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6 Things You Should Know About Fleas And Your Pet

By Chris Williams on September 25, 2017.

1. The cat flea is the main flea pest, even on dogs.

If your dog has fleas, they are almost certainly the species known as “cat fleas.” There is a dog flea, too, but it’s much less common and your dog won’t know the difference. The two types look the same, act the same, and are controlled in the same way.

2. Fleas never leave the pet that they live on.

Well, almost never. Once they emerge from their pupal case and first attach to an animal, fleas remain on board clinging to your pet’s hairs, periodically sucking blood, mating, and even laying eggs while still on your pet. This is why it’s important that you treat your pet for fleas, as well as your home.

3. An immature flea doesn’t look anything like an adult flea.

Believe it or not, “baby” fleas are actually whitish worms that live in your pet’s bedding or in other areas where your pet rests (see What Do Baby Fleas Look Like?). These flea larvae feed on the feces of adult fleas (mainly dried blood) that drops off of your pet. This is why it’s important that you treat your pet’s resting areas, as well as your pet.

4. Fleas can survive a long time without feeding.

An adult flea without an animal to feed on can go into a waiting mode for months. Immature fleas can survive up to a year without an animal since they can remain inside their pupal cases until vibrations suggest that an animal is nearby, triggering them to emerge as hungry adult fleas.

5. Fleas can bite people in the right circumstances.

If a flea population is very large, or the household pet dies, or if a house has been vacant, or if a family has been on vacation, immature fleas will continue to develop and in the absence of a pet to feed on, newly emerged adult fleas will try to feed on people instead.

6. Your pet can get fleas even if it never leaves your fenced yard.

Some animals such as opossums or raccoons also carry cat fleas (see #1. above). When one of these animals or maybe a neighborhood cat visits your yard, flea eggs could fall off into your lawn. The flea larvae that later hatch out in warm weather could eventually infest your pet (see Your Pet’s Fleas Could Be From Animals Visiting Your Yard!).

Flea problems don’t necessarily end with cooler fall weather. Fleas can survive indoors all winter long. Check out our Services page for more information about Colonial’s Flea Control & Flea Extermination Services.

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