What are Fleas?

A small wingless jumping insect that feeds on the blood of mammals and birds. It sometimes transmits diseases through its bite, including plague and myxomatosis.

Quick Facts

  • They are wingless, with mouthparts adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood.
  • Fleas are 1/16 to 1/8-inch (1.5 to 3.3 mm) long, that are agile, and usually dark colored.
  • Their legs are long, the hind pair well adapted for jumping; a flea can jump vertically up to 7 inches and horizontally up to 13 inches.
  • Eggs are laid in batches of up to 20 or so, usually on the host itself, which means that the eggs can easily roll onto the ground. Because of this, areas where the host rests and sleeps become one of the primary habitats of eggs and developing fleas. The eggs take around two days to two weeks to hatch.

Cat Flea

  • Most common flea in North America.
  • Wider range of hosts than most species.
  • Feeds on organic debris.

Dog Fleas

  • Very similar and often confused with cat fleas.
  • Common in the Eastern Hemisphere countries, while they are rare in North America.