HOW TO IDENTIFY STICKTIGHT FLEAS

Sticktight Fleas

Sticktight Fleas. By Erik Streb – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, 

Like all the other species of fleas, Sticktight fleas are tiny in size. Their presence is often ignored as they are not clearly recognizable. They look like a tiny dot on the skin and the only way to be sure is by carefully observing them.

They are known to feed on a host at the same spot for a long duration so if the dot-like thing remains for a few hours then it can be a Sticktight flea. Since they are so small in size, it becomes very difficult to identify their structure without the help of a microscope.


Appearance

Like the other fleas, they have a laterally flattened body, though they have a square shaped head. They are half the size of cat fleas. They have antennae and are about 3mm long.

 

Behavior

Sticktight fleas are attracted to carbon dioxide, heat, and flesh. They are commonly interested in poultry species as hosts. Yet they are not very particular and can also feed on humans, cats, dogs, horse, and other animals.

They cling to their hosts through their bites which results in painful effects on the hosts. Their hold is so strong that it can be very difficult to get rid of them. They do not let go of the host even after they die, which is why they have to be scraped off the skin after death.

Unlike all the other fleas, sticktight fleas do not feel the need to hide in the fur and hair of the hosts. They attach themselves to the soft and bare skin of the host and find it as a suitable spot to feed for a long period of time.

 

Signs

  • Sticktight flea bites can lead to a lot of irritation in the skin.
  • Pruritic papules can also be noticed on the lower parts of the affected animal.
  • Bullous wounds can also be formed after the bite.
  • Swollen eyelids are also a noticeable sign of a sticktight flea infestation in birds.

HOW DO YOU GET STICKTIGHT FLEAS

Sticktight fleas are commonly found in poultry species as the eggs are often scattered on the soil and the adult sticktight flea emerges from the ground in search of food. They find a host and attach themselves to it by jumping on it.

They often feed on a single host throughout their lives. Sticktight fleas can increase in number through reproduction and result in a severe infestation. Humans get infected by coming in contact with an infected animal.

HOW TO GET RID OF STICKTIGHT FLEAS

  1. Hard flooring– As the soil plays an important role in the lifecycle of a sticktight flea, you can change the flooring of the premises with concrete or any other substance which would cause a hindrance in the life cycle.
  2. Petroleum jelly– Applying petroleum jelly like vaseline on the infested area is known to be very effective in getting rid of the sticktight fleas.
  3. Cleaning and fixing– Clean the premises properly and fix any holes or cracks found so that there can be no sources left for sticktight fleas to live.
  4. Exterminator– In extreme situations contact your local pest control firm to get rid of the sticktight fleas for you.

 

FACTS ABOUT STICKTIGHT FLEAS

  • The name of the sticktight flea is based on its ability to bury its head in the skin of the hosts.
  • Sticktight fleas can feed at the same spot for about 19 days.
  • Birds can be severely affected by sticktight flea infestation and can often die.
  • Sticktight flea infestation can also cause anemia in birds and animals.