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Danielle asked 7 months ago

A few days before Thanksgiving, I came in from outside, went into my bedroom to change into some slippers, came back down to the living room and sat down…only a matter of a few minutes. Looked down and saw a flea on my leg, which I caught and killed. I decided to wait it out before any treatment since I was outside and the weather was changing so I thought maybe it hiked a ride into get the warm. I did take a flea trap and move around to all the rooms and never caught anything. I do vacuum and mop almost everyday because of having little children and there is always a cut up flea collar and DE in my vacuum bags. After that we didn’t see any activity. Fast forward to Christmas and we went away for the holiday for 5 days, I kept the flea trap on in the living room while we were gone as a precaution. We came back yesterday and I looked at the trap and didn’t notice anything till I was setting it down and then noticed a small spec along the edge of the trap. I couldn’t tell what it was from just looking at it, looked like a small speck of dirt or a fuzzy but I got a piece of clear tape and tried to take the speck off. It broke apart/ disintegrated really easy as I was pulling it off the trap but I did get a little piece removed and used my son’s microscope to look at it. There is a leg and part of a body that seems to be the same color as a flea but I’m not 100% sure it is one because it seems smaller than ones I’ve seen/caught in the past, because I don’t have the full body, and because it broke apart so easily. Other fleas that I’ve caught, I’ve rubbed in between my fingers and they’ll not break down. Also, I usually see them in the middle of the trap as they jump in and not along the edge like it walked in. I have seen booklice around our home so I don’t know if they would crawl into a trap or not. Our pest management guy is coming on the 3rd to do his regular inspection so I’m not sure if I should have him go ahead and treat floors or wait to see if we find more. We don’t have any pets but live in the country where wildlife comes into our yard and we do have 3 neighbor dogs that come sniffing around the yard regularly. I do have littles that like to lay on the floor with their pillows and stuffed animals all the time, even when I’m always telling them to keep that type of stuff up and off the floor. No bites on anyone that I’ve noticed. (I have pictures of the bug parts but can’t seem to get them to upload on here)

Danielle replied 7 months ago

Thanks for the info. We did find a dead shrew in our basement today which is under our living room (yuck). I’m guessing fleas could hitch a ride on them like they do on mice?? I’ll just keep doing what I am and hope that none came in with him or that we stopped it in time.

Adam Retzer FleaScience replied 7 months ago

Rodents can carry fleas. However, they aren’t the same species that infest dogs and cats (and domestic settings). Shrews aren’t rodents, but they do have a flea species that is highly host-specific to them.

1 Answers
Adam Retzer FleaScience answered 7 months ago

Danielle,

From what you’ve described, it doesn’t sound like you have a flea infestation in your home. I don’t think you’ll need to do any indoor treatments.

It also doesn’t sound like the specimen you’ve collected on the edge of the trap is a flea. It’s probably some other insect. A large variety of insects (and other creatures) are attracted to light. I’ve even seen images of spiders, scorpions, and lizards being caught.

If the specimen you caught was fuzzy, perhaps it was a carpet beetle larva? The folks over at r/whatsthisbug would probably be able to provide you a better identification than me (if it isn’t a flea).

I’m sorry I don’t currently have the ability to upload images to FleaScience. However, you can always upload the images to imgur.com (no account needed) and then post a link here.

Warm regards and happy new year!
Adam

Danielle replied 7 months ago

http://imgur.com/a/XYFEb
It isn’t a very good pictures and is just bits of something so I’m not sure anyone can tell what it is. I’ll try the other site you suggested too. Thanks

Adam Retzer FleaScience replied 7 months ago

Yeah, I’m not sure what that is. Interesting picture though.

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