With over 2,000 known species in the world, approximately 300 in America, fleas are prevalent almost everywhere you go. Although they can survive in cooler temperatures, they tend to flourish in warmer climates. Small, flat, and wingless, the flea is a major pest for cats, dogs, and families. Using their 3 pairs of unique legs, fleas have the ability to quickly transmit deadly illnesses and spread bacterial diseases by traveling on hosts. Furthermore, fleas lay eggs at a rate of about 40 per day for roughly 50 days, allowing for a flea infestation to quickly become out of control. Unfortunately for Texas, the weather is the perfect breeding ground for the “cat flea”, with the “dog flea” and “human flea” common as well.
The Cat Flea
The cat flea, scientifically known as Ctenocephalides felis, is the most common and abundant flea species found in the U.S. True to its name, the domestic cat is the principal host to cat fleas, spreading the cat flea rickettsiosis and tapeworms to both human and feline. They are approximately 3/32 inches in size, range in color from light reddish brown to dark brown and have a life cycle of 2 weeks. Additionally, cat fleas can be found on dogs, foxes, rats, opossums, and mongooses.
The Dog Flea
Closely resembling the cat flea, the dog flea is an ectoparasite known scientifically as Ctenocephalides canis. Spreading the disease Dipylidium caninum, this flea can be found on a wide variety of mammals, primarily on domestic dogs, cats, and humans. Although this flea does have similar appearances and behaviors as the cat flea, there are some minor differences. They are roughly 1/16th inches, brownish black to black, and will turn reddish black after consuming blood. Furthermore, the dog flea can live without food for several months. However, females need a blood meal before eggs can be produced.
The Human Flea
Commonly known as the “house flea” and scientifically known as Pulex irritans, the human flea is a pest found worldwide. Predominately frequent in North America, this flea is known to spread the disease Typhus to its preferred host, humans. However, it can also be found on rats, pigs, cats, and wild boar. They can be identified as being larger than the dog and cat flea, and can grow up to 1/8th inch, with their body being reddish brown or rust in color.
Fleas are a common and prevalent pest found worldwide. Flourishing in warm environmental conditions, flea populations increase during the summer months. Due to the high temperatures in Texas, the state can experience a variety of flea types on a year-round basis. From cat fleas to human fleas, these pests can be a nuisance to get rid of.
Are you dealing with a flea infestation or pest problem that won’t go away? Check out our Flea Extermination Services or Contact The Bug Master today! We provide residential and commercial pest control to the Austin, Temple, and Waco Texas areas.