Fleas are a surprisingly dangerous group of 2,500+ species, despite their almost microscopic size. These common pests are small, reddish-brown insects, no more than ⅛” long, flattened on either side.

With their powerfully built legs featuring a“pleural arch” on their exoskeleton, fleas can leap to impressive heights, allowing them to travel between hosts. This enables them to reach distances over 100 times their body lengths.

Fleas feed on blood from their hosts, hanging on using the spines that line their bodies from the mouth to the feet. They are considered “ectoparasites” since they stay on the outside of the host. Common flea species include:

Cat Fleas

This is the most common variety of flea and will feed on humans, pets, and wild animals alike. Although named the “cat” flea, they feed on just about any available host. Another species of flea, the dog flea, feeds on the same hosts but is not as widespread.

Other common flea species include:

Human flea

The human flea, scientifically known as Pulex irritans, is a small, wingless insect that exclusively feeds on the blood of humans. These tiny, reddish-brown pests have a flattened body, adapted for moving easily through human hair. 

Though less common today, human fleas were historically associated with infestations, causing discomfort and itching due to their bites. Effective pest control measures and improved hygiene practices have significantly reduced the prevalence of human fleas in modern times.

Oriental rat flea

Although there are many species of flea, they are typically only differentiated under a microscope and share the same characteristics.

It’s important to get control of an infestation as soon as possible. The females can lay between 25-40 eggs per day, growing the population exponentially.

Are Fleas Dangerous?

Don’t underestimate fleas on account of their small size. Fleas transmit several diseases, some of which can be fatal.

Fleas transmit several zoonotic illnesses and parasites, meaning animals can transmit the disease to humans. The most well-known are:

  • Murine typhus
  • Cat scratch disease
  • Plague
  • Tapeworms in the egg or larval stage

Pets and people who are bitten by fleas can become quite sick, suffering secondary bacterial infections, dermatitis, hair loss, and intense itching.

Fleas have a very distinct flattened on the side, teardrop shape.

Why do I have a flea problem?

Your pets can introduce a flea problem into your home before you know it. All it takes is for the fleas to settle into your dog’s or cat’s coat and lay some eggs inside your home.

This is especially likely with homes with outdoor or semi-outdoor cats. When these pets hunt or interact with feral animals, a flea can hop from one animal to the other and move into your house.

Additionally, remember that fleas can jump up to 6 feet high, enough for them to latch onto your shoes or pants. In these cases, they can also hang around long enough to start an infestation.

Where will I find fleas?

– In your pet’s coat, hair, or feathers
– Hiding in your clothing, carpets, bedding, and upholstered furniture
– Moist, shady areas in your outdoor space
– Dark, secluded areas in the home, such as the attic, basement, and crawlspace

Since fleas are more likely to target your pet before you, it’s best to know what signs indicate your pet has had a run-in with these pests.

Watch out for:
– Scratching or kicking
Flea bites: Small, red bumps on your or your pet’s skin
Flea droppings: A mixture of blood and waste that look like dark brown flecks
Adult fleas or tiny white, oval flea eggs

How do I get rid of fleas?

The best way to get rid of fleas, especially for an extreme infestation, is to contact pest control specialists. You don’t want to make any mistakes that can lead to re-infestation in the future.

Instead, it’s best to entrust this task to a pest professional from Ponder Pest Control. This team has years of knowledge and top-of-the-line equipment to eliminate pests, ensuring your satisfaction.

Ponder Pest Control is a local, family-owned business that’s dedicated to fulfilling the needs of your property with a customizable pest management program. Call for more information on how these pest control experts can help you.


In addition to our home and commercial pest control services, protect your property from pests with the following prevention tips:

Exterior Tips

  • Vacuum your car often, especially if you allow your pets in the car.
  • Make sure to dispose of the collected debris as soon as possible. Flea eggs, pupae, and larvae may still be viable after they’re vacuumed.
  • Leave ample distance between your house and exterior vegetation. Fleas like moist, shady environments and may gravitate to plants that grow alongside your home, collecting sprinkler water.
  • Keep an eye on your pets during outdoor activities.

Interior Tips

  • Vacuum the home frequently. You’ll want to cover as much ground as you can to ensure you wipe out the infestation altogether.
  • Clean all upholstered furniture, floors, corners, and pet areas.
  • Shampoo rugs and carpet. This is one of the most effective strategies for eliminating an active pest infestation and preventing future outbreaks.
  • Check house plants. Make sure your plants aren’t hosting any sneaky flea populations. Have a look at plant containers regularly to stay on top of potential pest problems.

To learn more about our effective flea control services offered to your property, contact Ponder Pest Control today!

We are a local, family-owned business with years of experience with pests in the area. Contact us today to learn more about our  treatments!