- Fleas are small insects that survive by feeding on animal or human blood. Their bites can cause discomfort, itchiness, and irritation. Sometimes, fleas can infect people or pets with the germs that cause flea-borne typhus, plague, or cat scratch disease.
- While the cat flea is the most common in the United States, dog fleas, southern chicken fleas, oriental rat fleas, and human fleas are also present in some regions.
- Fleas prefer animal hosts but will resort to biting people when animals are unavailable. Adult fleas find hosts by detecting body heat, movement, the vibrations caused by movement, and breathing.
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- Despite the name “cat flea”, this is the most common flea found on pets (including dogs) and other domestic animals in the United States.
- Fleas prefer habitats with shade, as they cannot tolerate the sun for long periods.
- Other methods of prevention in lawns are mowing frequently, treating with insecticide, removing any debris from your lawn, and keeping animals and rodents away from your home.
- Adult fleas can survive at least two weeks without a blood meal.
- The Bubonic Plague was responsible for the deaths of more than 25 million people. In addition, cat scratch fever and murine typhus are among the diseases caused by flea bites.
- If not treated, severe flea infestations can make your pet gravely ill and may even be fatal. Kittens, puppies, and even adult animals may become severely anemic if exposed to a large number of fleas.
CDC. “Fleas Home | CDC.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 13 Aug. 2020, www.cdc.gov/fleas/index.html.
“10 Facts about Fleas.” Www.petmd.com, www.petmd.com/10-facts-about-fleas. Accessed 14 Oct. 2022.