Fleas are small blood-sucking insects. Adult fleas must feed on blood in order to reproduce; however, adults can live for long periods without feeding. Fleas usually live and breed most heavily where pets rest. Pets infested with fleas bite and scratch themselves constantly. Cat fleas and dog fleas may be intermediate hosts for the dog tapeworm. If fleas are established in a home, they will feed on man as well as on the pets. Some people suffer more than others from flea bites. The bites can cause intense itching often resulting in secondary infection.

Adult fleas are about 1/16 to 1/8 inch long, dark reddish-brown, wingless, hard-bodied (difficult to crush between fingers), have three pairs of legs (hind legs enlarged enabling jumping) and are flattened vertically or side to side allowing easy movement between the hair, fur or feathers of the host. Fleas are excellent jumpers, leaping vertically up to seven inches and horizontally thirteen inches.

dog flea
Dog Flea

cat flea
Cat Flea

flea life cycle chart
Life Cycle of Flea

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Identification and Control Information