What Do Fleas Look Like?
What do fleas look like? This is a common question among customers looking to us to clear their homes of the infamous little insects that cause so much discomfort to pets and their owners.
Fleas are some of the smallest insects that humans come in regular contact with. And because they are so small, they are sometimes mistaken for specks of dirt or debris when seen on a person’s leg or arm. But see an infestation of fleas that has taken up residence on your pet, and there will be little doubt as to what they are.
The Flea’s Body
The flea is a dark-colored, wingless insect with six long legs. When viewed from overhead, its body appears long and thin — almost like a grain of rice. Viewed from the side however, the flea’s body looks almost like a teardrop on its side.
The head is very small and exhibits protruding mouth parts that look like oversized fangs. The main portion of the flea’s body has a shape similar to a football. Its legs are different lengths, with the largest being at the rear and the smallest at the front.
Finally, a typical adult flea is less than a tenth of an inch in length. Body color can range from a reddish brown to a very dark brown that looks almost black.
Fleas on Your Pets
It is easy to mistake a single flea on your leg as a speck of dirt you picked up while walking outside. Seeing fleas on your pet is another matter.
A dog infested with fleas will exhibit large numbers of the insects both on the skin and embedded in the hair. Just pull back a section of the hair and you will easily notice what appear to be small, black dots composed of adult fleas, feces, and dried blood. It’s not unusual to see dozens of fleas occupying a relatively small patch of skin and hair.
Fleas are by no means pretty. They are annoying thanks to their prolific nature and natural tendency to bite. If you suspect you have a flea problem in your home, please contact us right away. One of the keys to effective elimination is early flea control treatment.