Cat Flea (Ctenocephalides felis) and Dog Flea (Ctenocephalides canis)
Cat and Dog Fleas are very similar in appearance and live exclusively as parasites of warm-blooded animals, especially mammals. Whilst they show a certain degree of host preference, fleas are by no means specific and will feed on other animals in the absence of the normal host.
In fact they tend to be more nest than host-specific, for whilst the adults may feed on the blood of a variety of animals the larvae require more precise conditions which are associated with the habitats of the hosts rather than the characteristics of their blood.
In Europe, fleas are not generally responsible for the transmission of disease. However, they are still objectionable because of the bites they inflict and the deep-rooted social stigma attached to humans with flea infestations.
Flea bites are identified as a tiny dark red spot surrounded by a reddened area. The bite persists several days and is intensely irritating. First bites are not generally liable to cause serious infections, but they may lead to hypersensitivity.
Look Out For:
- bite marks on the body, particularly around the ankles and lower leg.
- flea dirt - black specks on your pet or in your pet's bed;
- pet aggitation or scratching