is a Flea?
"Flea" is the common name for any of
the small wingless insects of the order Siphonaptera.
Fleas are external parasites, living off the blood
of mammals and birds. Fleas are small dark, reddish-brown,
wingless, blood-sucking insects. Their bodies
are laterally compressed permitting easy movement
through the hairs of their host's body. Their
legs are long and well adapted for jumping. A
flea can jump 130 times its own height. Of the
1,830 varieties of fleas, the champion jumper
is the cat flea. It has been known to leap to
a height of 34 inches. Fleas are the most common
source of human insect bites within the home.
Fleas are fast-moving and will jump when disturbed.
People usually get bit around the ankles, producing
a raised red welt. Fleas are most often associated
with pets, although the presence of mice, rats
and other wild animals may cause a flea infestation,
they are not as likely. Fleas, mange mites, and
ticks are the most frequently encountered troublesome
pests that attack humans and their pets.
What are Lice?
Lice belong to the order Phthiraptera, and are
the only truly parasitic group amongst the exopterygote
insects. As permanent ectoparasites parasites
of most birds and mammals they exhibit a remarkable
level of host specificity which is unparalleled
in most other metazoan parasites. Most individuals
will spend their entire life cycle on a single
host. There are over 3000 species of these
wingless parasitic insects. Head lice or (Pediculus
capitis) are tiny, wingless parasitic insects
that live amongst human hairs and feed on extremely
small amounts of blood drawn from the underlining
scalp. Lice, the plural of louse, have long been
associated with humans since head lice have been
recovered from prehistoric mummies.