That dogs have dog fleas, and cats have cat fleas is a false narrative. In the United States, you can pretty much say that Ctenocephalides felis, all dogs that have fleas, have cat fleas. Cat fleas, both dogs and cats, are by far the most common fleas on animals. In the United States, about 99.7% of all animal flea infestations are cat fleas. Dog fleas can also be identified in dogs and cats (and rabbits), although they are far less prevalent in the United States; they are more prevalent in Europe.
Cat fleas tend to live on dogs and cats, but they also live on certain animals in the wild, such as squirrels, rodents, or hedgehogs, that may visit the yard. In the first instance, there's no way to tell where your pet's fleas come from, but it's very likely he picked them up in your backyard. The larvae hatch, grow, and pupate in your backyard, or in the animal's nest, as flea eggs are laid and drop away from the wild animal. Approximately 2 days after the adolescent flea emerged from the pupa stage cocoon, a host animal will be located, and the first blood-feeding will be taken.
Pet owners are treating their pets for fleas and maybe treating their home for fleas, but they're not considering treating their backyard. They think their flea problem has finally been resolved, but soon Rover has fleas again, and they can't find out how and why. The most popular way for pets to be reinfested with fleas is possibly when they pick them up outdoors. Your dog could be picking up fleas dropped by wild animals, or neighborhood pets, or even fleas that have now completed production from his own previous infestation.
Fleas are parasitic insects that are found worldwide. They feed on cats, dogs as well as other creatures, including human beings, because of their blood.
Fleas in cats and dogs, either Ctenocephalides felis, the cat flea, or Ctenocephalides canis, the dog flea, are usually one of the distinct strains. Neither is unique to the pet, however, and although the cat flea can infiltrate dogs and likewise, both can infect humans.
In fact, cat fleas are by far the most popular fleas for both cats and dogs, and more than Fifty various varieties, namely rodents, baboons, skunks, and hedgehogs, have been reported to infest. Human fleas, rat fleas (which were responsible for transmitting the bubonic plague), rabbit fleas, and many others are also present.
Fleas get through the four distinct phases of life. The only stage seen on pets is the adolescent period, while the other phases are seen in the environment, usually in rugs or bed sheets, and in the yard as well.
Adults typically have three pairs of legs about 1/16th and 1/8th of an inch long, red-brown in colour and the last pair is very large and well-adapted for jumping. There are featherless fleas. Their bodies are flat outwards (side to side) and coated, like an external skeleton, with such a strong, glittery coating that allows them to pass through the skin of an animal.
Fleas can leap vertically up to 7 inches (around 80 mm) and horizontally up to 13.5 inches (340 mm).1,2 They have penetrated and biting parts of the mouth that are designed specifically to insert and suck the blood into a host.
They lay eggs on animals, but these typically slip off after a few hours (about 60% drop off in 2 hours, more than 70% drop off in seven hours). Flea eggs are similar to mini chicken eggs, oval-shaped and white in colour, but more glossy and 0.5 mm x 0.3 mm in size.
The flea larval process looks like a spiny earthworm, around 1⁄4 inch long,1 with no legs but a huge mouth. It begins out white, but it rapidly turns brown as it feeds on adult poop (processed blood from its victim) and its belly is visible through the body wall. It then wraps a cocoon of white around itself and then becomes a pupa.
Adult fleas, which make up just 5 per cent of the flea community, are only the noticeable tip of the iceberg. That is why flea control implies not only killing adults but also managing the unseen stages of the environment.