General Aspects


Economic Importance

Flea infestation is the most common ectoparasitic condition of dogs and cats in North America (Rust and Dryden, 1997) and possess in general a cosmopolitan distribution (see Origin and Distribution).

This wide distribution and the fact that fleas are major nuisance pests (Dryden and Rust, 1994), a matter of public health and the source of flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) – one of the most common causes for the presentation of dogs to the veterinarian – make control definitely necessary.

But control of the flea on pets and in the environment can be expensive, time consuming and often frustrating (Dryden and Smith, 1994). And apart from expenditures on control measures, flea-related diseases account for over 50% of the dermatological cases reported to veterinarians and 35% of their total effort (Bevier-Tournay, 1989; Kwochka and Bevier, 1987).

This data emphasises the necessity of an effective flea control – if only from the economical point of view.

Further information

  • Bevier-Tournay DE: Fleas and flea control. Curr Vet Therapy. 1989, 10, 586-92
  • Conniff R: When it comes to pesky flea, ignorance is bliss. Smithsonian. 1995, 26, 76-85
  • Dryden MW, Rust MK: The cat flea: biology, ecology and control. Vet Parasitol. 1994, 52, 1-19
  • Dryden MW, Smith V: Cat flea (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae) cocoon formation and development of naked flea pupae. J Med Entomol. 1994, 31, 272-7
  • Kwochka KW, Bevier DE: Flea dermatitis. In: Nesbitt GH (ed.): Contemporary issues in small animal practice. Dermatology. Vol. 8., 1987, Churchill Livingstone, New York, pp 21-55
  • Rust MK, Dryden MW: The biology, ecology, and management of the cat flea. Ann Rev Entomol. 1997, 42, 451-73

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