What are Fleas?



Fleas have small wings and measure 2.5mm in length. Their bodies are shiny, reddish brown and covered with microscopic hairs. They are also compressed to make it easy to move through animal fur. Although they don't have wings, fleas have strong back legs and can jump long distances.

Fleas can be considered ectoparasites, meaning that they live and feed outside their host. The only food they have is the blood of warm-blooded mammals like cats, dogs and rodents. The cat flea is the most prevalent flea in the United States. These tiny parasites, which are about the size of a grain of dirt, are very difficult to squash due to their hard bodies.

What Kinds of Fleas Are There?

There are several species of fleas, and they are categorized based on the animals they infest. The most common types of fleas include:

Cat Flea (Ctenocephalides felis):

Despite the name, cat fleas are a common parasite affecting both cats and dogs. They are often found in homes with pets and can bite humans as well.

Dog Flea (Ctenocephalides canis):

Dog fleas primarily infest dogs but can also affect cats and other animals. Like cat fleas, they can bite humans.

what is a dog flea?
Dog Flea

Human Flea (Pulex irritans):

As the name suggests, human fleas primarily infect humans. However, they can also infect pigs and other animals.

Rat Flea (Xenopsylla cheopis):

Rat fleas are known vectors of diseases like bubonic plague. They primarily infest rats but can bite humans if the rat host is not available.

Oriental Rat Flea (Xenopsylla cheopis):

This flea is similar to the rat flea and can also transmit diseases. It primarily infests rodents.

Northern Rat Flea (Nosopsyllus fasciatus):

This flea primarily infects rats and other small mammals.

Sticktight Flea (Echidnophaga spp.):

These fleas infest a variety of animals, including dogs, cats, and wild mammals. They are known for attaching firmly to the skin, especially around the head and ears.

Sand Flea (Tunga penetrans):

Sand fleas are found in tropical and subtropical regions and are known for burrowing into the skin of humans and animals. They are also known as chigoe fleas.

It's important to note that while some fleas are host-specific, others can infest multiple hosts. Fleas are ectoparasites that feed on the blood of their hosts, and their bites can cause itching and discomfort. Additionally, fleas are vectors for various diseases, making their control and prevention important for both human and animal health. Regular pet grooming, household cleanliness, and the professional pest control, like Alta Pest Control, can help manage flea infestations.

How Did I Get Fleas?

Flea infestations are often caused by pets, such as cats and dogs. Fleas can attach to an animal while it is outside and infest its fur and any places where it sleeps indoors. It can be hard to prevent fleas from your home and garden. Any pet owner can be vulnerable to an infest.

Are Fleas Dangerous?

Fleas can also be intermediate hosts for parasitic tapeworms, and are capable of transmitting the disease to animals and people. Flea bites and their reactions to them are another serious concern. Flea bites usually result in a small, reddish-colored area around the flea's mouth. Flea allergy dermatitis is a condition in which animals and humans are allergic to flea saliva. This causes intense itching, which can lead to secondary infections.

Fleas can transmit diseases to humans and are a minor concern in the United States. Flea infestations can also lead to anemia in pets and other animals, which can cause weakness and illness.

What Do Fleas Eat?

To survive, fleas need to have blood from a host. Fleas can become an interior problem when their host is not around. Fleas then turn their attention to other hosts within the home and feed on them. A trapping and removing a mouse from the home can be an example of this. Fleas that had previously fed on the mouse will then feed on pets and people.

What Are Fleas' Favorite Foods?

Adults are parasites which draw blood from their host. Larvae feed off organic matter, especially the feces from adult fleas. These feces contain undigested blood. Fleas prefer to eat hairy animals like:

  • dogs
  • cats
  • rabbits
  • squirrels
  • rats
  • mice
  • Domesticated animal
  • Wild animals

How Do Fleas Reproduce?

The eggs are not attached to their host. These are the places eggs will hatch:

  • On the ground
  • Rugs
  • Carpet
  • Bedding
  • Upholstery
  • Cracks in the floor

Most fleas hatch in two days.

How To Get Rid of Fleas & Prevent Future Infestations:

Flea infestations can be a persistent and frustrating problem for homeowners, especially those with pets. These tiny pests not only cause discomfort to pets but can also bite humans, leading to itchy, red welts. Effective flea control requires a combination of professional assistance and preventive measures to eradicate existing infestations and prevent future outbreaks.

Alta Pest Control Services:

Contact us at Alta Pest Control for professional assistance. We have the expertise to assess the extent of the flea infestation, provide targeted treatments, and offer advice on preventing future issues. Our professional pest control services can be particularly beneficial in severe infestations.

Regular Pet Grooming:

Brush and comb your pets regularly to remove fleas and their eggs. Use a flea comb to catch fleas and flea dirt on your pet's fur. Regular grooming is a crucial part of flea prevention, and combining it with our professional services enhances effectiveness.

Maintain a Clean Environment:

Vacuum your home frequently, paying attention to areas where your pets spend time. Wash pet bedding, blankets, and toys in hot water regularly. Keeping your home clean and clutter-free is essential for eliminating flea eggs, larvae, and adults.

Remember that while our professional pest control services at Alta Pest Control can provide effective solutions, ongoing preventive measures such as grooming and maintaining a clean environment are crucial for long-term flea control. Always follow our advice to ensure the safety of your pets and the effectiveness of the flea control methods implemented.

If fleas become an issue, contact your local Alta Pest Control professional to request an inspection.

Fleas Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do fleas have wings?

No, fleas do not have wings. They are wingless insects that belong to the order Siphonaptera. However, fleas are known for their exceptional jumping ability. They have highly developed hind legs that allow them to propel themselves great distances, relative to their size. This enables fleas to move quickly and efficiently between hosts, such as pets or humans.

Do I have a Fleas problem?

Flea problems can occur for many reasons. Here are some examples:

  • You may have seen wild animals such as deer, skunks and rabbits in your yard.
  • Fleas may have come into contact with your cat or dog while they were at the groomers, in the park, or at the campsite.
  • Fleas have infiltrated your clothing or shoes and now you are unknowingly allowing them into your home.
  • Furniture and rugs you bought for your home might have adult fleas.
  • The pet owner lived in your home before you moved in. When the environment is right, eggs can hatch from dormant and cause an infestation.

Fleas can be found in any area of your home or yard. It is crucial to contact a pest control specialist immediately and consult your veterinarian. Fleas can multiply quickly and if left untreated, a small infestation can become a major problem.

Where will I find Fleas?

Fleas live outside most of the time, living off their hosts. They hide in damp, shaded areas that are accessible to pets and other animals. The most common places for fleas to hide are in tall grass, under leaves and under shrubs. Fleas that live inside can hide behind baseboards and in cracks in floors or in rugs.

How do I get rid of Fleas?

Alt Pest Control, a family-owned business, is the best option to eliminate fleas from your house or workplace. You can rest assured that your pest problems won't return and we offer quick response times. Our highly trained pest control specialists provide high-quality flea control services using only the best products to eradicate fleas from your home. Find out why Alta Pest Control is the preferred pest control company for your neighbors. Give us a shout today!

How can I prevent Fleas in the future?

You can prevent flea problems by partnering with Alta Pest Control. Also, you can implement the following flea prevention tips.

  • Under the supervision of a veterinarian, treat all pets with a flea preventive product.
  • Regularly bathe and groom your pets.
  • After spending time outdoors, inspect your clothes.
  • Before bringing your pet inside, make sure they are free of fleas.
  • Regular vacuuming is important, especially in the areas where pets spend most of their time.
  • Bedding for pets should be cleaned frequently.
  • Pets should not be allowed on furniture or beds.
  • Don't buy used rugs or upholstered furniture for the home.
  • Keep your grass cut.
  • Keep a stone or rock barrier in place between your yard and any wooded areas.
  • You should remove all bird and animal feeders that are attracting rodents or other wild animals from your property.

How Alta Pest Control Protects Your Home From Pests

All of our treatment plans are customized to your home and yard. We do this to ensure that you get the exact coverage you need to keep your home safe. All of our technicians and inspectors are experts in their field, so you can be sure that you are getting top-tier protection.


One of our expert technicians will inspect every inch of your home and business for pest activity. Then they will create a custom plan based on their findings.

Initial Service

Once your custom plan is created, we will treat your home and yard to give you immediate relief from pests. Then, we will create a boundary around your property to prevent more pests from entering.

Follow Ups

After the initial service, we will conduct regular maintenance to ensure that your pest problems remain solved. We will also conduct free inspections for problem pests, such as termites.

Alta Guarantee

When it comes to pest control, we put our money where our mouth is. If we treat your home, and you're still seeing pests, we'll come back and retreat for free. We'll always have your back.


Your Trusted Pest Control Provider

Searching for "pest control near me"?
Check out the areas we service and find a location near you! We service all surrounding areas, as well.