Cat Fleas

What do cat fleas look like?

a cat flea on a white background

Cat fleas are parasitic pests that are so small they are sometimes mistaken for a fleck of dirt. Adults grow to be between 1.5 to 3.2 millimeters in length. Their hard, flat bodies are dark reddish-brown, and they are wingless. Fleas have 6 legs that are long and powerful. Their legs allow them to jump quickly onto a new host or out of the way of danger. Fleas have a remarkable 8-inch vertical jump.

Where are cat fleas found?

Fleas are found living outside in wooded, grass, and dirt areas and are usually brought onto properties by wild animals. Fleas are often introduced to Iowa & Illinois homes by pets like dogs and cats, but people can also bring them inside if the fleas happen to jump onto their shoes or clothing. Fleas can also be introduced into homes on used furniture and rugs. Once inside, they spend most of their time living on a host, but fleas and their eggs can also be found on rugs, upholstered furniture, bedding, in the cracks of wooden floors, and behind baseboards. Inside homes and other buildings they reproduce year-round. Outside, they generally only breed during the warmer weather months when the temperature and humidity are high enough for proper development.

What do cat fleas eat?

Cat fleas feed on the blood of warm-blooded mammals such as cats, dogs, people, rodents, raccoons, squirrels, skunks, and other wild animals. As cat fleas feed they can transmit some pretty serious diseases and parasites, including murine typhus, the rare bubonic plague, and tapeworms. Their saliva can create an allergic skin reaction causing dermatitis on pets and people, and in the case of a very large infestation they can cause pets and other animals to become anemic.

DIY cat flea prevention and control tips

The following tips can help to prevent fleas from getting into your home or business and becoming problematic for you, your family, your pets, and your customers:

  • Pets living in your home should be treated with a flea preventative under the guidance of their veterinarian.

  • Pet bedding should be regularly washed.

  • If possible keep pets off upholstered furniture and beds.

  • Regularly vacuum carpets, furniture, wash floors, and launder bedding.

  • Do not feed wild animals in order to limit their numbers on your property.

  • Try not to purchase used furniture and rugs. If you do, make sure to thoroughly vacuum and clean the items before bringing them inside.

Professional cat flea control

If you’re experiencing a flea problem, contact us today to learn more about our flea control options. Please note that while we are performing a treatment, it is imperative that you work with your vet to put your pets on a treatment plan.

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