Life Cycle

Fleas develop via a number of stages, beginning with the egg, followed by a larva, pupa and finally adult stage. The life cycle of the flea is one of complete metamorphosis. It can be completed in as little as 14 days or be prolonged up to 140 days, depending mainly on temperature and humidity (Silverman et al., 1981). The life cycle of most flea species is characterised by three events: the hatching of the egg, the period from first instar to pupa, and the period from pupa to adult (Linardi et al., 1997). 

Life cycle of the cat and dog flea 
adult; 2 eggs; 3 larva; 4 pupa; preemerged adult 

Egg

Egg morphology

The cat flea eggs possess a widely oval form, rounded at both ends, a in the beginning slightly transparent and later pearly white colour, a 0.5 x 0.3mm size, and a smooth surface which can slightly darken later on (Karandikar and Munshi, 1950). With a size of 0.5x 0.3 mm they are well visible to the naked eye.

Electron microscopic image of a flea egg.
Electron microscopic image of a flea egg (original size 0.5 x 0.3 mm)

Cat flea eggs are laid nearly exclusively on the host by mature females. They do not immediately fall from the animal (Rust and Dryden, 1997) as initially the chorion of the egg is wet, but once the outer egg surface dries, 60% of the eggs drop off within two hours of deposition (Rust, 1992). This drop off is influenced by grooming, hair coat length, and host activity (Rust and Dryden, 1997). Within eight hours about 70% of them are dislodged from the host (Rust, 1992). Dropping off the host, flea eggs accumulate in areas where pets sleep and rest (Byron, 1987).

 

Egg deposition 

Egg deposition by adult cat flea females does not take place during the first 24 hours of blood-feeding and is only less than half of the daily average during the second 24-hour period (Thomas et al., 1996). On cats, fleas reach reproductive maturity within the first week, with a maximum egg output occurring within three to nine days (Williams, 1983; Osbrink and Rust, 1984; Dryden, 1989).

It is suggested that fleas do not mate before blood-feeding or if they do, the mating is unsuccessful. In the cat flea, blood-feeding is apparently necessary for both oviposition and successful mating. Mating however is not necessary for oviposition (Zakson-Aiken et al., 1996).

Fleas are highly reproductive and work with a calculated loss as several other parasites do (Strenger, 1973), however the number of eggs collected in different studies to gain an impression of daily production and total egg count varies greatly between hosts.

Adult female cat fleas may produce from 11 to 46 eggs per day (Osbrink and Rust, 1984; Dryden, 1988,1989;Hink et al., 1991).Numbers reported for total egg numbers per female flea in its lifetime vary substantially ranging between 300 to 500 (Osbrinkand Rust, 1984), 800 to 1000 (Patton, 1931;Smit, 1973) and up to 1,745 eggs during a 50 day period, respectively well over 2,000 eggs over 113 days in unconfined fleas and cats restricted from grooming (Dryden, 1989). Within 24 hours about 1.05-times the body weight is produced in the form of eggs (Dryden and Gaafar 1991).

 

Egg hatching

As for all its life stages the hatching of the cat flea egg is strongly influenced by environmental conditions especially temperature and relative humidity (RH). At 16°C, the number of flea eggs hatching increased with rising RH from about 70% hatching at 33% RH up to 100% hatching at 92% RH. At 27°C, nearly all eggs hatched when there was 50% RH or more. However, at 35°C hatching only took place in moist air (75-92% RH) and moisture conditions below 75% RH caused desiccation. Olsen (1985) found about 70% hatch when eggs were held at 24+/-1°C and 65+/-5% RH. Temperature has a dominant effect on the time required for hatching, which increases from 1.5 to 6.0 days as temperature decreases from 32 to 13°C (Silverman et al., 1981). An exposure to 3°C for one day kills 65% of the eggs. Longer exposures provide complete kill (Silverman and Rust, 1983).

Larva

Most flea species parasitize nest-dwelling animals, and the great majority of flea larvae live in the nest or den of their hosts (Marshall, 1981). Among the nest-inhabiting flea larvae, there is a gradation of dependence on the host and on adult fleas for nutrition (Moser et al. 1991). In cat fleas, both larvae and adults are dependent on the blood of the host, and the larvae can be determined as obligate parasites (Dryden, 1989b). 

 

Larval morphology

Newly hatched flea larvae are slender, white,apod (i.e. without feet), sparsely covered with short hair, two to five millimetres in length, and possess a pair of anal struts (Dryden, 1993). Their body consists of a yellow-to-brownish head (Dryden, 1989a), three thoracal(breast) segments and ten abdominal (belly) segments (Kalvelage and Münster 1991). The larvae have chewing mouth parts (Urquhart et al., 1987) and are free-living (Dryden, 1993). The larvae move by using their skin muscle tube on dry surface, managing to move quite rapidly.  

 

Electron microscopic image of a flea larva hatching from the egg with the egg shell still visible.
Electron microscopic picture of a flea larva hatching from the egg (original size ~ 2 mm)

Larvae of the cat and dog flea pass through two moults, thus having three larval instars. The first larval instar is approximately 2 mm in length, and the third instar can be 4 to 5 mm long (Elbel, 1951; Bacot and Ridewood, 1915). The third larval instar pupates.

 

Larval development

Larval development occurs in protected microhabitats that combine moderate temperatures, high relative humidity (RH) and a source of nutrition in form of adult flea faecal blood (Dryden and Rust, 1994).

 

Electron microscopic image of a flea larva in its environment with environmental structures visible.
Electron microscopic image of a flea larva in its environment

Once larvae start feeding on adult flea faeces, the colour of their gut which can be seen from outside turns into ruby red (Strenger, 1973), giving the larvae overall a brownish colour. 

Flea larvae are negatively phototactic (i.e. they move away from light), positively geotactic (i.e. they follow gravitation) (Byron, 1987) and thigmotactic (i.e. they recognize tactile stimulus and react to mechanical contact) (Strenger, 1973). Flea larvae also orient towards sources of moisture, suggesting some type of hygrotactic response (Byron, 1987). All this allows them to find safe hiding places and protection against desiccation (Strenger, 1973). 

 

Larval nutrition

Larvae feed on adult flea faeces, a unique form of parental investment in Ctenocephalides felis (Silverman and Appel, 1984).  

By imbibing more blood than they can use adults guarantee sufficient nutrition (Moser et al., 1991). This host blood is incompletely utilized by the adult fleas, and excreted as protein and iron-rich faeces (Silverman and Appel, 1984), with haemoglobin providing iron for normal growth and proper sclerotisation as adults, and with serum including all the essential proteins (Moser et al., 1991).  

Adult fleas produce about 0.77 mg of faeces per day without any particular temporal pattern (Kern et al., 1992). A spiral of faeces is formed from the anus ten minutes after feeding (Akin, 1984). 

 

Larval duration 

The larval stage of the cat flea usually lasts five to eleven days, depending on the climate and the availability of food (Lyons, 1915; Silverman et al., 1981).  

Larvae are more sensitive to low humidity than eggs (Silverman et al., 1981) and relative humidity and temperature are major influencing factors in the development and survival of newly hatched larvae (Baker and Elharam, 1992; Dryden, 1993).  

Cat flea larval survival was >90% at temperatures of 21-32°C, but survival dropped to 34% at 38°C (Bruce, 1948). Furthermore, at optimal temperatures, but at RH below 45% or above 95% no larvae survived, while RH of 65-85% resulted in >90% larval survival, and development at 50% RH took twice as long as at 65-85% RH (Bruce, 1948). Others report the minimal RH which allows larval development to be 60% (Pospischil, 1995). 

Cat flea larvae as well as pupae did not survive temperatures of >35°C for >40 hours/month, even when the relative humidity was held constant at 75% (Silverman and Rust, 1983). No larval development is reported to be possible below 15°C, while at 15°C a larval development takes 45 days with first fleas hatching after 70 days in contrast to a whole generation cycle of about 18 days at the 25 and 30°C temperature optimum (Pospischil, 1995). 

 

Larval survival 

Outdoor survival of flea larvae is strongly influenced by temperature and humidity. Not only the nutritional requirements of larvae greatly limit the sites which are suitable for development, but also the necessity for humidity, with suitable outdoor sites even rarer (Dryden and Rust, 1994).  

Flea larvae are not likely to survive outdoors in shade-free areas. Very high larval mortality was reported in sun-exposed areas (100%) and inside structures that trapped heat, such as the doghouse (100%) (Kern et al., 1999). Outdoor development probably occurs only in areas with shaded, moist ground, where flea-infested pets or feral animals spend sufficient time to allow adult flea faeces to be deposited into the environment. Likewise, indoors, flea larvae probably only survive in the protected environment under a carpet canopy or in cracks between hardwood floors in humid climates (Dryden, 1993). 

Pupa

After completing development, the late third instar larva voids its alimentary canal contents in preparation and moves to an undisturbed place to spin a silk-like cocoon in which it pupates (Lyons, 1915; Karandikar and Munshi, 1950; Joseph, 1981). Flea cocoons can be found in soil, on vegetation, in carpets, under furniture, and on animal bedding (Dryden, 1993). 

 

Pupal morphology 

The principal factors triggering pupation are declining levels of juvenile insect hormone (Grant, 1996). The silkin excreted for the cocoon is produced by the salivary glands (Strenger, 1973), and the resulting cocoon consists of soft and moist silk-like material (Dryden, 1993). It measures about 4 by 2 mm (Soulsby, 1982), is loosely spun, whitish in colour (Dryden, 1993) and coated with dust and debris because of its stickiness (Soulsby, 1982), which aids in camouflaging it perfectly (Karandikar and Munshi, 1950; Dryden, 1989).  

 

Electron microscopic image of a flea pupa in a U-shaped form
Electron microscopic image of a flea pupa

Pupal development 

Within the pupal cocoon three distinct stages are found in the order Siphonaptera: First the U-shaped larval prepupa, then a true exarate pupa and finally the preemergent adult, which has completed its pupal-imaginal moult but remains within the cocoon for varying lengths of time (Silverman et al., 1981) (see under Preemerged Adult). 

The U-shaped larva begins pupal development about 18 hours after the completion of the cocoon (Dryden and Smith, 1994).  

At 27+/-2°C, females pupate within about 32 hours and males within about 44 hours (Dryden and Smith, 1994).  

When pupae were maintained at 24.4°C and 78% RH, adult Ctenocephalides felis began to emerge eight days after the initiation of pupal development and by day 13, all fleas emerged (Dryden, 1988). Females develop into adults about 1.6 days faster than males (Dryden and Smith, 1994) 

 

Pupal survival 

While the cocoon is not essential for the development of adults (Dryden and Smith, 1994), it offers some benefits, e.g. protection from ant predation (Silverman and Appel, 1984), somewhat impeding adult emergence and offering protection from non-host-produced stimuli and thus minimising non-host-induced emergence (Silverman and Rust, 1985).  

The pupa is suggested to be the stage most likely to survive extended periods in cool dry climates and the immature stage most resistant to desiccation: 80% survived to adulthood at 2% RH and 27°C (Silverman et al., 1981). Exposure to 35°C during pupal development is uniformly lethal (Silverman et al., 1981) as is exposure to 3°C for five days and 8°C for 20 days (Silverman and Rust, 1983).  

The term ‘pupal window’ describes the fact that the pupal stage can be as short as ten days, but the preemerged adults might remain in the cocoons for up to six months (Dryden, 1996). 

Preemerged Adult

Depending on the temperature inside the cocoon the flea develops via the stages prepupa and pupa within seven to 19 days into an adult which at first rests inside the cocoon (Karandikar and Munshi, 1950; Silverman et al., 1981). The observation of adult fleas remaining quiescent for prolonged periods within the pupal cocoon before emergence has been made by several researchers (Bacot, 1914; Karandikar and Munshi, 1950; Silverman et al., 1981) and characterises the so-called preemerged adult. 

 

Preemerged survival 

The preemerged adult has a lower respiratory demand than the emerged adult and its survival is considerably longer at low humidity (Silverman and Rust, 1985). It can be suggested that the preemerged stage is ideal for prolonged survival during the absence of hosts or during unfavourable environmental conditions such as in winter or midsummer (Metzger and Rust, 1997). 

About 60% of adult fleas successfully emerge from cocoons held at 13°C by day 140 after eggs are collected (Silverman et al., 1981), and at 15.5°C, some adults emerge as late as 155 days (Metzger, 1995). Exposure to lower temperatures of 3°C for ten days and -1°C for five days was lethal to preemerged adults. In contrast to emerged adults which died at a 90% rate when held at 2% RH and 16°C, all preemerged adults could survive for >35 days. In saturated air the survival rates improved in both stages (Silverman and Rust, 1985). According to Rust and Dryden (1997) the decreased metabolic activity may in part explain the increased longevity of preemerged adults. 

In summary, the preemerged adult represents a developmental stage of the cat flea offering the possibility to survive non-parasitic periods without being harmed (Silverman and Rust, 1985). 

 

Emergence stimuli 

Even though there is a direct relationship between temperature and rate of adult emergence of Ctenocephalides felis, at a given temperature a proportion of the flea population has been observed to remain in the cocoon for extended periods (Silverman and Rust, 1985). Different emergence periods are thought to be caused by different environmental conditions and emergence stimuli, but under similar environmental conditions are believed to result at least partly from the nourishment status of the pupae (Silverman and Rust, 1985). Nevertheless, the primary factor responsible for initiating adult emergence will be host-produced stimuli (Silverman and Rust, 1985). 

Pressure and heat are the two main stimuli inducing rapid emergence from the cocoon, in detail pressure of 13-254 g/cm2 and temperature between 32-38°C (Silverman and Rust, 1985). In the absence of stimuli, adults emerging gradually over several weeks, depending on ambient temperature, with the length of time spent in the cocoon related to prepupal weight (Silverman and Rust, 1985). 

Due to the fact that frequent hosts of cat fleas do not necessarily return to flea-infested lairs, a successful attack of a mobile host necessitates immediate emergence and host-seeking behaviour (Silverman and Rust, 1985), making the emergence stimulated by warmth and pressure understandable. 

Adult

Once the adult flea emerges from the cocoon, it will not undergo any further moults, and the only size increase occurs due to swelling of the abdomen after feeding (Dryden, 1989a).  

To identify the different species of Ctenocephalides spp. the outer appearance of the imagines can be used (see also Morphology).  

 

Host seeking stimuli 

After emerging from the cocoon, the flea almost immediately begins seeking a host (Dryden, 1993) and a blood meal (Dryden, 1989a). Visual and thermal factors have been found to be primarily responsible for attraction and orientation to the host (Osbrink and Rust, 1985). The combination of different stimuli (e.g. tactile, CO2, air currents, light) and the age of the adult flea stimulates the locomotion and modifies the responsiveness of the adult flea. At the same time this limits the environmental interference during the process of host location (Osbrink and Rust, 1985). 

Visual stimuli have shown to be attractive to the cat flea, but even in their absence, fleas were attracted by heat with air currents (created by a warmed moving target), as well as CO2 increased flea activity (also reported by Benton and Lee, 1965), quantifiable only in the absence of visual stimuli (Osbrink and Rust, 1985). 

Adult cat fleas display positive phototaxis and negative geotaxis in both the unfed and engorged state (Dryden, 1988). By that, the newly emerged cat flea residing in the carpet will move on top of the carpet canopy where it will be able to jump onto a passing host (Dryden, 1989a), enhancing the success in host acquisition (Dryden and Rust, 1994). The cat flea has proved to be most sensitive to light with wavelengths between 510 and 550 nm (green light) and insensitive to wavelengths between 650 and 700 nm (Crum et al., 1974; Pickens et al., 1987). Their responsiveness to light can be used to capture fleas in light traps (Dryden and Rust, 1994). 

Fleas possess specialised, powerful legs for jumping onto a host with thirty-four centimetres recorded in jumping (Dryden, 1996). According to Osbrink and Rust (1985) their jump seems to be directed but not precise, responding to the amount of stimulus and not to the pattern. An increase of the size of the visual stimulus increases the response of the stimulus, thus a potential host is the more attractive to the flea the larger its size is (Osbrink and Rust, 1985). Additional stimulation in form of air movements was necessary to evoke a directed jump onto a stationary heated target, which was simply causing attraction and orientation in the cat flea (Osbrink and Rust, 1985).  

 

Survival of unfed adults 

Newly emerged, unfed cat fleas can survive several days before taking a blood meal. In cool, dry air, 10% of them survived for 20 days, while in moisture saturated air, 62% survived for 62 days (Silverman and Rust, 1985). Derived from investigations with different environmental conditions, the survival time of unfed adult cat fleas increases with increasing humidity and sinking temperature and varies between 0.5 days at 35°C/2% RH and 40 days at 16°C/100% RH (Silverman et al., 1981). No life cycle stage (egg, larva, pupa or adult) can survive for ten days at 3°C or five days at -1°C (Silverman and Rust, 1983).  

Survival rates for fed imagines (without details on environmental conditions) are largely variable ranging between234 days (Bacot, 1914), 58 days (Soulsby, 1968) and 11.8 days (Osbrink and Rust, 1984).  

 

Reproduction 

Once on a host, the cat flea begins feeding within seconds and mating occurs on the host in the first eight to 24 hours, with most females having mated by 34 hours (Akin, 1984; Dryden, 1990) (see also under Egg). Female cat fleas seem to have multiple matings, for young as well as fully mature and gravid females have been observed in the act of mating (Akin, 1984).  

After the first blood meal, the flea must continue to feed and reproduce in order to keep its metabolism in balance (Baker, 1985). The adult flea is the perfect example of a parasite that must live on its host in order to survive. As an adult, its only function is to reproduce and it must feed constantly in order to do so (Baker, 1985).  

 

Adult survival 

Once cat fleas feed on a host for a few days and initiate reproduction, they apparently reach a point at which they become dependent on a constant source of blood (Dryden, 1993). By now the cat flea is thought to be a permanent parasite of its host. Fleas leaving the host will either be dead or will die within four days (Dryden, 1989a).  

Maximum longevity of cat fleas has not completely been demonstrated, but survival on hosts which have been restricted in grooming activity has been reported for at least 133 days (58% of all the female fleas were recovered) (Dryden, 1989b). C. canis has been reported to live for up to two years when fed on dogs (Harwood and James, 1979). 

The grooming behaviour of the host plays an important role in the survival and longevity of fleas (Hudson and Prince, 1958; Osbrink and Rust, 1984; Wade and Georgi, 1988). Cats spend a considerable part of each day grooming themselves and have been shown to remove up to 50% of their flea load within one week (Wade and Georgi, 1988). Some pets may tolerate a small to moderate number of fleas, others groom themselves almost constantly, thereby ingesting and dislodging many of the fleas (Dryden, 1993). 

 

Adult inter-host movement

There is some form of interhost movement of the adult flea (Rust, 1994. Infrequent, short term contact between infested and uninfested hosts is insignificant for the movement of adult cat fleas (Blagburn and Hendrix, 1989). Nevertheless, movement of adult cat fleas between hosts occurs at a low rate (2-15%).  

Thus, the likelihood of establishing new infestations by adult fleas transferring from one host to another exists, but does not seem to be as important as primary larval breeding sites (Rust, 1994). Transference can also occur when infested hosts are killed and consumed by predators like coyote, fox, and other carnivores (Rust, 1994; Marshall,1981).

References

Introduction

Linardi PM, Demaria M, Botelho JR: Effects of larval nutrition on the postembryonic development of Ctenocephalides felis felis (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae). J Med Entomol. 1997, 34, 494-7 

Silverman J, Rust MK, Reierson DA: Influence of temperature and humidity on survival and development on the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae). J Med Entomol. 1981, 18, 78-83 

 

Egg

Byron DW: Aspects of the biology, behaviour, bionomics, and control of immature stages of the cat flea Ctenocephalides felis felis (Bouché) in the domiciliary environment. 1987, Ph.D. Dissertation, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg 

Dryden MW: Evaluation of certain parameters in the bionomics of Ctenocephalides felis felis (Bouché 1835). 1988, MS Thesis, Purdue University, West Lafayette 

Dryden MW: Host association, on-host longevity and egg production of Ctenocephalides felis felis. Vet Parasitol. 1989, 34, 117-22 

Dryden MW, Gaafar SM: Blood consumption by the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae). J Med Entomol. 1991, 28, 394-400 

Hink WF, Drought DC, Barnett S:  Effect of an experimental systemic compound, CGA-184699, on life stages of the cat flea (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae). J Med Entomol. 1991, 28, 424-7 

Karandikar KR, Munshi DM: Life history and bionomics of the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis felis (Bouché). J Bombay Nat His Soc. 1950, 49, 169-77 

Olsen A: Ovicidal effect on the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis (Bouché), of treating fur of cats and dogs with methoprene. Int Pest Control. 1985, 27, 10-3, 16 

Osbrink WLA, Rust MK: Fecundity and longevity of the adult cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis felis (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae). J Med Entomol. 1984, 21, 727-31 

Patton WS: Insects, ticks, mites and venomous animals of medical and veterinary importance. Part II. 1931, Public Health Brugg, Great Britain 

Rust MK: Influence of photoperiod on egg production of cat fleas (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae) infesting cats. J Med Entomol. 1992, 29, 242-5 

Rust MK, Dryden MW: The biology, ecology, and management of the cat flea. Ann Rev Entomol. 1997, 42, 451-73 

Silverman J, Rust MK: Some abiotic factors affecting the survival of the cat flea Ctenocephalides felis (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae). Environ Entomol. 1983, 12, 490-5 

Silverman J, Rust MK, Reierson DA: Influence of temperature and humidity on survival and development on the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae). J Med Entomol. 1981, 18, 78-83 

Smit FGAM: Siphonaptera (fleas). In: Smith KGV (ed.): Insects and other arthropods of medical importance. 1973, British Museum of Natural History, London, pp 325-71 

Strenger A: [About the nutritional physiology of the larva of Ctenocephalides felis felis.] B Zool Jahrb Syst Bd. 1973, 100, 64-80 [in German] 

Thomas RE, Wallenfels L, Popiel I: On-host viability and fecundity of Ctenocephalides felis (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae), using a novel chambered flea technique. J Med Entomol. 1996, 33, 250-6 

Williams B: The cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis (Bouché): its breeding biology, and its larval anatomy compared with that of two Ceratophylloid larvae. 1983, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Oxford, Oxford 

Zakson-Aiken M, Gregory LM, Shoop WL: Reproductive strategies of the cat flea (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae): Parthenogenesis and autogeny? J Med Entomol. 1996, 33, 395-7 

 

Larva

Akin DE: Relationship between feeding and reproduction in the cat flea Ctenocephalides felis (Bouché) (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae). 1984, MS Thesis, University of Florida, Gainesville 

Bacot AW, Ridewood WG: Observations on the larva of fleas. Parasitol. 1915, 7, 157-75 

Baker KP, Elharam S: The biology of Ctenocephalides canis in Ireland. Vet Parasitol. 1992, 45, 141-6 

Bruce WW: Studies on the biological requirements of the cat flea. Ann Entomol Soc Am. 1948, 41, 346-52 

Byron DW: Aspects of the biology, behaviour, bionomics, and control of immature stages of the cat flea Ctenocephalides felis felis (Bouché) in the domiciliary environment. 1987, Ph.D. Dissertation, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg 

Dryden MW: Biology of the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis felis. Comp Anim Pract. 1989a, 19, 23-7 

Dryden MW: Host association, on-host longevity and egg production of Ctenocephalides felis felis. Vet Parasitol. 1989b, 34, 117-22 

Dryden MW: Biology of fleas of dogs and cats. Comp Cont Educ Pract Vet. 1993, 15, 569-79 

Dryden MW, Rust MK: The cat flea: biology, ecology and control. Vet Parasitol. 1994, 52, 1-19 

Elbel RE: Comparative studies on the larva of certain species of fleas (Siphonaptera). J Parasitol. 1951, 2, 119-28 

Kalvelage H, Münster M: [Ctenocephalides canis and Ctenocephalides felis infestation of dog and cat. Biology of the agent, epizootiology, pathogenesis, clinical signs, diagnosis and methods of control.] Tierärztl Praxis. 1991, 19, 200-6 [in German] 

Kern WH Jr, Koehler PG, Patterson RS: Diel patterns of cat flea (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae) egg and fecal deposition. J Med Entomol. 1992, 29, 203-6 

Kern WH Jr, Richman DL, Koehler PG, et al.: Outdoor survival and development of immature cat fleas (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae) in Florida. J Med Entomol. 1999, 36, 207-11 

Lyons H: Notes on the cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis (Bouché)). Psyche. 1915, 22, 124-32 

Marshall AG: The ecology of ectoparasitic insects. 1981, Academic Press, London, New York 

Moser BA, Koehler PG, Patterson RS: Effect of larval diet on cat flea (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae) developmental times and adult emergence. J Econ Entomol. 1991, 84, 1257-61 

Pospischil R: Influence of temperature and relative humidity on the development of the cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis). (In: Proc 16th Tagung Dtsch Gesellsch Parasitol, March 1994, pp 54-69) Zbl Bakt. 1995, 282, 193-94 

Silverman J, Appel AG: The pupal cocoon of the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis (Bouché) (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae): a barrier to ant predation. Proc Entomol Soc Wash. 1984, 86, 660-3 

Silverman J, Rust MK: Some abiotic factors affecting the survival of the cat flea Ctenocephalides felis (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae). Environ Entomol. 1983, 12, 490-5  

Silverman J, Rust MK, Reierson DA: Influence of temperature and humidity on survival and development on the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae). J Med Entomol. 1981, 18, 78-83  

Strenger A: [About the nutritional physiology of the larva of Ctenocephalides felis felis.] B Zool Jahrb Syst Bd. 1973, 100, 64-80 [in German] 

Urquhart GM, Armour J, Duncan J, et al. (eds.): Order Siphonaptera. In: Veterinary parasitology. 1987, Longman Scientific & Technical, Essex, England, pp 171-5 

 

Pupa

Dryden MW: Evaluation of certain parameters in the bionomics of Ctenocephalides felis felis (Bouché 1835). 1988, MS Thesis, Purdue University, West Lafayette 

Dryden MW: Biology of the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis felis. Comp Anim Pract. 1989, 19, 23-7 

Dryden MW: Biology of fleas of dogs and cats. Comp Cont Educ Pract Vet. 1993, 15, 569-79 

Dryden MW: A look at the latest developments in flea biology and control. Vet Med Suppl. 1996, 3, 3-8 

Dryden MW, Smith V: Cat flea (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae) cocoon formation and development of naked flea pupae. J Med Entomol. 1994, 31, 272-7 

Grant D: Flea biology and control. Vet Pract. 1996, 28, 7-8 

Joseph SA: Studies on the bionomics of Ctenocephalides felis orientis (Jordan 1925). Cheiron. 1981, 10, 275-80 

Karandikar KR, Munshi DM: Life history and bionomics of the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis felis (Bouché). J Bombay Nat His Soc. 1950, 49, 169-77 

Lyons H: Notes on the cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis (Bouché)). Psyche. 1915, 22, 124-32 

Silverman J, Appel AG: The pupal cocoon of the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis (Bouché) (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae): a barrier to ant predation. Proc Entomol Soc Wash. 1984, 86, 660-3 

Silverman J, Rust MK: Some abiotic factors affecting the survival of the cat flea Ctenocephalides felis (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae). Environ Entomol. 1983, 12, 490-5  

Silverman J, Rust MK: Extended longevity of the pre-emerged adult cat flea (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae) and factors stimulating emergence from the pupal cocoon. Ann Entomol Soc Am. 1985, 78, 763-8 

Silverman J, Rust MK, Reierson DA: Influence of temperature and humidity on survival and development on the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae). J Med Entomol. 1981, 18, 78-83 

Soulsby EJL (ed.): Helminths, arthropods and protozoa of domesticated animals. 7th edn., 1982, Lea & Febiger, Philadelphia  

Strenger A: [About the nutritional physiology of the larva of Ctenocephalides felis felis.] B Zool Jahrb Syst Bd. 1973, 100, 64-80 [in German] 

 

Preemerged Adult

Bacot A: A study of the bionomics of the common rat fleas and other species associated with human habitation, with special reference to the influence of temperature and humidity of various periods in the life history of the insects. J Hygiene. 1914, 13 (Plague Suppl 3), 447-654 

Dryden MW: A look at the latest developments in flea biology and control. Vet Med Suppl. 1996, 3, 3-8 

Dryden MW, Rust MK: The cat flea: biology, ecology and control. Vet Parasitol. 1994, 52, 1-19 

Karandikar KR, Munshi DM: Life history and bionomics of the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis felis (Bouché). J Bombay Nat His Soc. 1950, 49, 169-77 

Metzger ME: Photoperiod and temperature effects on the development of Ctenocephalides felis (Bouché) and studies on its chemical control in turfgrass. 1995, MS Thesis, University of California, Riverside 

Metzger ME, Rust MK: Effect of temperature on cat flea (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae) development and overwintering. J Med Entomol. 1997, 34, 173-8 

Rust MK, Dryden MW: The biology, ecology, and management of the cat flea. Ann Rev Entomol. 1997, 42, 451-73 

Silverman J, Rust MK: Extended longevity of the pre-emerged adult cat flea (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae) and factors stimulating emergence from the pupal cocoon. Ann Entomol Soc Am. 1985, 78, 763-8 

Silverman J, Rust MK, Reierson DA: Influence of temperature and humidity on survival and development on the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae). J Med Entomol. 1981, 18, 78-83 

 

Adult

Akin DE: Relationship between feeding and reproduction in the cat flea Ctenocephalides felis (Bouché) (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae). 1984, MS Thesis, University of Florida, Gainesville 

Bacot A: A study of the bionomics of the common rat fleas and other species associated with human habitation, with special reference to the influence of temperature and humidity of various periods in the life history of the insects. J Hygiene. 1914, 13 (Plague Suppl 3), 447-654 

Baker N: The touch-and-go relationship of a dog and its fleas. Vet Med. 1985, 80 (Suppl), 6-7 

Benton AH, Lee SY: Sensory reactions of Siphonaptera in relation to host-finding. Am Midl Nat. 1965, 74, 119-25 

Blagburn BL, Hendrix CM: Systemic flea therapy: an overview of flea biology and control. In: Perspectives in systemic flea control. Publication 2075, 1989, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, Auburn, pp 4-9 

Crum GE, Knapp FW, White GM: Response of the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis (Bouché), and the oriental rat flea, Xenopsylla cheopsis (Rothschild), to electromagnetic radiation in the 300-700 nanometer range. J Med Entomol. 1974, 11, 88-94 

Dryden MW: Evaluation of certain parameters in the bionomics of Ctenocephalides felis felis (Bouché 1835). 1988, MS Thesis, Purdue University, West Lafayette 

Dryden MW: Biology of the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis felis. Comp Anim Pract. 1989a, 19, 23-7 

Dryden MW: Host association, on-host longevity and egg production of Ctenocephalides felis felis. Vet Parasitol. 1989b, 34, 117-22 

Dryden MW: Blood consumption and feeding behaviour of the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis felis (Bouché 1835). 1990, Ph.D. Dissertation, Purdue University, West Lafayette 

Dryden MW: Biology of fleas of dogs and cats. Comp Cont Educ Pract Vet. 1993, 15, 569-79 

Dryden MW: A look at the latest developments in flea biology and control. Vet Med Suppl. 1996, 3, 3-8 

Dryden MW, Rust MK: The cat flea: biology, ecology and control. Vet Parasitol. 1994, 52, 1-19 

Harwood RF, James MT (eds.): Fleas. In: Entomology in human and animal health. 7th edn., 1979, Macmillan, New York, pp 319-41 

Hudson BW, Prince FM: A method for large-scalerearing of the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis felis (Bouché). Bull WHO. 1958, 19, 1126-9 

Marshall AG: The ecology of ectoparasitic insects. 1981, Academic Press, London, New York 

Osbrink WLA, Rust MK: Fecundity and longevity of the adult cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis felis (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae). J Med Entomol. 1984, 21, 727-31 

Osbrink WLA, Rust MK: Cat flea (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae): Factors influencing hostfinding behaviour in the laboratory. Ann Entomol Soc Am. 1985, 78, 29-34 

Pickens LG, Carroll JF, Azad AF: Electrophysiological studies of the spectral sensitivities of cat fleas, Ctenocephalides felis, and oriental rat fleas, Xenopsylla cheopsis to monochromatic light. Entomol Exp Appl. 1987, 45:193-204 

Rust MK: Interhost movement of adult cat fleas (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae). J Med Entomol. 1994, 31, 486-9 

Silverman J, Rust MK: Some abiotic factors affecting the survival of the cat flea Ctenocephalides felis (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae). Environ Entomol. 1983, 12, 490-5  

Silverman J, Rust MK: Extended longevity of the pre-emerged adult cat flea (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae) and factors stimulating emergence from the pupal cocoon. Ann Entomol Soc Am. 1985, 78, 763-8 

Silverman J, Rust MK, Reierson DA: Influence of temperature and humidity on survival and development on the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae). J Med Entomol. 1981, 18, 78-83 

Soulsby EJL (ed.): Helminths, arthropods and protozoa of domesticated animals. 1968, Baillière, Tindall and Cassell, London 

Wade SE, Georgi JR: Survival and reproduction of artificially fed cat fleas Ctenocephalides felis (Bouché) (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae). J Med Entomol. 1988, 25, 186-90 

EXPLORE OUR CONTENT

CVBD Maps

The CVBD Occurence World Map presents country-specific situations based on current scientific knowledge and feed-back from experts around the world in an easy-to-grasped way.

Resources

Bayer Animal Health supports education in parasitology and especially in the field of Vector-Borne Disease.  Access picture and video collections, discover the World Forum calendar, interesting links and our glossary.

CVBD World Forum

The CVBD World Forum is a working group of leading international experts with the mission to enhance knowledge and communication on companion animal vector-borne diseases for the improvement of animal, human, and environmental health.