Order: Siphonaptera

Scientific Name: Siphonaptera

Appearance: Dark brown, small, wingless and six legged with claw-like feet and mouthparts

Size: 1.5-3.3 mm

What is a Flea?

Fleas are tiny insects that breed and feed on hosts most commonly house pets such as cats and dogs. Both male and female fleas bite to feed and females will lay 4-8 eggs after feeding on the host’s blood. Flea eggs do not remain on the host. Rather, they fall to the ground and begin to feed on plant and animal debris once the larvae hatch. After maturing to a nymph the flea will create a cocoon that is impenetrable by insecticides and continue to grow into adulthood. 

Why do I have Fleas?

Fleas thrive in humid climates, and South Carolina summers present the perfect environment for them to flourish. Outdoor pets are convenient hosts for adult fleas to latch onto and begin feeding and breeding.  Flea eggs can easily fall off their host into carpeted areas, tile & concrete cracks, or soil. 

Flea nymphs, once emerged from the egg, will burrow into the above hiding areas until they are ready to create their cocoon. Flea cocoons only break open under disturbance or the sense of feeding hosts nearby. It is common to experience an outbreak of fleas after coming home after a long period of time. Since the fleas are disrupted upon your return and food sources are readily available they emerge from their cocoons and begin their breeding and feeding.  


How do I get rid of Fleas?

Treatment for fleas indoors involves multiple steps. The first defense is to treat the host and eradicate the reproducing adult fleas. Vacuuming indoor carpeted areas is also important as it will kill any larvae and break open cocoons allowing adult fleas to come in to contact with insecticides used. It is important to use indoor safe insecticides in conjunction with host treatment and vacuuming as the products are able to contact hard-to-reach areas that may be missed or unreachable with the above steps. 

It is always recommended to preventatively treat animals for fleas to deter the insects from finding your pet as a suitable host. Treatment for fleas outdoors can also be done as a preventative measure keeping your pets and indoors flea free. Professional pest control applicators have many recommendations on preventative flea control and have access to quality products that are safe for indoors and will eradicate flea infestations.  Click Here for Details on our General Pest & Outdoor Plan. 


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