Latin Name: Siphonaptera
Fleas have four primary life stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult. Flea eggs are small (about the size of a salt granule) and white; Flea larva look like small, milky-white caterpillars, ranging between 3 to 5.2 mm in length. Adult fleas are dark-brown to reddish-brown, about 2.5 mm in length, with thin, flat, wingless bodies and long legs.
Contrary to popular belief, contracting fleas has nothing to do with the cleanliness or condition of your home—fleas can and do infest everyone. However, fleas usually enter your yard via wild animals, such as squirrels, rabbits, feral cats, possums, etc. Then, either you, your family or a pet unknowingly bring these outside fleas into your home. Dog Parks, neighboring pets and outdoor activities such as hiking, dog-walking and hunting are also common sources of flea infestation.
What Do Flea Bites Look Like?
Flea bites are small, red and extremely itchy. On humans, bites usually occur on the legs and feet, though flea bites can potentially occur anywhere on the body. Skin reactions such as hives, swelling, or rashes near the bite site are a common symptom of flea bites. Although flea bites rarely result in disease in humans, fleas are in fact carriers of various diseases and bacteria, including tapeworm, typhus and cat scratch disease.
What Are the Signs Of A Flea Infestation?
Locating and identifying a flea infestation is normally quite easy. Whether crawling within your pet’s fur or sprinkled throughout your carpet, fleas are not usually difficult to spot. Here are the signs to look out for:
- Excessive pet scratching (this is often the first sign of flea infestation)
- If you suspect fleas have infested your pet, check their skin for adult fleas and red or black dots (flea droppings). Fleas usually infest the hindquarters of dogs, and the neck and face area of cats.
- Flea eggs (these are white, about the size of a grain of salt, and often too small for the naked eye to see)
- Small dark specks on linens, bedding or clothing that appear to jump or fly (these are adult fleas moving throughout your home)
What To Do If You Have Fleas
At Cedarcide, we recommend using only naturally sourced, eco-safe methods for getting rid of fleas, with fogging (indoor) and spraying (outdoor) being our preferred methods of treatment. If you think you might have fleas, you need to act fast before the infestation spreads. For detailed instructions on both preventing and addressing a flea infestation, download our How To Get Rid Of Fleas ebook: A 5 Step Guide.