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Ctenocephalides felis

Appearance

  • 1/16"-1/8" long wingless ticks.
  • Flattened from side to side.
  • Have long legs enabling them to jump.
  • They have both genal and pronotal combs (ctenidia), differentiating them from most other fleas of domestic animals.

Lifecycle

  • Fleas pass through four stages: eggs, larva, pupa, adult. The eggs are small and white.
  • These stages combined vary from two weeks to eight months.
  • The adult flea is awakened by the detection of vibration of pet or human movement, pressure, heat, noise, or carbon dioxide for potential blood meals.
  • A cat flea cannot complete is life–cycle feeding only on human blood.

Habits

  • These 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.
  • These fleas nest where the host is in its usual resting place, for example the cat basket. This is where the young drop to mature.

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