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How to Identify Species of Fleas

Flea Species Commonly Found in the US

Hundreds of different types of fleas thrive across the U.S. These jumping pests will bite most mammals, and some transmit disease. Humans and their pets may encounter the following species:

  • Cat Fleas - This is the most common variety that infests cats, dogs, humans, and wild animals.

  • Dog Fleas - Preying on similar hosts as the cat flea, this species is not as widespread.

  • Human Fleas - These parasites enjoys taking blood meals from humans and pigs.

  • Chigoe Fleas - Known as sand fleas, these insects feed on people near tropical beaches.

  • Sticktight Fleas - These pests harm those in contact with squirrels, poultry, and other birds.

  • Rat Fleas - Both the oriental and northern species feed on Norway and roof rats and spread serious diseases.

These different types of fleas can transmit various infections, including plague, murine typhus, and cat-scratch disease.

The insects all bite people and pets, which may trigger allergic reactions. Their ability to lay many eggs means that flea infestations often get out of hand.

Common Cat Fleas

Of all the different types of fleas, cat fleas are the most common issue for homeowners. These pests have one of the broadest host ranges of any type of flea. In addition to dogs, cats, and humans, they infest wild animals like raccoons, opossums, and foxes, which may affect pets in the yard.

Unlike other species, cat fleas stay on their hosts after feeding, mating, and laying eggs. Eggs or larvae then fall off pets and spread to beds, carpeting, and furniture.

Flea Control

Deep cleaning and vacuuming can destroy the pests and their offspring. Machine-washing fabrics with hot water may also help, but disposing of contaminated bedding or other material away from the home might be necessary. Seek veterinary help for affected pets.

Though homeowners can take steps to remove and prevent infestation, sometimes it isn't enough. The experts at Orkin have the skills to deal with all the different types of fleas.


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