People use the phrase “flea and tick” all the time, but generally, ticks get more attention on Long Island. Don’t be fooled. Fleas can also be a problem for people and pets.
To make it worse, fleas are tiny, with adults only being 2 millimeters or an eighth of an inch long. Flea eggs, which spread easily, are so tiny it’s difficult to spot them with the naked eye.
Can You Get Fleas from Your Cat?
More than 300 species of fleas exist in the United States and more than 2,000 worldwide. The various species of fleas are often referred to by their preferred host/food source, such as cat fleas, dog fleas, human fleas, rat fleas, etc. In broad terms, though, even though cat fleas and dog fleas are different, either one can latch onto a host that has fur of any species.
Cat fleas prefer the warm, fur-covered skin of cats where they can cling to the strands of fur. Dog fleas are the same way. Human fleas are different, preferring the conditions provided by humans, but they’re usually found in the wild. However, fleas can also be a bit opportunistic. If their preferred host isn’t around and human ankles and legs are available to bite, they will.
Can Pets Pass Fleas to Humans?
Fleas lay lots of eggs – as many as 2,000 in their lifetime. The eggs roll off the host and spread easily. When they hatch, they can easily latch onto a host. However, it’s harder for cat fleas and dog fleas to reproduce on people… so the fleas are more likely to bite ankles until they can find a better fur- or feather-covered host.
Some people will blame stray cats for any fleas they find on their own dogs or cats. While it is possible that fleas and their eggs could be spread in an area by a stray cat (and then latch onto your pets), it is equally possible for fleas to spread from one pet to another at a dog park or through exposure to other animals – wild or domesticated.
Can Fleas Live in a House Without Pets?
Even if you don’t have pets, your home could have fleas. A wide range of animals can be infested with fleas, including squirrels, raccoons, opossums, and more. Mice and rats can also carry fleas… so if your house has a rodent infestation, you might also have fleas even though you don’t own any pets.
How Long Do Pet Fleas Live?
How long fleas live will depend upon their living conditions. In general, they can live anywhere from two weeks to a few months if they have a host. Without a host, they only last from a few days to a couple of weeks.
Should I Take a Cat to the Vet for Fleas?
If you think your cat (or dog) has fleas because they’re scratching a lot, a veterinarian appointment is a smart decision. While pet stores have plenty of options for combating fleas, a vet will confirm that fleas are the issue instead of other illnesses that could cause similar scratching. The vet will also determine if it’s a simple case that can be treated with store-bought options or if something stronger is needed.
Arrow Gets Rid of Fleas In Your Home
Fleas can be difficult to eliminate. If your home has been infested, you need a professional. Call our experts at Arrow Exterminating to solve the problem. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Arrow Exterminating today.