Cat Flea (Ctenocephalides felis)

Cat Flea (Ctenocephalides felis)

Family : Pulicidae

A Common problem in summer on cats and other pets, they prefer the blood of cats but also bite humans.

This is by far the world's best jumper amoung other insects, reaching the height of 34cm in a single jump at acceleration of 20 times the speed of a space shuttle.

The Human equaivalent would be someone jumping 31M, but unlike a human, a flea could happily keep it up for 3 days jumping over 600 times an hour.

A single flea can lay 500 eggs, which will quickly hatch into maggot's, and are about 2mm long. A typical example of a flea bite can be seen to the right, notice the small white spot in the centre of the bite.

In New Zealand we have 35 species of flea, all of these interchange between native birds, other birds, rats, mice, dogs, cats, humans and more. They are named after which blood they prefer but are not limited to that animal.

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