Fleas have got to be one of the most persistent and annoying pests. They often come into our houses with our animals and can stay for quite a while. It’s very common for cats and dogs to have fleas. But what about reptiles? And more specifically, what about leopard geckos?
Can leopard geckos get fleas?
Leopard geckos cannot carry or get fleas. Fleas need fur to live in and lay their eggs in. But, this doesn’t mean leopard geckos are safe from fleas! Fleas can still bite reptiles, and in worst-case scenarios, fleas can even give your leopard gecko other parasites!
If you think your leopard gecko has fleas there could be a few different things going on! Let’s talk about the possible sources of the fleas around your gecko and what else those little bugs could be!
How Do Animals Get Fleas?
Before we talk about what might be bothering your leopard gecko, let’s do a little overview of fleas, and how they operate.
Fleas are tiny flightless insects that survive as parasites on birds and mammals. Fleas get food by drinking blood from their host animal. Fleas are best suited to live in feathers or fur and need this environment to reproduce. Even though fleas cannot use reptiles to reproduce, they are able to bite and feed on them.
Generally, animals will get fleas from spending time outdoors. However, even animals like indoor cats can get fleas. This is because fleas are persistent and can jump from host to host until they find a spot to lay their eggs.
Are Fleas Dangerous?
Flea bites can range from annoying and itchy to dangerous. One flea bite is no issue but a bunch of them can be very uncomfortable.
On top of that, fleas can also act as vectors or carriers for other parasites. Fleas can carry tapeworms which will eventually cause a pet to become very sick if left untreated. Fleas can also cause a host animal to become anemic. While your leo won’t have enough fleas on them to become anemic, there is a chance that one flea might transmit another parasite to your gecko.
How Do Fleas Get Into Your Leopard Gecko’s Enclosure?
If your leopard gecko doesn’t go outside, how would fleas even get into their enclosure?
Well, fleas can’t fly but they can jump incredible distances! Your other pets might be bringing fleas into the house and those fleas could be jumping into your gecko’s enclosure. If you live in an area where fleas are common, they may have even jumped on you and then straight to your gecko.
Can Fleas Hurt Your Leopard Gecko?
Fleas can bite your leopard gecko, but they aren’t able to stay for long. Without the presence of fur or feathers, fleas will quickly move on to find another host. Your gecko is not in any serious danger from the presence of fleas.
It’s just not possible for your scaly friend to “get” or be a carrier for fleas. Which is good news for us reptile lovers!
How To Get Rid Of Fleas In Your Tank
Even though fleas aren’t a great danger to your reptile, it’s still a good idea to clean your tank if there are fleas around.
To clean your Gecko’s tank, you should take them out and put them in another temporary enclosure for the day. Always clean your leopard gecko’s tank with something that isn’t harmful to them. A homemade vinegar solution should do the trick!
If you feel like you just can’t get rid of the fleas, you need to figure out where the fleas are coming from. If any of the other pets in your house has fleas, make sure you have them on some sort of flea prevention! You can consult your veterinarian to pick the best one for you. Unless you treat the source, it’s possible the fleas just might keep coming back!
And unfortunately, there is always the possibility that the bugs you see in your gecko’s enclosure, aren’t fleas.
They Might Not Be Fleas.
The odds of fleas bothering your gecko are low. But, there are a few other bugs you might be seeing on your gecko or in their home. Fleas are small, thin, and jump to move. They look like tiny black dots to the naked eye. But, if the bugs in your gecko’s tanks aren’t matching this description, keep reading!
Does Your Leopard Gecko Have Mites?
Mites are another parasite that could be bothering your pet! If the small bugs you see on your gecko aren’t moving or jumping and look like they just stay in one place, they could be mites!
Mites are tiny tic-like arachnids that act as parasites. Unlike fleas, some mite species are very well suited for life on a reptile! Reptile mites are super contagious and once your pet has them, treatment and containment must be your priority. If you’re not sure what mites look like, here is a video showing an infestation of them! If you’re squeamish, you might want to skip this one!
Mites can reproduce on reptiles, so your pet can quickly become overwhelmed by them. Even though leopard geckos are solitary animals, mites could easily spread to animals in other tanks around the room! If you just see a couple of mites. you can try giving your leopard gecko a couple of warm water soaks each day.
If the situation isn’t getting better, you should probably take your gecko to see the vet, and they can provide you with more in-depth treatment options.
Do You Feed Pinhead Crickets To Your Gecko?
Another bug you might be mistaking fleas for is baby pinhead crickets!
Are you feeling pinhead crickets to your gecko? If so, you might have found that these crickets have bred and there are super tiny crickets present in your gecko’s enclosure now. These crickets aren’t a danger to your gecko, especially if they enjoy eating them, but can get out of hand in the wrong situations!
One way to avoid having baby crickets is to feed your geckos crickets one by one, and never allow them to stay in the enclosure for long periods of time. Especially if your gecko isn’t the best hunter, you need to keep count of how many crickets are in their tank at all times!
What’s The Take-Away?
Your leopard gecko can’t get fleas for a long time, but fleas can still bite them. If fleas are present in your home, you need to figure out where they are coming from and start fixing the issue from there. Your gecko could also be living with other organisms like mites or baby pinhead crickets.
Always practice good husbandry and clean your gecko’s home often, so you can avoid any icky infestations. And, if you are faced with an alarming amount of critters living in your gecko’s home, make sure to get them into the veterinarian for a health check-up.