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Cat Fleas

Ctenocephalides felis (Bouche), can elicit more than the proverbial itch. This species of blood feeder is one of the primary infestants encountered by homeowners.

Fleas are both medically and veterinarily significant because of their ability to transmit diseases like murine typhus and plague.

Although there are over 250 species of fleas described in North America (Pratt 1957), only a few are commonly encountered by humans with enough frequency to be considered pests.

Outdoors, fleas are most abundant during humid, rainy summers and are more common outside in the southern United States than in the north. Indoors, warmth and high relative humidities are conducive to large populations. The sudden appearance of large numbers of adult fleas in mid-summer and fall (”flea seasons”) is due in large part to the onset of higher humidities and temperatures which permit larval development to accelerate. Larvae may undergo arrested development in less than favorable conditions.

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