What Do Fleas Look Like?

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Have you ever heard the song, "My dog has fleas?" Well, it's not quite as happy song as the music would lead you to believe. In fact, it's downright depressing. It speaks of the dog having fleas, "from his head down past his knees," then goes on to explain how everyone ends up having fleas, from the cat to the rest of the family. Well, if you know anything about how quickly fleas multiply, you know that this is a very realistic song. And that is nothing to sing about. Fleas can be a real threat to a family. That is why it is so important to know what fleas look like when you see one.

What a flea looks like to the naked eye

Adult fleas are around 2.5 mm long and range in color from yellow or red, to a dark brown, depending on if they have fed recently. A flea's body is thin and flat, which allows it to move easily through an animal's fur. If seen with the naked eye, a flea merely looks like a small dark, oval-shaped insect with a hard shell. Fleas are most easily seen on a light colored animal and often like to hang out around the belly area. If fur is wet, this also may make fleas easier to see.

What a flea looks like under a microscope

Under a microscope, a flea appears brownish-red with yellow around the edges and is opaque in spots. Its shell is striped and it has six legs. The head of a flea is small and simple with two eyes, a pair of short, three-segmented antennae, and simple, tube-like mouthparts which are used for sucking blood from its host animal. The size and shape of the mouthparts and the presence of or absence of "combs" are useful in distinguishing different types of fleas. A "comb" occurs in some flea species. These are spiny, hair-like structures located both on the front of the face and on the upper thorax, just behind the back of the head.

Some flea species, such as stick-fast fleas, have very long, thick, straw-like mouthparts which pierce deeply into the host's skin. This enables them to hang on while they enjoy a blood meal, causing the animal to bite and scratch at the site. Other fleas, such as mobile fleas, have shorter, weaker mouthparts which are not equipped to suck blood or hang on. These fleas are easily dislodged.

How to get rid of fleas, no matter what they look like

Fleas, no matter what they look like, are no fun to have in your home. And the longer you wait to get rid of them, the worse the infestation will get, as fleas multiply at an alarming rate. The pest professionals here at Thomas Pest Services not only know what fleas look like, they are 100% equipped and educated in completely ridding your home of these blood-eating insects.

You don't have to sing, "My dog has fleas." Get help from Thomas Pest Services today, and sing a happy song instead. Life is just better without fleas.

Tags: get rid of fleas  |  fleas  |  home pest control and prevention in ny


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