Flea Identification

What are fleas?

Fleas are insects that survive by feeding on the blood of warm-blooded animals. Their sole source of food is blood, and they can consume up to 15 times their body weight when they feed. Fleas are dark in color, brownish-black to reddish-black, flattened from side to side, and lack wings. They have six legs and are known for their ability to jump to great heights; their large hind legs also help them navigate through the fur of the host they live on.

a flea on pet hair

Fleas feed on the blood of various animal hosts, including rodents, wild animals, farm animals, pets, and sometimes, people. Though they are small in size and are often mistaken for a speck of dirt, fleas can put people and animals in a constant state of misery when they are around.

Are fleas dangerous?

Fleas don’t typically seek out people as a host, though if we are around, or in the case of a large infestation, they will bite us and feed on our blood. Health risks associated with fleas are not a massive concern in the United States, but according to the CDC, in the U.S., fleas can spread plague, flea-borne (murine) typhus, and cat scratch disease (CSD). They are also known to spread parasitic tapeworms to both people and animals.

The biggest concern when it comes to fleas is the allergic reaction that people and animals have to their saliva. Those that are allergic develop red, itchy rashes (flea-bite dermatitis) that are quite uncomfortable, and itching at the bite sites may lead to a secondary infection. Animals heavily infested with fleas may become anemic due to the loss of blood.

Why do I have a flea problem?

Fleas are problematic because they are voracious feeders, prolific breeders, and can remain dormant for long periods until environmental conditions are right for them to continue developing. Fleas live on the backs of their animal hosts for most of their lives. Therefore every time a squirrel runs across your yard, a raccoon feeds from your trash can, or a mouse uses your attics as a place to nest, they can introduce fleas onto your property.

Fleas are not only introduced onto properties by live animals; they also come inside on items like used rugs, upholstered furniture, or pet bedding already infested with flea larvae, eggs, or adult fleas. These pests also find their way into our homes by jumping onto our clothing or our pets.

Where will I find fleas?

Fleas live most of their lives on the back of a host, feeding, and breeding. After the females lay their eggs, they roll off the host’s back and onto the ground, eventually developing into new blood-feeding adults.

Outside, fleas eggs develop, and new adults wait for a host in damp, dark areas like under leaf piles, woodpiles, decks, and dense landscaping like shrubs and bushes. Fleas can also complete their life cycle indoors. Developing eggs are often found in upholstered furniture, rugs, baseboards, and bedding.

How do I get rid of fleas?

To eliminate fleas that have found a way into your yard or home, contact the pest professionals at Natura Pest Control. By partnering with us, you can be sure that flea and other pest problems will be a thing of the past. We use pest control solutions that are effective and leave behind the smallest environmental footprint possible!

If you are looking to control pests on your Nevada property, our experts at Natura Pest Control are ready to help. We provide our customers with the most advanced treatments possible, ensuring we meet your unique pest control needs using clean, green, organic products! To learn more about our residential and commercial pest control services, reach out to Natura Pest Control today!

How can I prevent fleas in the future?

Preventing fleas from taking over your property is difficult. They are continuously being introduced into your yard by rodents and other animals. The best way to avoid flea problems is to partner with a professional, implement routine pest control services, and eliminate the things from your property that attract fleas and their hosts:

  • Rake up leaves, weeds, and other debris from your yard where fleas can hide.
  • Avoid attracting large numbers of rodents and other wild animals to your property by removing food sources. Keep lids on trash cans, remove bird feeders, and pick up pet food.
  • Vacuum your home frequently to help eliminate stray fleas that may come in on your clothing.
  • If you own pets, regularly bathe and groom them. Make sure to place them on a year-round flea prevention program.

Learn more about our home pest control and commercial pest control services.

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