Flea Identification Guide

What are fleas?

Fleas are parasitic insects that are about the size of a speck of dirt. Despite being small, their hard, reddish-brown bodies act as a great defense mechanism and make them very difficult to crush. Although they are wingless, fleas move very effectively with the help of their long, powerful back legs. These strong legs allow them to jump quickly out of the way of danger and move through the fur of the hosts they are feeding on; fleas feed on their hosts using their strong mouth parts.

a flea crawling on a persons arm in milford connecticut

Are fleas dangerous?

Fleas are dangerous and serve as intermediate hosts for parasitic tapeworms that infect both people and pets. Those allergic to flea saliva develop flea allergy dermatitis which causes an intense itching sensation and may lead to secondary infections that require medical attention. Animals with a large infestation may develop anemia because the fleas are consuming so much of their blood; if not treated, this can be a life-threatening condition. Fleas are also responsible for carrying and transmitting diseases to people, although this is more of a concern in developing countries than in the United States.

Why do I have a flea problem?

Fleas can invade any property and find their way into any home, whether pets are present or not. Fleas are most commonly introduced to a property by wild animals. Once on your property, it is only a matter of time before they come into contact with you, your kids, or your pets, and are then unknowingly introduced into your home. Fleas are prolific breeders and are capable of breeding indoors. Flea populations quickly explode inside dwellings, creating a large-scale infestation that is difficult to control without the help of a professional. These insects can also get inside on used furniture or rugs, or on rodents that have come into your home to nest.

Where will I find fleas?

Fleas spend most of their lives on the backs of their animal hosts. Fleas feed on the entire body of an animal host but when feeding on a human, their bites target legs and feet. Flea bites are small, red spots encircled by a reddish halo. Outside, fleas will hide in damp, shady areas like tall grass, under leaves, and in the dirt under decks, shrubs, or bushes. Indoors, common hiding spots for fleas include rugs, the cracks in floors, baseboards, upholstered furniture, and bedding.

How do I get rid of fleas?

Here at Connecticut Pest Elimination, our dedicated and licensed pest technicians provide the comprehensive pest control services needed to eliminate fleas and other common pests and keep them from returning! Guard your home or business against pests with the help of a local, full-service pest control company with over 27 years of experience. For more information about our commercial and residential pest control services, reach out to Connecticut Pest Elimination today!

How can I prevent fleas in the future?

In addition to our professional services, the following prevention tips will help you to avoid problems with fleas here in Connecticut:

  • Keep rodents and other animals out of your home by sealing openings in its foundation, exterior walls, and roofline.

  • Vacuum often, especially in areas where your pets spend most of their time.

  • Inspect yourself and pets for signs of fleas before coming indoors.

  • Keep pets off of furniture and beds.

  • Regularly bathe and groom pets.

  • Keep grass cut short and regularly prune bushes and shrubs.

  • Do not purchase used rugs or upholstered furniture for your home.

  • Treat all pets with a year-round flea product under the guidance of a veterinarian.

  • Remove food sources from your property that may attract wild animals such as bird feeders, open containers of trash, and compost piles.

 

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