Fleas are wingless, dark colored insects that have a tube-like mouth parts for feeding on the blood of their host. Relative to their size, the flea is one of the best jumpers of all known animals; with their long legs, they can jump up to eight inches vertically and up to 13 inches horizontally. Their bodies are hard, polished, and covered with many hairs and short spines directing backward. Along with the many hairs and spines, they are laterally compressed, making it easy to move through the hairs or feathers of their host. The hard body of the flea is able to withstand extreme pressure making it difficult to eliminate them by smashing or scratching.
The adult flea diet consists solely of fresh blood, and it can consume up to 15 times its body size. Fleas can live without food for several months, but the females must have a blood meal before they can produce eggs and can lay 5,000 or more white oval-shaped eggs in their lifetime. With approximately 1900 species of fleas in the world, and several found in Florida (cat, dog, sand, and stick tight), it is possible to find multiple types of fleas on one animal.
The most common flea, and the one of great concern to pet owners, is the cat flea. Cat fleas are also known to attack dogs, humans, chickens, rabbits, squirrels and rodents. The dog flea closely resembles the cat flea, and can live on a variety of mammals, but mainly lives on domestic dogs and cats.
Sand fleas are small crustaceans, often mistaken for insects, and live in the sand during the warm weather. They are difficult to see, but if you get a close look they almost resemble a shrimp. Because of their persistence to suck blood, they will jump onto your feet, ankles and legs just to get a bite. The sticktight is one of the smallest fleas, and is commonly found on chickens, but they have been known to be found on cats, dogs, horses, pigs, cows and humans.
If you having issues with fleas there are several over the counter remedies that may or may not be effective or contact a professional. We are highly trained, and equipped to handle your situation.