Fleas are insects that feed on the blood of animals to reproduce. They often latch onto cats and dogs and hide in their fur, spreading to other surfaces as they travel. Fleas do bite humans and cause skin irritation, though they cannot live on people. While somewhat similar to other pests like ticks and bed bugs, fleas are much smaller and easier to identify.
What Does a Flea Look Like?
Fleas go through four stages of development that affect their overall appearance. They begin as tiny white or clear eggs before maturing to the worm-like larval stage. Next, the flea enters the pupal phase where it wraps itself in a small tan or brown cocoon. Finally, when they emerge as adults, fleas are dark brown, wingless, and roughly one-sixteenth of an inch in length.
Are Fleas Dangerous?
More often than not, a bite from a flea is simply a nuisance for people and pets. However, these New England insects can transmit parasites like tapeworms to dogs and cats. An infected flea can also spread certain bacteria to humans that can lead to typhus and even plague.
Flea Photo Gallery
Addressing a flea infestation before it gets out of hand is essential to controlling an outbreak. If left unchecked, a flea issue can result in health violations at restaurants and hotels, negatively impacting profits. One of the best ways to identify if you have a problem with these pests is to check out the following pictures of fleas.
Sand fleas, like their name implies, often inhabit sandy beaches along the Atlantic coast. Also known as chigoe fleas, these pests do not bite their hosts. Instead, they burrow under a person’s skin and can cause painful wounds
House fleas are the most common flea in New England. These wingless pests are tiny and travel through the air by jumping. While they do bite people, house fleas prefer feeding on animals like cats and dogs.