The Cat Flea is an insect that will bite any warm-blooded animal including humans. The female lays eggs after feeding on blood, these can hatch up to three adult fleas within a month.
At first glance, the Cat Flea may look like the ‘common’ dog flea (Ctenocephalides canis) but if you look closely, you can see that the Cat Flea is ‘flatter’ than its dog counterpart. The Cat Flea’s head is also wider and has larger eyes too.
Both the Cat Flea and Dog flea are external parasites, meaning they live on their host and do not burrow into the skin like other insects. They often go unnoticed until you start to see itchy bites or your pet starts scratching.
Cat Fleas Appearance
The adult Cat Flea is about the size of a sand grain (~1mm) and can be yellow to dark brown in color. They are laterally compressed, allowing them to move between your pet’s fur. The hind legs are long with bristles for jumping, these enable the flea to jump vertically up to 7 inches (18cm).
The eggs and larvae (grubs) of the Cat Flea are yellow and less than 1mm in size. The eggs are smooth, oval-shaped, and sticky. If they fall off your pet, they can cling to bedding or clothing until they hatch.
For the first two larval stages, fleas have chewing mouthparts. In the third stage (last larval instar), the mouthparts are modified for piercing and sucking.
The fourth (pupal) stage is quiescent (inactive), making it more difficult to control. If this stage occurs indoors, hundreds of fleas can develop unnoticed until the adult fleas emerge and start feeding.
Cat Fleas Habitat
If you have cats, dogs, or any other furry pet, they are at risk of being bitten by a Cat Flea. The Cat Flea can live for several months without food (blood) and up to two weeks away from the host.
Cat Fleas are commonly found in homes with pets as they jump off their hosts looking for blood. They can also be brought into the home on clothing or fabric that has been outside. As fleas are attracted to warmth and carbon dioxide, they gravitate towards pets (or humans) for their source of food.
If you find any Cat Fleas in your Charlotte County home, contact Bug Off Pest Charlotte immediately. We can help rid you of these garden pests and get your lawn or yard back to normal! As always, we are happy to answer any questions you may have about Cat Fleas or any other pest. Call us today 941-676-2005