flea

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flea,

common name for any of the small, wingless insectsinsect,
invertebrate animal of the class Insecta of the phylum Arthropoda. Like other arthropods, an insect has a hard outer covering, or exoskeleton, a segmented body, and jointed legs. Adult insects typically have wings and are the only flying invertebrates.
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 of the order Siphonaptera. The adults of both sexes eat only blood and are all external parasites of mammals and birds. Fleas have hard bodies flattened from side to side and piercing and sucking mouthparts. Their legs are powerful and adapted for fast movement and jumping, enabling them to find new hosts as well as to escape quickly the attempts of the hosts to remove them. The adults can survive away from a host for several weeks without eating. Flea eggs are usually laid in dirt or in the nest of the host; the larvae feed on organic material and the feces of adult fleas. Metamorphosismetamorphosis
[Gr.,=transformation], in zoology, term used to describe a form of development from egg to adult in which there is a series of distinct stages. Many insects, amphibians, mollusks, crustaceans, and fishes undergo metamorphosis, which may involve a change in habitat,
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 is complete; the larvae spin silken cocoons when ready to pupate. Many species are not specific to a particular host species, and cat and dog fleas, as well as the human flea of the warmer parts of Europe and Asia, attack humans. Certain rat fleas transmit typhustyphus,
any of a group of infectious diseases caused by microorganisms classified between bacteria and viruses, known as rickettsias. Typhus diseases are characterized by high fever and an early onset of rash and headache.
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 and bubonic plagueplague,
any contagious, malignant, epidemic disease, in particular the bubonic plague and the black plague (or Black Death), both forms of the same infection. These acute febrile diseases are caused by Yersinia pestis (Pasteurella pestis
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 to humans, and another species transmits tularemiatularemia
or rabbit fever,
acute, infectious disease caused by Francisella tularensis (Pasteurella tularensis). The greatest incidence is among people who handle infected wild rabbits.
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 from rabbits. Fleas also transmit several species of tapewormstapeworm,
name for the parasitic flatworms forming the class Cestoda. All tapeworms spend the adult phase of their lives as parasites in the gut of a vertebrate animal (called the primary host).
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 that sometimes infest humans. The chigoechigoe
or jigger,
small parasitic flea (Tunga penetrans) of the tropics and subtropics, including the S United States. Humans and their domestic animals are the main hosts.
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 is a flea. Water fleas and beach fleas are crustaceanscrustacean
, primarily aquatic arthropod of the subphylum Crustacea. Most of the 44,000 crustacean species are marine, but there are many freshwater forms. The few groups that inhabit terrestrial areas have not been particularly successful in an evolutionary sense; most require
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 and not closely related to the insects. Fleas are classified in the phylum ArthropodaArthropoda
[Gr.,=jointed feet], largest and most diverse animal phylum. The arthropods include crustaceans, insects, centipedes, millipedes, spiders, scorpions, and the extinct trilobites.
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, class Insecta, order Siphonaptera.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/

flea

[flē]
(invertebrate zoology)
Any of the wingless insects composing the order Siphonaptera; most are ectoparasites of mammals and birds.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

flea

1. any small wingless parasitic blood-sucking insect of the order Siphonaptera, living on the skin of mammals and birds and noted for its power of leaping
2. any of various invertebrates that resemble fleas, such as the water flea and flea beetle
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Instead of using cat-specific products, many owners are mistakenly using flea treatments designed for dogs - unknowingly putting their furry friends' lives on the line.
The reason for being so aggressive with the flea treatment is that some dogs, and possibly Purdey, have an allergic reaction to flea bites.
Significant interaction terms between flea treatment and either laying date or brood size would suggest a change in the harmful effect of the fleas on nestling growth in relation to the breeding conditions encountered by the birds.
Flea treatment may fail because the wrong product was chosen, the product was not used properly, treatment was incorrectly timed, or treatment was not repeated often enough.
This means that even if the flea is killed by a flea treatment or eaten by the cat, the immune system still generates a reaction within the skin.
As well as dog "socialisation", the firm have also launched pooch pampering sessions, vet surgeries and now flea treatment deliveries to your door.
Debbie said: "We would like to offer help and if someone brought the mum forward, we would provide worming and flea treatment free of charge.
But many people leave it until it is too late and data for Bob Martin shows more than one in four pet owner have never used a flea treatment.
They have been spayed/neutered, tested negative for FeLV and FIV, vaccinated, microchipped and given flea treatment.
It will bring relief from the bothersome effects of fleas and will help pet owners save on expensive flea treatment products.
Conrad said he suspected an allergy rather than fleas because the dog had been treated diligently every month for three years with a leading flea treatment that contains the chemical fipronil, which has been shown to be highly effective against fleas.