There are different types of fleas and they are present anywhere in the world, all 2000 varieties of them. In the United States, these creatures cause headache to both pets and their owners. Out of the over two hundred flea species found in America, 19 are reported in the state of Florida alone. Major flea species include:
- Ctenocephalises felis – commonly known as cat fleas
- Ctenocephalides canis – dog fleas
- Echidnophaga gallinacean – sticktight fleas
- Pulex irritans – human fleas
Female fleas are capable of laying eggs in as short as 48 hours after a meal. They are also capable of hopping a distance of one to two feet making them quite difficult to battle.
Types of Fleas Reported in the USA
1. Cat Flea
As the name suggests, cat fleas are commonly found on cats but they also attack dogs, other animals and even humans. Inside the home, their favorite spot is often the carpet but you may find their eggs anywhere in the house other than on your pets.
2. Human Flea
Some folks may say there is no such thing as flea infestation in humans. With the discovery of the human flea, that is no longer true. They stick and hide in the body’s most hairy parts such as the underarm and the head. However, observing a strict hygiene practice will keep these pests away.
3. Rat Flea (Oriental and Northern)
Because there are many types of fleas that feed on blood, your pet mouse may be targeted too and they are also likely to feed on you as well. Rat fleas have two varieties namely: Oriental and Northern. Oriental rat fleas came from the Orient to America and inhabit the coastal areas and rivers. Northern rat fleas, on the other hand, like the cozy atmosphere of your home so if you spot them, find a way to get rid of them immediately.
4. Chicken Flea
This flea type is usually found with their heads buried in the skin of chickens near the head or face. At first glance, it would look like the fowl’s head or face is infested with black heads but on a closer look, you’ll discover that they are in fact chicken fleas.
5. Sand Flea
Among the types of fleas there are, the sand flea appears to look the most unique, more like very tiny shrimps. While they typically feed on mostly organic and withering plants, when they attach themselves to pets, they would also find blood to be suitable. Animals are often their vehicle in making their way inside your home.
6. Sticktight Flea
This type of critter loves to bury their heads into the skin of almost any animal – dog, cat, horse, bird and yes, humans too. Sticktight fleas are quite hard to remove once they have attached themselves onto the skin of their victim. They often cause infections and anemia to young animals.
7. Springtail Flea
Springtail fleas belong to the types of fleas called Collembola. It is also sometimes called snow flea. They stay in damp areas, are small as a pin head but can jump up to four feet. They don’t normally attach themselves to animals unless they find a reason such as a skin infection that makes the area conducive to their existence because they love anything wet.
The evolution of the fleas and their large number of species may have to do with their hosts. How they are able to move from place to place to gain access to their hosts may be attributed to the availability of places that contribute to their survival and adaptation. The best way to avoid them and to help stop the types of fleas from multiplying are to ensure you make your homes, yard, garden, garage and all surrounding areas flea-proof through thorough cleanliness and using the right flea control products.