Introduction: Fleas are one of the more important groups of insect pests because they not only cause discomfort by biting but they can transmit several diseases such as plague and murine typhus. Cat fleas are found throughout theUnited Statesand the rest of the world.
Recognition: Adults about 1/8" (2.5mm) long. Wings lacking. Body laterally flattened ( side to side). Color brownish black to black but reddish black when full of blood. Females head twice as long as high.
Habits: It is not necessary to have pets in the building in order to have fleas present. Since fleas can jump about 6" (15cm) vertically they can easily hitch a ride on shoes trousers etc. Many vacationers who may have been unaware of the few adult fleas present are often greeted and severely attacked by fleas upon their return. This can occur even if the building has been vacant of animals and people for as long as 6 months or so. This situation can occur because of the potentially long pupal period adults can live for months without food and because fleas have not been removed via normal vacuuming. Also fleas are normally removed from the interior environment by taking up residence on the pet(s).