Flea Identification

What are fleas?

Fleas are parasites that feed on the blood of mammals. Blood is their only source of food. They are ectoparasites - meaning they live and feed on the outside of their host’s body. These tiny parasites are the size of a speck of dirt. Despite their size, they are difficult to kill because of their hard bodies. Fleas are reddish-brown, wingless, and have powerful back legs that they use to jump out of the way of danger and travel through the fur of their animal hosts. Fleas also have specialized piercing mouthparts they use to hold onto their victims while feeding on their blood.

a flea crawling on a persons leg

Are fleas dangerous?

In the United States, the biggest threat from fleas is not the spread of diseases but that they're intermediate hosts for tapeworms, which they can transmit to animals and people. Other problems associated with fleas include:

  • Animals with large infestations often develop anemia, which makes them very ill and has the potential to be life-threatening.

  • Those who are allergic to flea saliva may develop itchy dermatitis. Constant itching at the bites has the potential to lead to a secondary infection.

  • Fleas are prolific breeders, and if just a few get into a home, it can lead to a large, difficult to eliminate infestation.

Why do I have a flea problem?

Most of the time, fleas find their way onto properties on the backs of rodents, wild animals, and wandering pets. If fleas living on your property come into contact with you or your pets, they will find their way into your home. Fleas are also brought into homes by hitchhiking inside on used rugs, furniture, or on the backs of invading rodents. People and pets may also come into contact with fleas in parks, campgrounds, dog parks, and other outdoor spaces.

Where will I find fleas?

Fleas spend most of their lives feeding and breeding on their hosts. Fleas that are outside waiting for a host to jump onto, hide in tall grasses, under leaf piles, and in shaded areas (under decks and shrubbery). When fleas make their way into homes, they hide in rugs, the cracks of floors, bedding, and upholstered furniture.

How do I get rid of fleas?

For home or business owners who want to get rid of fleas from their property, partnering with the local pest control experts at Neighborly Pest Management is your best solution. We are the greater Sacramento area’s best defense against pests. For more than four decades, we’ve been committed to keeping homes and businesses free of insects, rodents, and more. Our professionals work with our customers to control flea populations. Learn more about our 100% guaranteed pest control services by reaching out to Neighborly Pest Management today!

How can I prevent fleas in the future?

Partnering with a professional is the best way to prevent problems with fleas and other pests. In addition, the following prevention tips will help to keep fleas off of your property and out of your Northern California home.

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

  • Vacuum your home regularly, especially the areas where your pets spend the most time.

  • Do not buy used rugs and upholstered furniture for your home.

  • Keep grass on your property cut short.

  • Cut back the overgrown vegetation on your property.

  • Remove bird and animal feeders from your property that attract rodents and other wild animals, and keep locking lids on trash cans.

  • Repair entry points into your home that may allow flea-covered rodents inside.


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