Fleas are tiny, biting pests, about ⅛ inch long that leave irritable, nasty sores on their hosts, including people and pets.

Damage From Fleas

Fleas are reddish-brown, wingless insects that are often found outdoors in lawns and on other plants, usually in cool, shaded locations. They are piercing-sucking mouthparts, which they use to bite and obtain blood from their hosts. The bites can develop into serious rashes for some people. Fleas are also capable of transmitting disease.

Fleas can live up to two years, and their eggs and larvae can hide in everyday household items like beds, carpets, etc. They are most commonly spread by infested animals, especially dogs and cats.

Controlling Fleas takes persistence and usually diligent sanitation both indoors and outdoors, properly labeled insecticide treatments inside and outside (including areas where pets frequent, especially kennels, bedding areas, and nearby vegetation) and appropriate treatments on pets.

Where Fleas are Found Geographically

Fleas are common throughout the United States.


Cultural Controls

  • Good sanitation is very important. If you think you have Fleas in your home, vacuum rugs, carpets and floors frequently, at least several times a week. Thoroughly clean any areas where Fleas may congregate.
  • Empty and dispose collected dirt and debris of vacuum cleaners after each use so any eggs that are also collected are not re-distributed.
  • Keep animals, their bedding and areas they frequent clean.
  • For additional methods of controlling Fleas, contact your local cooperative extension service.