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Bug identification requested: is this a flea? [a: more images added]

(14 posts)
  1. awakened

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Dec 25 2015 10:11:38
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    Happy holidays, everyone!

    I've been getting suspiciously flea-like bites since moving into a sublet house a week ago; bites have all been on my leg, from my ankle to just above my knee, except for one bite on my side just above my pants waistline. I bought a Victor light flea trap and have had it plugged in; so far, only see one small black speck that I can't positively identify as anything.

    A couple of days ago, sitting on the floor wrapping Christmas presents, I saw a black insect that jumped (onto the wrapping paper - the nerve!). To my surprise, it lingered long enough for me to catch it with a piece of clear tape (handily beside me because of the present-wrapping). I've taken a couple of not-very-clear pictures here:

    To me, it looks very much like a flea; flattened body laterally, and a long hind leg. However, if any experts wouldn't mind taking a look - and apologies for the poor quality of the photos, I ordered a loupe but it hasn't come yet - and confirming, that would be great.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. jim danca

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Dec 25 2015 10:48:53
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    Need a better picture but shape is similar to a flea.

    PCO and inventor of a bio active bedbug trap
  3. awakened

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Dec 25 2015 11:33:09
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    Many thanks - I'll try to get a better picture up when I get my loupe.

  4. awakened

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Dec 29 2015 17:39:49
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    These are photos of my suspected flea taken through a lighted loupe:



    Can the flea ID be confirmed by any experts? Thanks again.

  5. jim danca

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Dec 29 2015 17:43:13
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    There are a lot of different types of fleas. Lou might know.

  6. loubugs

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Dec 29 2015 17:51:48
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    jim danca - 8 minutes ago  » 
    There are a lot of different types of fleas. Lou might know.

    Awakened: Are these pictures taken through tape?

    Professional entomologist/arachnologist. I consult on all matters dealing with insects and arachnids, including those of natural history and biology to pest management and forensic entomology investigations.
  7. awakened

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Dec 29 2015 18:01:28
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    Yes, through tape.

  8. loubugs

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Dec 29 2015 18:04:58
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    awakened - 2 minutes ago  » 
    Yes, through tape.

    If you can peel away the tape so the insects are not covered, it would make ID easier. You can cut and fold so the insect is stuck on the tape, so what is now up will be down.

  9. awakened

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Dec 29 2015 18:19:06
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    How's this?

    Sorry about the white fibers (they're from the paper that the tape was stuck onto).

  10. P Bello

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Dec 30 2015 12:03:44
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    Yes, this is definitely a flea.

    However, when I try to enlarge the photo it becomes "pixelated" such that we cannot see the key structures for identification purposes.

    Please note that the pest flea most commonly encountered in the US is the cat flea. And, even if the flea are found on a dog, they are usually cat fleas the grand majority of the time say like 90% or more.

    Hope this helps !

    pjb

  11. awakened

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Dec 30 2015 13:40:42
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    Thank you! Unfortunately, that's the highest resolution I can get right now. If I can get to a scanner next week, I can probably post a better photo.

    Are treatment recommendations essentially the same whether it's a cat flea or some closely related species? (The previous dwellers - the owners - had a cat, but they said they inspected it and it has no fleas, at least not now.)

    I have bought Zodiac home spray, which has Precor, and Virbac Knockout flea/tick spray, which has Nylar, to use on furniture etc. once I've done the prep work (laundry, cleaned the floors etc.). I read that Precor disintegrates from sunlight while Nylar doesn't, but for indoor use, both are fine, right?

  12. loubugs

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Dec 30 2015 14:15:20
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    awakened - 19 hours ago  » 
    How's this?

    Sorry about the white fibers (they're from the paper that the tape was stuck onto).

    Fibers don't matter. Flea. The image is a low resolution image even though it is crisp and as Paul noted, when it is zoomed in, it breaks up quickly.
    Around here (U.S), Ctenocephalides felis, the cat flea, is commonly encountered on both dogs and cats and some other animals. The dog flea, Ctenocephalides canis, is predominantly found in parts of Europe, some Mediterranean countries, Argentina and parts of Chile and has been collected from dogs, cats, rabbits, rats, gray foxes, red foxes, woodchucks, coyotes in addition to people.

  13. loubugs

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Dec 30 2015 14:28:25
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    Precor is 1-methylethyl (E,E)-11- methoxy-3,7,11-trimethyl- 2,4-dodecadienoate and
    Nylar is 2-(1-Methyl-2-(4 phenoxyphenoxy) ethoxyl pyridine
    so different IGRs and different basic compounds but have similar end result.

  14. awakened

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Dec 30 2015 16:29:54
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    Thanks for the ID, info about different flea species, and info about the two IGR chemicals. I will proceed with my extermination efforts.

    Thanks again, P Bello and loubugs, for taking the time to help me even though this is a bed bug forum!


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