Actual Size: ⅛”

Characteristics: Wingless with laterally compressed body. Reddish-brown in color.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: No

Habitat: Often found in moist and shady areas of tall grass or shrubbery. Enters homes by attaching to pets.


  • A parasite that feeds on warm-blooded hosts.
  • Withstands many climates but prefers humid and shaded areas.
  • Larvae can live in carpets, bedding, upholstery, and pet beds.

Fleas in the Pacific Northwest

Fleas are tiny parasites that feed on the blood of their host. Adult fleas will attach themselves to the exterior of a warm-blooded host and use them as a constant food supply, leaving behind itchy and potentially dangerous bite marks. These pests are famous for latching onto cats and dogs, and they are often carried indoors in the fur of pets – particularly during summer months when fleas are most active.

Flea Habitat

Though fleas can survive in a multitude of environments, they thrive in areas that are humid and shady. Tall grass, weeds, and wood piles are popular hiding places for these parasites, but they may also hide in porches or decks. Fleas attach themselves to warm-blooded animals that walk through, using them to feed and lay eggs. If fleas manage to get indoors by hitching a ride on your pets, they may also lay eggs in carpet, bedding, and other dark areas. Flea larvae are sensitive to light, so these pests are less likely to infest bright or sunny spaces.

Flea Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Fleas mainly attach to non-human animals, though they can still bite people. Flea bites show up in clusters of small red dots, often around the feet, ankles, or legs. Though flea bites do not usually have a serious impact on health, they can spread disease or trigger serious allergic reactions. Additionally, an outbreak of fleas can cause dermatitis, hair loss, and extreme itching in pets and humans alike. If you are experiencing a flea infestation, a local flea exterminator can help you get rid of these pests quickly and effectively.