distances. Their eggs are about 1/64 (0.5 mm) long and are oval and white.
Signs of an Infestation
Fleas are relatively easy to see in their adult stage; therefore, actually seeing them is the most obvious sign of an infestation. Observing a pet excessively scratching, licking or biting at their skin is another sign of an infestation.
How to Get Rid of Fleas in the House
When it comes to prevention, homeowners should make their property less appealing to rodents and nuisance wildlife, which can serve as hosts. Keep the lawn groomed, seal all cracks and crevices using caulk and/or exclusion fabric, and screen vents and openings to chimneys. 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. Pet owners can practice active flea management by keeping dogs on a leash when outside, bathing and grooming pets regularly, visiting a veterinarian annually, and using treatments according to directions.
If you are dealing with an infestation, PMi is ready and waiting to provide you with top-notch advice on how to resolve the issue. A PMi Certified Technician can inspect the property and identify areas conducive to these invaders.
What Do Bites Look Like?
Bites can cause itchy, swollen, red bumps. If a flea bites you, try to refrain from scratching the affected area. Seek immediate medical assistance if the bite causes symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as wheezing or shortness of breath.
Fleas can 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.
Fleas have been implicated in the spread of plague and the bacterial disease of murine typhus through rats. They can also vector 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.