Fleas are a type of wingless parasite found worldwide. They feed off the blood of humans and animals such as dogs and cats. Since fleas use a wide range of hosts, diseases can be transferred from one host to another. Fleas are known to transmit tapeworm larvae and, uncommonly, the disease murine typhus. They are most notorious for transmitting bubonic plague from wild rodents to humans in certain parts of the world (not Australia).
The three main species of flea that infest humans are:
The cat and dog flea are common in Australia. A flea bite is intensely itchy and secondary infections caused by scratching are common.
Symptoms of a flea bite
The bite of a flea has certain features, including:
Treatment for flea bites
Suggestions to treat flea bites include:
Treating your pet for fleas
Infested animals should be treated fortnightly for several weeks. Suggestions on treating your pet include:
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Bird fleas can multiply enormously in hen houses, breeders, batteries and other similar environments.
Adult Dog fleas feed on the blood of dogs and cats, and they occasionally bite humans.
It is a vector of the Dog Tapeworm, Dipylidium caninum, which can also affect humans.
Cat fleas are often unable to determine whether a host is suitable until it has been bitten.
If it is deemed unsuitable, the flea soon drops off.