(2) A flea can retain the plague bacilli alive for seven or eight days.
The gad-fly (abu), the housefly (hai), the mosquito (ka), the flea (nonzi) and occasionally the bedbug (called by the Japanese kara-mushi because it is believed to be imported from China), are all fully represented, and the dragon-fly (tombO) presents itself in immense numbers at certain seasons.
Healthy rats contracted plague from infected rats when the only apparent means of communication between the two was the rat flea (pulex cheopis).
He even noted the fact that the pupa of the flea is sometimes attacked and fed upon by a mite - an observation which suggested the well.
Fleah, or flea, cognate with flee, to run away from, to take flight), a name typically applied to Pulex irritans, a well-known blood-sucking insect-parasite of man and other mammals, remarkable for its powers of leaping, and nearly cosmopolitan.
In 21 experiments out of 38, 55% of healthy rats living in flea-proof cages have contracted plague after receiving fleas collected from rats either dead or dying of septicaemic plague; consequently it is proved the rat flea can transmit plague from rat to rat.
Guinea-pigs set free in plague-infected houses become infected with the rat flea and develop plague in a certain percentage.
The report also considers it proved that the bacillus pestis multiplies in the stomach of a flea and may remain a considerable time within its host.
The common small white butterfly of Europe (Pontia or Pieris rapae) is now established in North America; and the march of the jigger, or foot-infesting flea (Sarcopsylla penetrans) of tropical America, across Africa, has taken place in quite recent years.
The human flea is considerably exceeded in size by certain other species found upon much smaller hosts; thus the European Hystrichopsylla talpae, a parasite of the mole, shrew and other small mammals, attains a length of 5z millimetres; another large species infests the Indian porcupine.
It was also shown that animals may become infected through the faeces of a flea which has been fed on plague-infected rats.
The tsetse fly (Glossing morsitans) infests several districts; the sand-flea has been imported from the west coast.
As to how they convey it from man to man the greatest probability is in favour of the flea as an intermediary.
Fleas caught on plague-infected rats are able to infect rats placed in flea-proof cages.
(4) The rat flea, when finding no rats, will attack man and it will also attack other animals.
His chapter on the flea, in which he not only describes its structure, but traces out the whole history of its metamorphoses from its first emergence from the egg, is full of interest - not so much for the exactness of his observations, as for its incidental revelation of the extraordinary ignorance then prevalent in regard to the origin and propagation of "this minute and despised creature," which some asserted to be produced from sand, others from dust, others from the dung of pigeons, and others from urine, but which he showed to be "endowed with as great perfection in its kind as any large animal," and proved to breed in the regular way of winged insects.
A B In Great Britain the flea beetles (Halticidae) are one of the most serious enemies; one of these, the turnip flea (Phyllotreta nemorum), has in some years, notably 1881, caused more than 500,00o loss in England and Scotland alone by eating the young seedling turnips, cabbage and other Cruciferae.