Flea is the common name for insects of the order Siphonaptera which are wingless insects with mouthparts adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood. Fleas are external parasites, living by hemaztophagy off the blood of mammals (including bats and humans) and birds.
Damage: Fleas are not only a nuisance to humans and their pets, but can cause medical problems including flea allergy dermatitis and secondary skin irritations. Fleas can transmit bubonic plague and other diseases between humans to rodents. Although bites are rarely felt, it is the resulting irritation caused by the flea salivary secretions that varies among individuals.
Habitat: A parasite that attaches to a host. Pupa mature to adulthood within a silken cocoon woven by the larva to which pet hair, carpet fiber, dust, grass cuttings, and other debris adheres.
Feeding and Breeding: Adult fleas must feed on blood before they can become capable of reproduction. Their food consists of digested blood from adult flea feces, dead skin, hair, feathers, and other organic debris. (Larvae do not suck blood.) Adult fleas cannot survive or lay eggs without a blood meal, but may live for one year without feeding.
Treatment: Flea infestation requires multi-faceted treatment. Contacting a pest control professional and your veterinarian early on will limit the effects. Effective flea control may include chemical and natural methods conducted on your pet as well as inside and outside of your home.