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Occurrence and Distribution of Fleas (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae) of Public Health Importance on the Island of Oahu

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Title:Occurrence and Distribution of Fleas (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae) of Public Health Importance on the Island of Oahu
Authors:Leong, Mark K.H.
Grace, J Kenneth
Keywords:arthropod pests
Ctenocephalides felis felis
insect vectors
show 3 morePulicidae
seasonal variation
spatial distribution
show less
Date Issued:01 Dec 2009
Publisher:Hawaiian Entomological Society
Citation:Leong MKH, Grace JK. 2009. Occurrence and distribution of fleas (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae) of public health importance on the island of Oahu. Proc Hawaiian Entomol Soc 41:89–96.
Abstract:The Vector Control Branch of the Hawaii State Department of Health has accumulated a large volume of written inspection data on pests of public health for the island of Oahu. Flea related complaints provided the third greatest amount of arthropod pest information available, following mosquitoes and other fly complaints. The objectives of this study were to conduct a survey of the occurrence of flea complaints on Oahu over a 10-year period, determine their distribution over time, graphically compare flea occurrence within and between district/areas, and correlate flea occurrence and distribution with season. Flea data were drawn from inspection reports from 1990 to 1999, population information was obtained from Hawaii Census and State
of Hawaii Data Books, 125 district/area geographic locations were defined, and flea occurrence and distribution were adjusted for population and mapped using ArcView GIS 3.2. Most flea activity was reported within the central, south, east and west urban
districts. The drier, low lying and leeward areas of the island had the highest number of complaints. The levels of flea activity were highest during the spring, summer and
fall. The primary flea species recorded was Ctenocephalides felis felis (Bouche), the cat flea. The main sources of flea infestations were improperly cared for pet cats and dogs, feral cats and dogs, and pets dying or being removed from premises. Flea populations are being maintained in urban and agricultural districts by human activities. As a result, disease transmission is possible, especially in the lower elevation, leeward areas of Oahu. These results indicate that educational programs should be carried out in late winter, and that residential flea surveys may be concentrated in a limited number of district/areas.
Pages/Duration:8 pages
Appears in Collections: Volume 41 - December 2009 : Hawaiian Entomological Society

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