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Habitat

Fleas typically live only about 100 days during which time the females produce 400-500 offspring. Now that’s one busy mama! Fleas transport themselves on rodents and other mammals and are quite dependent as they usually remain on their hosts at all times. These pests use their powerful legs to jump as high as 8 inches vertically, which is 150 times their own height. If humans could do this, we’d be able to hop over a skyscraper.

Fleas infest both household pets and wild animals like opossums, raccoons, and skunks. They can also be found on shoes, pant legs or blankets, which can transfer the fleas to new environments.

Threats

Fleas are the most common transmitter of the rare and ancient bubonic plague. They also transmit the bacterial disease murine typhus to humans through infected rats. Their saliva can cause serious flea allergy dermatitis in pets and their debris has been reported to cause similar allergic reactions in humans. Fleas have been reported to transfer tapeworms and cause anemia in pets, which is why active flea management is an important component of pet care. Flea bites commonly cause painful, itchy red bumps.