Classification

Species category: Bed bug and Flea
Scientific name: Siphonaptera
Family: Boreidae

8 different species: 

  1. Ctenocephalides felis (cat flea)
  2. Ctenocephalides canis (dog flea)
  3. Pulex irritans (Human flea)
  4. Spilopsyllus cuniculi (rabbit flea)
  5. Xenopsylla cheopis (tropical rat flea)
  6. Archaeopsyllus erinacei (hedgehog flea)
  7. Ceratophyllus gallinae (bird flea)
  8. Hystrichopsylla talpae (mole flea)

Description

Adults are 1-8mm in length; brownish in colour. The larvae require precise conditions which are associated with the habitats and nesting habits of the hosts rather than the characteristics of their blood. Fleas are laterally flattened (side to side), making it easier to navigate through hair and fur. Fleas are prevalent all around the world. Fleas are most commonly found on mammals, although birds may also be attacked. They show a certain degree of host preference, but are by no means host specific and will feed on other animals in the absence of the normal host.

Behaviour

Adult fleas live exclusively as parasites of warm blooded animals. They will feed on many animals. Fleas don’t have wings but are the most impressive jumpers in the insect world. Moving from host to host by taking impressive leaps, they reach up to 100-150 times their own height. That’s 18cm vertically and 33cm horizontally. The eggs often drop to the ground from the host and inhabit carpets and other surfaces where they find organic matter and other debris to feed from. 

Risks

Once a flea finds a host, it is reluctant to leave. Each species has the ability to cause problems for humans and animals. As vectors, they transmit diseases such as murine typhus and tapeworm. Their saliva contains allergens that can trigger reactions in both animals and humans. Bites are generally harmless but cause inflammation, itching and a puncture wound that leads to secondary infections and hair loss when victims scratch the wounds. A large infestation causes an anaemia that can kill small animals. 

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What Our Clients Are Saying

  • This is a short note to let you know that my wife and I are very pleased with the recent work you did treating our white ant infestation. Discovery of white ants eating our Bathroom wall was certainly alarming but we became even more concerned when our enquiries to a number of other companies about treating the problem raised more questions than answers. From the outset we were very pleased with not only the thoughtfulness with which you went about your work but also your high degree of professionalism.
    Mitch Maroochydore – Feb 2018
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