Flea Life History

Fleas are one of the more common parasites found on new patents at Greenwood. They can be found on all species of mammals and on rare occasion they can be found on birds. They are wingless but can jump distances up to 13 inches.  They have specifically designed mouth parts that pierce skin and suck blood.  Before they are able to reproduce, they must feed on blood. They lay eggs on the host which can then roll off and contaminate bedding and substrate. Fleas are blind and avoid sunlight, keeping to dark places like sand, cracks, crevices and bedding.

Figure 1: Flea Life Cycle

The life cycle of a flea.

Figure 2: Flea larvae

Flea larvae are between 3 and 5 mm long, and will appear red due to the blood of the host.

Figure 3: Adult Flea

An adult flea. Notice the neck plate, host blood in its abdomen, and the large jumping legs.