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Dog Flea


After mating, the femal flea lays several hundred eggs in batches after each blood meal, in the dogs hair, bedding, resting site and in areas where the dog can be found. The eggs are small (0.5mm) white and oval in shape.

From the egg emerges the larval stage which is again white in colour, legless but covered in large bristles. The larvae are not blood suckers but feed on general organic debris which can be found in the hair of the dog. When mature, the flea larva is about 5mm long and it spins a cocoon of silk which very quickly gets covered in a large amount of dust and debris.

The pupa develops within the silken cocoon and, when triggered by suitable stimuli such as vibration, the adults emerge to feed on the dog.


Worldwide, although rare in Oriental and Ethiopian regions.


Although the dog and fox are the preferred hosts for fleas, they are capable of feeding on humans and cats. The distress caused by the bites can be considerable in dogs and humans. Humans going into a premises where a dog had a previously been “in residence” can often suffer a large number of bites.

C.canis is an intermediate host for the cestode tapeworm, Dipylidium caninum, which normally develops in the digestive tract of dogs, cats and some wild carnivores, but also occurs in man and particularly young children.


Please call  East Lancashire Pest Control on 0800 023 6116

Key features

The dog flea is small; the males are 2-2.5mm and the females are 2-3.25mm long.

The adult is reddish brown in colour and is flattened laterally, a feature which enables it to move easily amongst the hair of its vertebrate host.

The most distinctive features of the dog flea are the large jumping legs and the row of non-sensory spines on the front margin of the head and on the rear of the first thoracic segment. These bristles or combs are a diagnostic feature of the dog flea.

The eyes are apparent as are the antennae, and the mouthparts, adapted for piercing and sucking, are typically seen projecting downwards from the head.