Actual Size: Approximately 3mm

Characteristics: Reddish-brown color, compressed body.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: No

Habitat: Prefers moist, humid, and shady areas in tall grass or shrubbery. Usually enters structures attached to pets.


  • Feed solely on the blood of warmblooded hosts.
  • Adaptable to many different climates, but most successful in moist, humid, and shady areas.
  • Larvae can live in carpets, bedding, pet beds, and upholstered furniture.

Fleas in Mid-South TN

Fleas are small, wingless blood-sucking parasites that live on the exterior of their host. Adult fleas feed only on blood. Fleas are the most common ectoparasites found on household pets and prolonged flea exposure can lead to health issues for pets. Fleas will bite people too, especially during spring and early summer when their numbers increase.

Flea Habitat

In residential areas, fleas frequently overwinter in the area underneath a porch or deck. Areas with tall grass, leaf litter, weeds, wood piles, gravel, and sandy patches are also attractive to fleas. Even the tiniest crack in concrete can harbor fleas/ They do not fare well in sunny areas or open grass. 

Fleas usually come inside on pets, where they make themselves at home. Flea larvae try to avoid excess light, so carpets, bedding, pet beds, and upholstered furniture make cozy homes for them.

Flea Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Bites from fleas look like small red dots. They may occur in groups of two or three or small clusters near the feet, ankles, and legs. Flea bites may trigger allergic reactions, but are unlikely to have a serious impact on a person’s health. Some people and pets get flea bite dermatitis, which produces intense itching, hair loss, reddening of the skin, and secondary infection. A single flea bite can trigger a reaction, and itching can last up to five days afterward.

If you are dealing with a flea infestation, contact your local flea exterminators for help.