Cat Flea Facts
While over 2,000 species of fleas exist, the cat flea is the most common. Cat fleas, unlike other fleas, remain on their hosts because they require fresh blood to reproduce. The dog flea is similar to the cat flea, but is not usually found in the United States. In fact, cat fleas are normally found on both cats and dogs in North America. The two species are only distinguished by a slight anatomical difference that can only be seen under a microscope.
Cat Flea Bites
A cat flea infestation can cause a lot of problems for both pets and people. Adult fleas will bite and irritate skin, and potentially transmit diseases like murine typhus and the plague. Some people are allergic to flea bites or scratch the bites so much that they become infected. Fleas also carry the parasite for dog tapeworm which can be passed along to a pet if they eat an infected flea.
Cat Flea Infestation
After feeding on the blood of their host, cat fleas will lay eggs on the host, which then fall off into soil or another protective environment. Eggs will hatch in two to three weeks and larvae will develop of over the course of 9 to 15 days. However, depending on temperature conditions, development may take up to 200 days. Once the larvae reach the pupae stage, it will take seven days to one year before the cat flea reaches adulthood. The mouth of the cat flea is designed to pierce and suck blood. Adults will bite frequently and will hop from host to host. While cats are the preferred host of this flea, they can easily survive on a wide variety of domestic and wild animals. Adults are able to survive for weeks off the blood from a host.
Types of Cat Fleas
Cat Flea Identification
Adult Cat Fleas are roughly 1/32 to 1/8 inch long with reddish-brown or black bodies and are wingless. Their hind legs are powerful enough to allow them to run and jump through hair, fur, and feathers. The only stage in which cat fleas live on pets is when they wish to reproduce. Eggs are white and round, while larvae are white and worm-like.
Cat Fleas In The Home & The Yard
Cat fleas can be brought onto your property by stray cats and dogs or even by wildlife like fox, opossums or sometimes rats. Your pet can pick up the fleas and bring them into the home, a problem that can quickly spiral out of control. Monitor your pets closely to catch a flea problem early. Is your pet scratching constantly? There’s a good chance they have fleas!
Frequently Asked Questions
What do cat flea bites look like?
Cat flea bites are not very painful and sometimes people don’t even realize they are being bitten. Bites have a small red dot in the center surrounded by a red halo. Flea bites typically do not swell. Some people may develop hives as an allergic reaction to the flea bite.
How do you control cat fleas in your home?
In order to manage cat fleas, the host animal, yard, and home must be treated. Your vet will be able to recommend products to clean the fur or feathers of your pets. We recommend cleaning your floors and washing all of your fabrics. A pest management professional can treat the inside and outside of your home to eliminate the fleas.
Benefits of Professional Cat Flea Pest Control
A pest management professional has the education, equipment and skills necessary to effectively address a cat flea problem. Finding and treating the cat fleas can be challenging, especially if they are spread throughout your house. A pest management professional provides their expertise to identify the pest problem and determine the best possible solution to resolve the cat flea infestation.