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Insects 2017, 8(4), 118; doi:10.3390/insects8040118

The Biology and Ecology of Cat Fleas and Advancements in Their Pest Management: A Review

Department of Entomology, University of California Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521, USA
Academic Editors: Changlu Wang and Chow-Yang Lee
Received: 7 August 2017 / Revised: 18 October 2017 / Accepted: 18 October 2017 / Published: 27 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Pest Management)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [514 KB, uploaded 30 October 2017]

Abstract

The cat flea Ctenocephalides felis felis (Bouché) is the most important ectoparasite of domestic cats and dogs worldwide. It has been two decades since the last comprehensive review concerning the biology and ecology of C. f. felis and its management. Since then there have been major advances in our understanding of the diseases associated with C. f. felis and their implications for humans and their pets. Two rickettsial diseases, flea-borne spotted fever and murine typhus, have been identified in domestic animal populations and cat fleas. Cat fleas are the primary vector of Bartonella henselae (cat scratch fever) with the spread of the bacteria when flea feces are scratched in to bites or wounds. Flea allergic dermatitis (FAD) common in dogs and cats has been successfully treated and tapeworm infestations prevented with a number of new products being used to control fleas. There has been a continuous development of new products with novel chemistries that have focused on increased convenience and the control of fleas and other arthropod ectoparasites. The possibility of feral animals serving as potential reservoirs for flea infestations has taken on additional importance because of the lack of effective environmental controls in recent years. Physiological insecticide resistance in C. f. felis continues to be of concern, especially because pyrethroid resistance now appears to be more widespread. In spite of their broad use since 1994, there is little evidence that resistance has developed to many of the on-animal or oral treatments such as fipronil, imidacloprid or lufenuron. Reports of the perceived lack of performance of some of the new on-animal therapies have been attributed to compliance issues and their misuse. Consequentially, there is a continuing need for consumer awareness of products registered for cats and dogs and their safety. View Full-Text
Keywords: Ctenocephalides felis felis; systemic insecticides; insect growth regulators; insecticide resistance Ctenocephalides felis felis; systemic insecticides; insect growth regulators; insecticide resistance
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Rust, M.K. The Biology and Ecology of Cat Fleas and Advancements in Their Pest Management: A Review. Insects 2017, 8, 118.

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