Fleas as Pests to Man and Animals, With Suggestions for Their Control. Page: 4
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FARMERS' BULLETIN 683,
mer probably the average longevity of the human flea without food
is about two months, of the dog flea somewhat less, and of the stick-
tight flea still less.
ABUNDANCE OF FLEAS IN RELATION TO SEASON, CLIMATE, AND
In the northern part of the United States nearly all fleas pass the
winter in the immature stages, while in the more southern latitudes
some of them are present on hosts throughout the winter months.
In general, however, these insects are never as abundant during
winter and spring as they are in summer and fall.
Rainfall and the amount of moisture in the atmosphere have much
to do with flea breeding. As a rule rainy summers are productive
of outbreaks of fleas, and extremely hot, dry weather tends to check
their breeding. This condition is brought about by the fact that
the larva and pupa require a certain amount of moisture for suc-
cessful development, and the adults also live longer when there is
a proper degree of moisture present. It is not intended to convey
the idea that fleas require very moist places in which to breed. As
a matter of fact, excessive moisture in the breeding places is as detri-
mental as excessive dryness.
It is common knowledge that fleas occur in greatest abundance in
sandy regions. This is explained by the fact that the sand maintains
a more uniform moisture condition and thus permits the immature
stages of the flea to develop with greater success. The sand also
offers some protection to the adults and renders heavy rains less
destructive to all stages of the flea present on the soil.
FLEAS AS PESTS IN THE HOUSEHOLD.
As has been pointed out,' in the eastern part of the United States
the dog flea is the species of greatest importance as a household pest.
Many instances have been brought to the attention of the Bureau of
Entomology in which houses, particularly those vacated for some time
during the summer months, have been found to be literally overrun by
In portions of the South and West the human flea (figs. 3 and 4)
is the one primarily responsible for house infestations. Although
the host relationship of these two species is somewhat different, the
same methods of control are applicable, for the most part, to both.
1 Howard, ,. O. House Fleas. U. S. Dept. Agr., Bur. Ent., Cir. 108, 4 p., 2 fig., Feb.
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Bishopp, F. C. (Fred Corry), 1884-1970. Fleas as Pests to Man and Animals, With Suggestions for Their Control., pamphlet, 1915; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87634/m1/4/: accessed February 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.