Flea is the common name Aptera insects belonging to the order Siphonaptera.
Some scientists also use the older term Afaniptera. These are external parasites that feed on the blood of mammals and birds. Because of disease, are very dangerous animals and combated with insecticides and other ways.
The length of insects ranging from 1.5 to 3.3 mm. They are usually brown. Στο κεφάλι φέρουν κοντές κεραίες και στο στόμα έχουν μυζητικά όργανα, με τα οποία απομυζούν το αίμα. The body is laterally compressed to allow the animals to move around in the fur or feathers of their victims (or under the clothes) and the back consists of eight rings. Their legs are long, allowing at wingless pests to perform large jumps, and the back is larger than the front. As a result the body is tilted forward. The jumps are doing is about 200 times larger than the length of their body, making these animals the best jumpers among known animal compared to their body size. Characteristic of the body is also the hardness, that allows the pressure, such as scratching. It is glossy and covered with many hairs and short spines. Regarding the extermination of fleas can be by adhesive tape, or crushed with the nails, to be burned with a lighter or match or choke in the water.
The female flea lays very small, white eggs in places that do not have light and in the corners of houses with dust. The eggs hatch and there is growing larvae, which look like worms. The larvae form a cocoon and transform into perfect insects. They do not have eyes, but the mouth develop organs that allow them to chew. Although adult fleas exclusively fed with blood, the larvae feed on organic materials, including mature flea feces.
Impact on humans
Biting fleas are so annoying, as it causes intense itching, and dangerous because these animals are intermediate hosts for many parasites. In this way can facilitate the spread of epidemics. For the prevention of fleas is sometimes superstitious cleaning houses because pests lay their eggs in dark and dusty places. Also used insecticides. The most common species of flea is the following:
- Cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis)
- Dog flea (Ctenocephalides canis)
- Human flea (Pulex irritans)
- Northern rat flea (Nosopsyllus fasciatus)
- Oriental rat flea (Xenopsylla cheopis)