Scientific Name: Ctenocephalides
Color: Dark reddish-brown
Shape: Laterally flatened, side to side
Size: 1/12 to 1/6-inch long
Fleas are one of the more important groups of insect pests because
they cause discomfort through bites and can also transmit diseases
such as plague and murine typhus. Although there several types of
fleas, including Dog, Human and Oriental, the Cat flea is the most
common and is the one that is most often found on pets.
Fleas transport themselves on rodents and other mammals. They infest
both household pests and wild animals. Fleas use their powerful
legs to jump as high as 8 inches vertically and 16 inches horizontally.
Fleas usually remain on their warm-blooded hosts at all times. They
can also be found on shoes, pant legs, or blankets, which can transfer
the fleas to new environments. They are often found infesting opossums,
raccoons, and skunks in urban settings.
Cat fleas may transmit Bubonic Plague and murine typhus and also
serve as the host for dog tapeworm which may infest humans, especially
young children. Flea bites commonly cause painful, itchy red bumps.
Clean and vacuum frequently to help remove flea populations and
prevent the laying of eggs. Keep your lawn groomed to avoid rodent
habitation. Protect pets by keeping them on a leash when outside,
bathing and grooming pets regularly, visiting a veterinarian annually,
and using flea treatments according to direction. It is important
to hire a pest professional to rid your home of rodents and fleas.
(Source: National Pest Management Association, et. al.)