( Latin: Ctenocephalides felis, ctenocephalides canis)
Cat and dog fleas are very similar in appearance and both species can live on both dogs and cats. Humans are mainly attacked by cat fleas.
A cat or a dog may have a light infection of fleas without the human inhabitants of the house noticing, but if the domestic animals are carrying large numbers of fleas, there is naturally a greater likelihood that people will be infested too. A heavy infestation may occur if the cat or dog is removed from the house, for then the fleas left behind have no choice but to move to people.
In such cases one may comfort oneself with the fact that cat and dog fleas cannot breed without their principal host, and so the infestation will die out on its own. On the other hand, they can live for months on a diet of human blood, so it needs an unusual amount of patience to wait until the fleas die of old age.
Fleas can be removed from domestic animals, either by washing or by treating them with an insecticide, but it is just as important to deal with the places where the larvae are developing, by vacuum cleaning and then spraying with an insecticide.