Fleas in Australia

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

 

 

  • Cat Flea

    (Ctenocephalides felis)
    Cat Flea

    Identifying Characteristics

    • laterally compressed bodies
    • Greatly enlarged hind legs which enable them to jumb long distances
    • Piercing, sucking mouth parts
    • Strong Tarsal Claws which enable them to grasp their hosts
    • Rear pointing hairs and bristles to allow for easy movement through the host's hair or fur
  • Dog Flea

    (Ctenocephalides canis)
    Dog Flea

    Characteristics

    • Adult fleas mate on their host and the non adhesive eggs fall to the ground below
    • After a blood meal, the female can lay 15-20 eggs in one day and around 600 in her lifetime
    • Eggs hatch in about 2 days to 2 weeks into larvae which are found in cracks and crevices, along skirting boards, under rugs and in furniture & beds
    • Outdoors, the eggs develop in kennels, sub-floors and shaded, grassy areas.
    • Larvae are blind and legless and don't like the light. They pass through three larvae stages.
    • The larvae stages last between one week to several months and don't feed on the hosts blood, but rather on disgorged blood from adult fleas, dead skin, hair, feathers and assorted organic debris
    • Adult fleas emerge from the pupal after 5-14 days