As the number of people keeping pet reptiles continues to increase, the number of questions that we see people from the community asking each month also increases.
We really do see pretty much every question you can think of about keeping pet reptiles but one question that has caught our eye recently is the people asking can reptiles get fleas?
This is due to there having been a number of discussions on social media recently that ended up getting headed as there were multiple people on both sides of the argument who were convinced that they were right.
Due to this, we decided to publish our own article going over the topic of reptiles getting fleas to try and help as many of our readers as possible who may be wondering what this parasite is that they can see on their pet reptile.
Can Reptiles Get Fleas?
The simple answer to this is no, reptiles cannot get fleas.
There are a number of reasons for this but the main one is that fleas need warm-blooded animals to survive and as reptiles are cold-blooded, they do not provide the ideal environment for fleas to live in and lay their eggs.
A female flea can lay up to 50 eggs per day but she will need a suitable host to do this.
As reptiles do not have fur, the flea would also struggle to grip onto the skin of the reptile which would make it very difficult for them to feed.
Due to the majority of vivarium setups having unsuitable temperatures and humidity levels for fleas to survive in too, the chances of fleas randomly ending up on your pet reptile really are small.
But I Can See Fleas On My Reptile!
Just because reptiles can’t get fleas does not mean that they can’t get other types of parasite.
This is a surprisingly common issue, especially with people who are new to keeping pet reptiles as they presume that all parasites are fleas but this is not correct.
Here is a quick list of the most common external parasites that can live on your pet reptile that are commonly mistaken for fleas:-
This is why people on social media argue that they can see fleas on their reptiles but they are usually just seeing mites and thankfully, mites tend to be much easier to treat than fleas.
Mites are definitely the most common external parasite on reptiles and they can cause a lot of problems for the reptile if they are not treated.
They are very small creatures that look like tiny spiders and they can be difficult to spot as they move around very quickly.
Mites can live on the skin of the reptile and they can also get into their eyes, ears and nose, which can lead to them becoming infected.
If you think that your pet reptile may have mites, you should take them to a vet as soon as possible so that they can be treated.
Snake mites are the most common type of mites that can live on a reptile and we have our dedicated article going over dealing with snake mites that may be helpful.
Lice are ectoparasites that can live on the skin of reptiles and they are usually found around the head and neck area.
They are small, wingless insects that feed on the skin of the reptile and they can cause a lot of irritation.
If you think that your pet reptile may have lice, you should take them to a vet so that they can be treated.
Although many people think that lice and fleas are the same, they are slightly different and lice lack the ability to jump and some types of lice can live on reptiles.
Ticks are another type of ectoparasite that can live on reptiles and they are usually found around the head and neck area.
They are small, wingless insects that feed on the blood of the reptile and they can cause a lot of irritation.
Ticks can be difficult to spot as they are small but if you look closely, you should be able to see them.
You can usually remove ticks at home and the tick removal tools are cheap and should only cost you a couple of dollars.
Worms are another type of parasite that can live on reptiles and they are usually found around the anus.
They can be small or large, depending on the type of worm and they can cause a lot of irritation.
Worms are usually obviously worms due to their string like appearance and white color making it obvious that they are not fleas.
Worms are usually an internal parasite that are pooped out of your reptile and then hang around the anus so you will usually need medication to deal with them.