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Common Types of Fleas

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Common Types of Fleas

There are more than 2,500 flea species in the world, with over 300 species occurring in the United States. All fleas are parasitic, and are one of the world’s most prevalent at over 2,500 species world-wide. Fleas can spread diseases and can quickly multiply throughout all areas of your home. 

Most of the fleas that are considered pests in the United States are cat and dog fleas. Fleas on your pets can be easily managed with medication or topical insecticides. Treating flea infestations in your home is a bit trickier, however, the most important thing is to identify which type of flea is the problem or if your discomfort and bites are from fleas at all.

Cat Fleas

The cat flea is the most common of all the flea species found in homes, especially in North America. Cat fleas, despite their name, will happily take up residence in the fur of both cats and dogs and if food is in limited supply, will feed on humans as well. Cat fleas are reddish-brown in color and measure between 1 and 3 millimeters. While they don’t live very long, they reproduce at an alarming rate. Adult female cat fleas can lay up to one egg every hour. 

Dog Fleas

Dog fleas closely resemble cat fleas. They are also around 2 millimeters long, wingless, and are reddish-brown in color. Dog fleas have a more rounded head, which is really only visible with the use of a microscope. Female dog fleas live about 2 to 4 weeks, during which time she can lay hundreds of eggs. She will lay eggs continuously while living in their host’s fur. In the United States, dog fleas can be found in all the contiguous States, but are more prevalent in the Northern regions.

Human Fleas

Human fleas are actually more common in North America than dog fleas and their bites can transmit parasites and diseases like tapeworm and typhus. They are slightly larger than cat and dog fleas, but to the human eye, appear largely the same. They have a much longer lifespan, living up to 2 years. 

The truth is that to you and your pets, it doesn’t much matter which type of flea you have if you are dealing with bites all over your body or the bodies of your pets. Especially since it takes a microscope and a lot of knowledge to detect the difference. Since it does matter which species you are dealing with when it comes to flea control, it is best to leave it to a pest control specialist who is trained in figuring out which flea species is taking over your home and the proper way to fully eradicate any infestation you might have. 

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The creator of this review received compensation by RMICPA, LLC on behalf of Terminix®. This review is the opinion of its creator and its claims are not endorsed or evaluated by RMICPA, LLC.

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