Types of Fleas
There are about 2,200 flea species throughout the world, but don’t panic. Humans typically encounter only a few:
Cat flea – This is the most common flea in the United States. Despite its name, the cat flea will suck the blood of not only cats, but also dogs and humans.
Dog flea – The dog flea really does like dogs best. It is more common in Europe than in the United States.
Human flea – The human flea is so named because it is particularly toxic to humans. Its bite can cause allergic reactions or dermatitis, a skin condition. This flea also is a carrier of tapeworms, which can be transmitted to dogs.
Oriental rat flea – This flea is less common in the United States, but it does occasionally appear in warmer weather. The Oriental rat flea prefers rats and mice, but when these animals die, the flea moves elsewhere. The flea might carry with it a bacterial disease known as plague. You may recall from history that bubonic plague, or the “black death,” was one of humanity’s most serious challenges. Today, these fleas can still carry plague. Animal infection is possible, but human infection is rare in modern society. Antibiotics are available to effectively treat an infection.