Fleas

Fleas are brownish red in color and feed on the blood of their hosts. Cat and dog fleas are the most common type of fleas.

 
 
FLea-cycle

Life cycle

 
 
Cat-flea-dog-flea

Fleas

 
Flea Description Family: Boreidae Scientific Name: Ctenocephalides felis (cat flea), Ctenocephalides canis (dog flea), Pulex irritans (Human flea), Spilopsyllus cuniculi (rabbit flea), Xenopsylla cheopis (tropical rat flea), Archaeopsyllus erinacei (hedgehog flea), ceratophyllus gallinae (bird flea), Hystrichopsylla talpae (mole flea).
Cat Flea Adults, 2-3.25mm long; forepart of head longer than it is high; prominent pronotal and genal combs (first teeth of genal comb nearly as long as second); basal section of legs equipped with stout spines. Dog Flea Adults, 2-3.25mm long; forepart of head as long as it is high; prominent pronotal and genal combs (first teeth of genal comb only about half as long as second); basal section of legs equipped with stout spines. Host/habitat: especially members of Canidae family, also domestic animals and man; found particularly in host bedding. Human Flea Adults, 2-3.5mm long; no pronotal or genal comb; basal section of legs equipped with stout spines. Host/habitat: especially man, but will also breed on pigs, hedgehogs, foxes and badgers; found in homes, usually in bedrooms. Rabbit Flea Adults, 1.5-2.25mm long; pronotal and genal combs, the latter with five vertically arranged rounded spines; basal section of legs equipped with stout spines. Host/habitat: especially rabbits in whom it is the main vector of the myxomatosis virus, but will also attack cats; the females are sedentary and attach themselves to the host, especially around the ears and head. Tropical Rat Flea Adults 1.5-2.5mm long; no pronotal or genal comb; row of bristles along back of head; basal section of legs equipped with stout spines. Host/habitat: various rodents, but will also attack man; found especially around ports. Hedgehog Flea Adults 2-3.5mm long; genal comb of 1-3 short spines; pronotal comb of 2-9 spines. Host/habitat: generally associated with hedgehogs, but occasionally brought indoors by dogs, cats and humans; also found in gardens and outbuildings. Bird Flea Adults 2-2.5mm long; no head folds to retain antennae; pronotal comb with more than 24 teeth; no genal comb, no spines on basal section of legs. Host/habitat: especially birds nesting in dry situations but will also attack animals and man; breeding mostly limited to birds’ breeding season, migrating from the nests when fledglings leave. Often originating from birds’ nests in roof spaces. Mole Flea Adults 3.5-6mm long; genal comb of 9-12 spines; pronotal comb of 42-58 spines. Host/habitat: associated with moles; also found in gardens and outbuildings.
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 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. Fleas are commonly found around the world
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