Fleas

Siphonaptera

  • SIZE

    1/16in to 1/8in long

  • COLOR

  • BITE OR STING

    Yes

  • WINGS

    No

Top-view illustration of a flea.
Side-view illustration of a flea.
Close up image of a flea.
A side-by-side comparision of fleas compared to a U.S. dime. A flea's size can range between 0.0625 to 0.125 inch in length, whereas a U.S. dime is 0.705 inch in diameter.

General Information

While fleas are tiny, they can be a huge nuisance to people and pets. Find out where fleas come from, where they live, and how to help protect your family and pets from these blood-sucking pests.

  • The female flea can consume 15 times her body weight in blood every day.

  • It’s not enough to kill the adult fleas that you see, you must also eliminate their eggs and the flea larvae.

  • Fleas are most prevalent in warm and temperate climates year-round. However, in some colder climates, they are only seasonal.

  • Adult fleas are tiny in size (about a sixteenth of an inch long) and reproduce quickly.

  • Only adult fleas bite. The larvae feed on dried blood exuded from the adult flea.

Details

  • Pets can get fleas from the yard, dog parks, and from coming into close contact with infested animals.

  • Most adult fleas live on your pet.

  • Flea larvae are most commonly found on your pet’s bed, its favorite piece of furniture, or on the carpet.

  • Adult fleas survive on blood.

  • Fleas prefer to bite cats and dogs, but will attack humans when a pet cannot be found.

  • Some cats and dogs that are infested with fleas develop dermatitis around the bite area. Excessive scratching in pets with fleas is common.

  • Fleas may also serve as an intermediate host for tapeworms that infect dogs, cats, and occasionally small children.

  • Flea bites continuously annoy pets and humans.

HELP GET RID OF FLEAS IN THE HOUSE & CARPET
  • Treat your home, pet, and pet areas simultaneously to help kill fleas most completely.

  • Do a follow-up pet treatment two to three weeks after the first treatment because fleas in their cocoon stage may survive the first round of treatment.

  • Wash bedding and rugs your pet may have contacted in hot water to remove existing fleas, eggs, and larvae.

  • Vacuum often to help get rid of fleas in your carpet. After vacuuming, seal the bag securely in another plastic bag and throw it away outside your home.

  • Steam clean all carpets if you have a heavy flea infestation.

HELP GET RID OF FLEAS ON DOGS & CATS
  • Give your pet a designated sleeping area that can be cleaned regularly.

  • Wash pets regularly with a flea shampoo.

  • Talk to your veterinarian about flea prevention treatments for dogs and cats.

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