HI, we have been suffering from an infestation of what we thought were cat fleas.
We have been using Frontline Spot-on on our (one) cat for years and never had a problem, but over the last few weeks I have been getting bitten around the ankles. A quick scan of the Internet seems to show that many people are finding Frontline less effective recently, so we are changing to another brand (Advocate)
Realising that it was probably the house that needed treating as much as the pet, we have been spraying and vaccuuming obsessively and clearing out stored stuff from under our beds.
But I was still getting bitten.
In desperation (and to try to work out the scale of the problem in different rooms) I bought one of those flea traps with a small light bulb and a sticky pad.
To my horror, over the last few days we have collected over 70 "fleas" on this trap, while it has been under, or at the foot of, our bed. This is even after several "once a year" spays from the most expensive household flea spray we can find.
Meanwhile, I have been going over the cat with a flea comb, and finding the odd one, and that's what's prompted my question!
I now have a pretty good idea of what a cat flea looks like, and what I've caught on this trap don't look the same.
The bodies are a bit mushed up by being stuck on the pad, but they are smaller, blacker, rounder and seem to have longer thinner legs than what I've found on the cat. They look almost like tiny spiders.
Sorry for the quality of the pics, but I hope they give you an idea. Maybe I'm just getting paranoid and this is what young fleas look like? (the ones in the last pic DO look a bit more like "normal" fleas).
If not, can you tell me what they are and where they might be living (and how to rid oureselves of them would be nice too!)
It's hard to say what they are from the photographs. The only suggestion I can give is to look on this site http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ent58.asp for further information as to what your infestation could be.
I hope this helps,
They are fleas, but to tell which species much better photographs would be needed (the differences are on microscope-level). It can be cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis), but other species might attack the cat as well (just as the cat fleas might go for humans). And cats that are allowed to go outdoors get fleas.
Fleas have a complete metamorphosis (i.e. egg->larva->pupa->imago), so the reply to your question "this is what young fleas look like?" is that the young fleas are flea-larvae who look like small worms and not at all like the adults. See http://www.icb.usp.br/~marcelcp/Ctenocephalidesfelis.htm.
Also see http://www.humanfleas.org/.