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Flea Facts & Information

Protect your home or business from fleas by learning techniques for identification and control.

Flea illustration
Order Siphonaptera


Types of Fleas

What do fleas look like?

Fleas are small, wingless and about 2.5 mm long. Their bodies are shiny and reddish brown in color, covered with microscopic hair and are compressed to allow for easy movement through animal fur. Fleas do not have wings, although they are capable of jumping long distances. Read more information on what fleas look like.

Cat Fleas

Cat Flea

Ctenocephalides felis

How to Get Rid of Fleas on Dogs - Flea Treatment & Prevention

Dog Flea

Ctenocephalides canis

Sand Flea Facts | How to Identify Sand Fleas

Sand Flea


How do I get rid of fleas?

What Orkin Does

Since the immature stages of fleas are very cryptic by nature, the first thing the homeowner should do is contact their pest control professional for assistance. Most of the time simply using over-the-counter products for controlling fleas will not resolve the root causes of the infestation.

An Orkin Pro will conduct a thorough inspection and locate areas where the immature stages of the flea population are residing. After completing the inspection, the next step is preparing the flea treatment and management plan. For your customized
flea extermination plan, contact your local Orkin branch.

This flea control plan will include:

  • Species - identifying the flea species causing the problem.

  • Education - explaining the flea's life cycle and how their habits, habitat, and behavior can affect the pest control plan provided.

  • Hosts - inspecting for the presence of other animals that are the flea population’s source of food. This may include rodents either inside or outside the home or perhaps a raccoon or feral cat that is living in the crawl space.

  • Vets - homeowner contacting their veterinarian for advice and purchase of flea control products that can be used on pets.

  • Bathing - regular bathing and grooming of pets.

  • Chemicals - explaining the use of growth regulators that will interfere with the flea’s normal development into the adult stage.

  • Vacuum - using a strong vacuum to physically remove flea eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults.

  • Bedding - frequently washing and drying pet bedding.

  • Products - treating affected areas by using safe and effective flea control products where immature fleas may be located.

  • Inspections - scheduling a follow-up visit.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Cat scratching

Flea Facts

Understanding Flea Problems

The more you know about fleas, the better you can predict and control their behavior. Here are some quick facts to help you on your way.

Common Types

The cat flea is the most common flea in North America, although the dog, human and oriental rat fleas can also be found.

Flea Bites

Pets suffering from flea bites scratch themselves incessantly. Fleas also feed on humans, and some people exhibit flea allergies.

Flea Risks

What diseases do fleas carry?

Fleas can transmit diseases when taking a blood meal from a host or via contaminated fecal pellets. Read more about flea-borne diseases.

Image of flea after feeding

Flea After Feeding

More Resources

Dig Deeper on Fleas

Visit the Orkin Pest Library to learn how to identify and control other pests.
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Facts About Fleas

What Do Fleas Look Like?

Fleas are very small, oval-shaped insects with thin, flat bodies that allow them to easily move through hair and fur.

What Do Flea Larvae Look Like?

Larva is the second stage of a flea's life cycle and typically looks like tiny, pale worms.

Flea Life Cycle

A flea's life cycle consists of four stages-- egg, larva, pupa and adult.

Signs of a Flea Infestation

Fleas can be seen moving along animals or surfaces; however, itchy, irritated skin on your pets may also be a sign of a flea infestation.

What do Flea Bites Look Like?

Flea bites typically appear as itchy small red bumps that are surrounded by red haloes.

Flea Bombs

Flea bombs release insecticide throughout a room to get rid of fleas; however, they do not reach cracks and crevices, making them ineffective at removing a flea infestation.

Flea Diseases & Pets

Fleas can spread several diseases to humans and animals including, plague, flea tapeworm, and cat scratch disease.

Fleas in Carpets & Rugs

Fleas can lay their eggs and hide in carpet, which makes it incredibly to get rid of fleas in carpet without help from your Orkin Pro.

Fleas in Bedding

If your pet is infested with fleas and sleeps on your bed, fleas can easily transfer onto bedding, the mattress, and the remainder of the room.

Can Fleas Fly?

Fleas are wingless and cannot fly; fleas move around by crawling and jumping.

Types of Fleas

There are several types of fleas, including dog fleas, cat fleas, rat fleas, and more.

Are Cat Fleas and Dog Fleas The Same?

Although dog fleas and cat fleas are two different species, cat fleas are the most common type of flea in North America.

Flea Repellent

Although some essential oils and plants may help repel fleas, the best way to control fleas is with a flea extermination program from your Orkin Pro.

How Do I Prepare For Flea Extermination?

Find these helpful tips to help you prepare for your flea treatment appointment.

What is the Cost for Flea Treatment?

A comprehensive flea inspection will help determine the full extent of your infestation and provide the most accurate cost for flea control service.

How Will You Know If You Have Fleas in The House?

Look for these signs of flea activity to find out if you have fleas in the house.

How to Get Rid of Fleas on Dogs

Learn helpful tips on how to get rid of fleas on dogs.

Can You Have Fleas Without Pets?

It is possible to have fleas without pets, so a full pest control inspection from our Orkin Pros is needed to identify where the fleas are coming from.

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