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We've got it in for fleas!

Like it or not, if you've got a dog or cat and no protection, fleas are a fact of life. It's your job to deal with this nasty parasite for the sake of your pet and your family. But how much do you know about these six-legged pests?

For example, how many different types are there living on our dogs and cats in the UK? How do they live and reproduce in your home? And - drum roll - how dangerous are they for your pet and your family?

Of course, your vet can tell you all about flea protection - but amazingly there's still information we need to know and understand to stop these home invaders. The Big Flea Project aims to fill those gaps in our knowledge so we can fight the flea threat together!

We're getting on the case

To take the fight to fleas, we want to know:

  • how common each flea species is in the UK
  • which diseases are carried by these fleas
  • how many fleas are carrying disease

How it works
We're asking vets to pick five random dogs and cats a week who come to their surgery, for four weeks, and examine them for fleas. Anything found will be sent to the University of Bristol to analyse and record.

Big Flea Project dog imagery
Big Flea Project cat imagery
Big Flea Project house imagery


Vets will send their flea samples during May and June 2018. When all the recording and complicated lab stuff is done, results will be published some time in 2019.

We want to make sure that:

  • both vets and pet owners have the information and everything they need to

fight the flea threat!


There are about 60 species of flea in the UK but the commonest one found on both dogs and cats is Ctenocephalides felis, the cat flea - which also loves dogs!