What to Know About Fleas

At Mosquito Authority, we offer more than just protection from mosquitoes and ticks– some of our locations offer flea control, too. We believe that our customers should know all the facts when it comes to these pests, so here are some things about fleas you might not have known:

Fleas have an interesting life

Similar to ticks, most fleas go through four stages of life: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, ticks may live anywhere from days to months to years, depending on their environment. 

Fleas need blood to survive

Just like mosquitoes, female fleas need a blood meal in order for their eggs to develop. However, all fleas, male and female, need to feed on hosts for blood. Fleas are also known to eat 10-15 blood meals every day. They get these blood meals by finding a human or animal host (preferably animal) and then lay their eggs on the host. According to the CDC, these insects find their hosts by detecting body heat, movement, and breathing.

Fleas can find homes in many places

Fleas typically prefer to inhabit places where your pets hang out– carpets, furniture, pet beds, and even your own bedding. As part of flea control in your home, be sure to vacuum your carpets and rugs frequently, as well as couch and chair cushions. Also, be sure to clean bedding (yours and your pet’s) often with soap and water.

Fleas can feed on animals and humans

While most fleas in the United States prefer to feed on animals, they sometimes bite humans out of convenience, according to the CDC. Most human flea bites occur when the human is in close contact with a pet. While flea bites are not usually as harmful to humans as they are to animals, they can still cause irritation and itching. 

There are thousands of flea species in the world

According to the CDC, there are roughly 2,500 species of flea worldwide, and around 300 of them inhabit the United States. The four most common flea species found in the U.S. are the cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis), the dog flea (Ctenocephalides canis), the ground squirrel flea (Oropsylla montana), and the oriental rat flea (Xenopsylla cheopis).

Fleas can transmit diseases to both animals and humans

While many believe that fleas are only harmful to animals, that is not the case. In fact, there are several diseases that fleas can transmit to humans. For instance, the cat flea is responsible for transmitting flea-borne typhus and cat scratch disease, while the ground squirrel flea can transmit plague bacteria to people in the United States. The dog flea contributes to the spread of Dipylidium caninum, a tapeworm that affects dogs, cats, and sometimes even humans.

Fleas can cause a variety of problems, from infesting your home to causing serious health problems. Proper flea control is a big part of keeping your family, including the furry members, happy and healthy. 

Find a Mosquito Authority location near you to find out if they offer flea control.