Pest Guide : What is a Flea?

What You Need to Know About Fleas

If you have ever struggled with fleas in your home before, you have most likely dealt with the Cat Flea, or Ctenocephalides felis. As you probably suspect from its name, Cat Fleas prefer the host of a domestic cat, but they can be found on many other species as well, including foxes, opossums, dogs, and rats.

Because this type of flea can host on such a wide range of creatures, it is one of the most common fleas worldwide. Not to mention, their small size makes it easy for them to sneak through cracks and crevices throughout your home.

If you are struggling with a Cat Flea infestation, it's best to contact the professionals of our team. Cat Fleas can transmit illnesses and other parasites, which means you certainly don't want these pests inside your home. Give us a call today to learn about our Cat Flea extermination services.

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How to Identify Fleas Infestation

The Cat Flea is the most common flea that can invade your home.


When most people think of a flea, the Cat Flea is what comes to mind. This flea is only about 1/8 of an inch long and is completely flat. Before it feeds, the Cat Flea will be brownish black or black in color. After feeding, it will have a reddish black tint instead from the host’s blood.

Cat Fleas do not have any wings, but they have chewing mouthparts that allows them to feed. These pests prefer to feed on organic debris and adult dried fecal blood.


Cat Fleas are prolific breeders. After every meal, the female flea will lay between four and eight eggs on the host animals’ hair or in the wound area. As such, a single female Cat Flea can lay a total of 400 to 500 eggs during her life.

The eggs look like tiny white ovals that are about 0.5 millimeters long. The eggs can take anywhere from 1 to 12 days to hatch. Even though females lay the eggs within the animal host’s hair, some eggs fall off around your home whenever the animal shakes or sleeps.


After hatching, larvae will go through three instar stages. These stages can last between one to two weeks or several months to be completed. During the larval stage, the larvae need humidity around 45% to 95%.

After the larval stage, the larvae will create a cocoon that is camouflaged on the debris. The cocoon can stay on a surface for up to a year, but the pupae only stay in the cocoon for about 20 weeks. This cocoon protects the pupate from pesticides and other dangers.

Once the pupae come out of the cocoon, they are now adult fleas. The adult flea will look for a blood meal as soon as possible, but it will be able to survive for months. After finding a host, the fleas feed and began to lay eggs. Cat Fleas can live to be 1 year old, but most only live to be a few days old as the animal grooms itself.


Common Questions About Fleas

Cat Fleas can enter into homes through many avenues. If you have pets within the household, Cat Fleas were likely introduced through the animal, especially if they have access to outside.

Even if you do not have animals, Cat Fleas can still invade your homes. These pests can jump about 6 inches. As such, they can easily jump onto your body, close, or shoes while you are traveling and hitchhike into your home. They can also crawl into your home through windows, doors, and other crevices.

If you have recently moved into a home that was vacant for some time, Cat Fleas can still be a problem. If there were any larvae or cocoons present, the population could have continued to have grown during this vacant time since the species can live on stored fat for several months.

Cat Fleas are dangerous. They are known to transmit plague and typhus. They can also transmit dog tapeworm to pets within the household. Occasionally, tapeworms can impact humans. Not to mention, Cat Fleas are a downright nuisance because they bite.

Getting rid of Fleas can be seriously difficult. Because they are so small, they can invade almost every part of your home. Plus, it can be difficult to find out how the Fleas are getting in, further making it difficult to exterminate the species in the long run. Treat any infested pet per your veterinarian's recommendations.

Since getting rid of Cat Fleas is so difficult, you should not try DIY methods for exterminating the pests. DIY methods are often ineffective and can pose risks to children and pets.

Only Trust the Professionals

Instead, only trust the professionals for exterminating Fleas. Our team of professionals knows exactly where to look in order to identify the cause of the Fleas. From there, we will work with your unique situation to create a customized extermination plan that works the first time.

All of the products we use are the safest for the home. We only select EPA-registered products that are registered for pet control use. Our highly trained professionals also know how to apply these products properly so they do not cause harm to you, your family members, or your pets.

If you have a Flea problem, call us today. It's our goal to be onsite as soon as the same day or the next to ensure you get the situation handled as soon as possible.

Tips for Preventing Fleas

  • Make sure pets' flea and tick protection is maintained.
  • Regularly brush pets to identify fleas issues before they become a major infestation.
  • Wash pet bedding frequently.
  • Regular pest protection can help protect your home.
  • Repair any holes or gaps around the exterior and interior of your home.
  • Mow the lawn and trim trees around the house.
  • Keep foundation, mortar, and weather-protective measures up to date and repaired.

How My Pest Pros Helps Eliminate Fleas

We know what it takes when it comes to flea control, prevention, and protection in Northern Virginia, Washington D.C., and Maryland from more than a decade of experience.

Many products can help reduce flea problems, but not the source of the problem. Our trained professionals have the experience and expertise to allow them to form an effective treatment plan. Our professional team not only eradicates current problems but also provides preventative care. With our protection plan, these annoying and tiny household invaders will be eradicated both now and in the future with regular treatment visits. These visits are effective at treating and preventing ant infestations.

For ultimate protection, our professionals will work with you to find a customized solution for your flea problem, today and tomorrow.

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