Oriental Rat Flea
Oriental Rat Flea Facts
Oriental rat fleas were discovered in Egypt in 1903 by Nathaniel Charles Rothschild. It’s Latin name is Xenopsylla cheopis and was named after Pharaoh Cheops who build the Great Pyramid at Giza.
Oriental Rat Flea Bites
Oriental rat fleas primarily live on Norway rats, but will bite humans. These fleas can can transmit bacteria from the rats that causes the bubonic plague. Murine typhus can also be transferred through flea bites. People can get the parasite that causes tapeworm from accidentally ingesting a flea.
Oriental Rat Flea Infestation
Oriental rat fleas develop in four stages: eggs, larvae, pupa, and adults. Microscopic white eggs are laid on the host animal and then fall to the ground where they will hatch one to ten days later, depending on the environment. At this point, they are worm-like and feed only on dead skin cells, droppings, and smaller parasites. Pupae will later develop over the course of 1 to 6 months until it reaches the adult stage. At this point, the flea can begin to suck blood and mate. Female fleas can mate once and lay up to fifty eggs a day. Optimal conditions for their development are dry, warm conditions with temperatures between 68 and 77 degrees.
Types of Oriental Rat Fleas
Oriental Rat Flea Identification
Commonly described as: Norway rat flea
The oriental rat flea is about less than ⅛ inch long and are designed to jump distances up to 20 inches and heights of over a foot. This flea is lacking the rows of spines other fleas have, distinguishing them from other species like cat fleas.
The mouthparts of oriental rat fleas is used to squirt saliva into the bite and suck blood from the host. Fleas are also wingless and cannot fly. This is why they jump from host to host with their small but powerful lower legs.
Oriental Rat Fleas In The Home & The Yard
The oriental rat flea can be introduced to your property by rats, mice or rabbits that are infested. This flea does not typically infest homes and pets, but will bite people.
Frequently Asked Questions About Norway Rat Fleas
What do oriental rat flea bites look like?
Bites from an oriental rat flea will have a tiny red dot at the center surrounded by a red halo. There is usually very little to no swelling at the site of the bite. Some people and pets may have skin reactions if they are allergic to the flea’s saliva the is injected into the bite wound.
Are oriental rat fleas dangerous?
Yes, the oriental rat flea can transmit disease, particularly the bacteria that causes bubonic plague, or the so-called “Black Death” of the Middle Ages across Europe, Asia, and Africa in the 1300s. While it is more rare today, the bacteria still does exist among rodents and can cause health issues. This is primarily because it is so easily spread among rats, and to exterminate an entire population isn’t feasible. If plague is contracted, it can be fatal.
Medical attention should be sought immediately if bumps or swelling are observed around lymph nodes. Once the bacteria enters the node, it will multiply and continue to increase the size of the bumps. These bumps will become painful as days progress, and the individual will contract a fever, along with chills, muscle pain, and weakness.
Fleas are prime carriers for disease because of the way their digestive systems are designed. The system may become blocked with bacteria, and when a flea bites, it often regurgitates the bacteria into the wound it inflicts. Disease can also be transferred from generation to generation through each group of new eggs.
How do you control oriental rat fleas in your home?
In order to prevent an oriental rat flea infestation from making its way into your home, reduce the number of places rats and rodents can hide. This includes getting rid of garbage and other potential food sources.
Always wear gloves when treating small animals like squirrels or rats.Take precautions when preparing meat to prevent disease from being transferred through infected fluids.
Fleas are fond of campsites and hiking trails, so use repellents to keep them away. It is also essential to keep your pets clean. If they are infected with fleas, have a vet treat them immediately so that they do not transfer the fleas indoors or onto humans or other animals.
Benefits of Professional Oriental Rat Flea Pest Control
A pest management professional has the education, equipment and skills necessary to effectively address a oriental rat flea problem. Finding and treating the oriental rat fleas can be challenging, especially if they are spread throughout your house. A pest management professional provides their expertise to identify the pest problem and determine the best possible solution to resolve the oriental rat flea infestation.