How big are fleas?

It can be difficult to tell if the bug you’re looking at is actually a flea. The size of the bug can help you to determine whether or not its a flea.

How big are fleas?

fleasizeFleas are incredibly small though you can see them with the naked eye. They can be difficult to see, especially if they are jumping all over the place. Depending on they type of flea they average anywhere between 1.5 to 3.2 millimeters. Females are generally bigger than males and have larger abdomens.

Fleas may be small but they can be a real pain. If you notice you have fleas in your home you need to start treating them as quickly as possible to keep the infestations from becoming overwhelming. Check out our flea treatment page here to find out how to treat you home of flea infestations.

Size Comparisons:

  • Tip of Ballpoint Pen: Between 0.5 and 0.7 mm
  • Thickness of quarter: 1.75 mm
  • Poppy Seed: 1 mm
  • Average House Fly: 6 – 7 mm
  • Width of Average Finger Tip: 16 – 20 mm

>>Find out how to kill fleas with steamers here<<

Life Cycle and Growth

fleasFleas start off as eggs then progressively grow towards adult fleas over a period of one week to one month. Adult fleas start by laying up to 40 eggs in a day. These egg will hatch and turn into flea larvae. After the larva stage they become cocoons where they will transform into adult fleas.

Fleas body size increases after a blood meal. Female fleas body size will increase by 140

If you’re interest in learning more about the flea life cycle check out the article I wrote about their life cycle here.

When it comes to taking out fleas in all stages of their life cylce you’re going to want to use an IGR or Insect Growth Regulator. These will target growing fleas and keep them from rapidly growing and spreading even when in the pupae stage.

Jiggers – What are they and how to treat them

hqdefaultA common question I’m asked is if its possible to have flea eggs under your skin and if so how do I get rid of these eggs.

Luckily for us flea eggs under our skin isn’t too common though it does happen. The fleas that burrow into your skin are called Chigoe fleas or better known as Jiggers. Jiggers are commonly found in tropical and sandy areas.

Jiggers typically embed themselves into the soles of your feet when walking around a beach. They are so small though you really can’t feel them enter your skin. Once in your skin though they can grow up to 2,000 times their original size. This makes your skin itchy or irritated. They are able to bury themselves so deep into your skin that you have to cut them out using a scalpel.

Once inside your body the Jiggers will feed and breed inside of you. The jiggers can also cause Tungiasis.

What is Tungiasis

Tungiasis is where female Chigoe Fleas burrow into the skin of their host. They usually target feet and ankles like most fleas. When the Chigoe Fleas bury themselves into your skin it causes severe infection.

Tungiasis is commonly described as having a white patch with a black dot in the center. The black dog is known as a lesson and the fleas use it to breath. The black dot can range anywhere from 4 to 10 millimeters.

How to treat Jiggers

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You need to go see a doctor. You can’t go to a store and rub a lotion on your skin that removes the fleas. You need to go a doctor so your feet can be washed and cleaned. Once your feet are washed a professional needs to remove the sand fleas from your skin.

Proper Jigger removal is important. Jiggers become irritating after the female chigoe flea swells under your skin. This can lead to ulcers. Removing these fleas as quickly as possible or it can lead to severe infection if the flea dies under your skin.

Do not try and remove the jiggers yourself. This can be very dangerous and can lead to injury or infection. Go see a doctor and have them take care of it for you immediately.

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How do I know if I have Jiggers?

The first sign of having jiggers is a small black dot at the center of a red, irritated bump on your skin. This is the bite and where the jigger buried itself. In the later stage of having Jiggers it will be easy to identify Chigoe fleas because they are incredibly unique.

What do flea bites look like?

IMG_3328With so many creatures out there trying to bite us it can be difficult to determine which creatures are biting you. I’m writing this article in hopes that you will be able to look at the bites and determine if they are flea bites.

Fleas will bite you anywhere they can get to. They most commonly bite you on your ankles or feet though. If your ankles and feet are covered in bites its very likely that it’s fleas.

>>Click here to find out how to remove fleas with steam<<

fleasFlea bites look like small red dots on your skin. Most of the time you wont notice the bites until they start to itch which is caused by the saliva of the fleas. When the bites start to itch most people scratch them hard enough to draw blood which leaves a small open hole on the bite.

If the bites are in a nearly perfect straight line then they may not be flea bites. You could have bed bugs. Bed bugs are very lazy and don’t want to move much so they walk in a straight line and continuously bite their host. If you suspect it may be bed bugs please check out my article explaining the difference between bed bug and flea bites. Click here read that article!

Below is a Gallery of flea bites on humans to help you better identify your bites.

 

How to treat flea bites

Fleas can be incredibly irritating and will itch you into insanity. If you can you should treat the flea bites as quickly as possible to keep the bites from itching. There are various treatments for flea bites that will relive itching and help treat your wounds faster. You can use just about any anti-itching treatments such as cortisone or Aloe Vera Lotion.

If you want to know more about flea bites please check out this flea bites article that will provide more useful information like this!

Do fleas have wings?

Fleas don’t have wings. Instead of having wings fleas have the ability to jump tremendous distances making it seem like they can fly.

>>Check out how remove fleas from cars<<

Wingless Fleas

Xenopsylla_cheopis_flea_PHIL_2069_loresFleas are member of the order Siphonaptera. Siphon meaning “tube” in latin and aptera meaning “wingless”. Fleas most likely descended from insects with wings. Though they don’t have wings they can still jump incredible distances so keep an eye out!

Jumping

Since they can’t fly they instead propel their bodies great distances. Fleas can jump and average of 8 inches horizontally. They have been recorded to have jumped 20 inches when hungry enough. Vertically though fleas have  been known to jump 13 inches high.

The distance fleas can jump depends on the type of flea. There are various different kinds such as rat fleas, cat fleas, dog fleas, and rabbit fleas.

>>Click here to find out how to kill fleas with steam<<

Can other parasites fly?

Bed_bug,_Cimex_lectulariusYou may be wondering if there are other parasites that can fly. Below I’m going to list the more common parasites and whether or not they can fly.

Lice – Lice cannot fly or jump. They aren’t able to live longer than 24 hours outside of a host.

Tick – Cannot fly. Since ticks cannot fly they instead sit on leaves or grass waiting for a host to walk by. This is known as questing. When a host walks by they either drop from a tree onto their host or crawl onto their host from grass.

Bed Bugs – Cannot fly or jump. They instead tend to crawl around looking for host. The reason they are called bed bugs though is because they tend to bite while you’re sleeping. This means they don’t really need to fly or jump.