What Are cat fleas vs.dog fleas?
What color are fleas? Fleas are parasitic insects that are found all over the world. They feed on the blood of cats, dogs, and other animals, including humans.
Fleas in care cat and dog fleas the same are normally one of two species, either Ctenocephalides felis, the cat flea, or Ctenocephalides canis, the dog flea. However neither is host-specific and while the cat flea can infest dogs and vice versa, both can infect humans.
In fact, cat fleas are the most common fleas on both cats and dogs and have been known to infest more than 50 different animals, including raccoons, weasels, opossums, and badgers. There are also human fleas, rat fleas (which were responsible for spreading the bubonic plague), rabbit fleas, and many more.
Fleas go through four different life stages. The adult phase is the only stage seen on pets, while the other stages are found in the environment, usually in carpets or bedding and also in the yard.
Adults are usually between 1/16th to 1/8th of an inch long, red-brown in color, and have three pairs of legs, the last pair being quite large and well-adapted for jumping. Fleas are wingless. Their bodies are flattened laterally (side to side) and covered with a hard, shiny coating, like an external skeleton, which helps them to move through an animal’s fur.
Are cat fleas vs dog fleas Different?
How big can fleas get? Technically, cat and dog fleas are different species but each can fleas jump infect the other. The only way you can tell the difference between the two is under a microscope.
Despite its name, the most common flea found on dogs and cats in North America is the cat flea, also known as Ctenocephalides felis. This type of flea also relies on humans as a host. It is found on outdoor animals such as skunks, foxes, raccoons, and opossums.
Dog fleas, known as Ctenocephalides canis, can also affect dogs, cats, humans, and other animals. Dog fleas seem to be more common in Europe but can also be found in North America. It is also found on outdoor animals found in the wild such as raccoons.
Both are cat fleas and dog fleas the same can carry the tapeworm parasite which can affect both cats and dogs.
What does a flea look like?
Fleas are small, wingless, flat insects with three pairs of legs. Adult fleas are about 1/8 of an inch long (1 to 3 mm). They are dark reddish-brown in color and have biting mouthparts. They can be very hard to spot because they move so fast along the animal’s body. Flea-combs and wetting an animal’s hair can help you grasp them for a visual inspection.
What do fleas eat?
Fleas feed on any warm-blooded body, including humans. However, they prefer to dine on hairy animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits, rats, mice, opossums, raccoons, and skunks.
Where do fleas live?
Once a flea hatches and becomes an adult, it uses its powerful legs to jump onto a host, where it likely remains at all times. While attached, the flea will feed, mate, and lay eggs. The eggs often fall off of the host into the yard, bedding, carpeting, or blankets.
Are fleas dangerous?
When are fleas most active? Fleas not only cause discomfort from biting, but they are also vectors of the bubonic plague. While there are few cases reported today, this rare disease wiped out one-third of Europe in the 14th century. Additionally, they can spread the bacterial disease murine typhus, which is transmitted to humans through infected rats. In pets, fleas serve as an intermediate host for tapeworm. The saliva of these cat fleas bite pests is known to cause serious flea allergy dermatitis in dogs and cats.
How can I prevent a flea infestation?
There are a few tips that people should follow to prevent fleas from becoming an itchy nuisance.
Around the House
- Maintain a clean home. Practicing good sanitation is key to avoiding an infestation.
- Vacuum carpets, floors and furniture frequently, and wash ben linens regularly, to remove any existing fleas and help prevent the laying of eggs.
- Since fleas can transport themselves on rodents, it’s important to eliminate any rodent harborage points by keeping the lawn properly landscaped. This includes mowing the lawn on a regular basis, replacing loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows, and removing all moisture sites around the property.
- Check pets’ coats thoroughly for fleas, especially after spending time outdoors. Be aware of excessive scratching and licking.
- Bathe pets after walks or playtime with other animals.
- Wash pet bedding, collars, and plush toys frequently.
- Speak to a veterinarian about flea prevention treatments.
How do I get rid of fleas?
Fleas have the ability to reproduce quickly, which makes flea infestations very difficult to control. In fact, fleas can produce as many as 400 to 500 offspring in their lifetime. A veterinarian can recommend the best methods and products for treating fleas on your pet. However, if you discover fleas in your home, it’s important to contact a licensed pest professional to assist with flea control. Enter your zip code here to locate a pest control company near you.