Other ectoparasites

Other ectoparasites

Ectoparasites are those that feed on a Host, like man or animals to survive. They may not necessarily cause the death of the host but their feeding such as on blood, cause irritation, itching, skin ulceration and blood loss. There are also those that are medically important, like Fleas and Lice which are vectors of diseases. In the middle ages, Bubonic Plague transmitted by infected Fleas from Rats killed millions in Europe that is known as the Black Death. Reports indicate that this plague still occurs in Asia, Africa and the Americas up to today.

Common ectoparasites species


Cat and Dog Fleas: Ctenocephalides felis, C. anis, Human Flea: Pulex irritans

Appearance: Small, wingless with piercing bloodsucking mouthparts, with flat and narrow bodies and well-developed legs for jumping. Their color may vary from light to dark brown.

Size: 1 to 4 mm long

Fleas are usually found on the hairs or fur of animals like dogs, cats and rodents. Its usual breeding areas are resting or sleeping areas like beds. They also attach to clothing and lodge in trash and in cracks and crevices of homes and animal pens. They move around by jumping up to as high as 30 cm. Signs on infestation are specks of blood in clothing or bedding.

Fowl Ticks (soft): Argas persicus, Dog Ticks (hard): Rhipicephalus sanguineus

Appearance: Adults have 4 pairs of legs, leathery body and with hypostome or harpoon-like barb near the mouth to keep them firmly attached to the bodies of the mammals they suck blood on. There are classified in two families, the Hard Ticks and the Soft Ticks.

Size: 3 to 4 mm in length

Dog Ticks are as much a pest in homes as on dogs. Unkept and poorly groomed dogs suffer greatly as its larvae and nymphs rest on its body and hairs while the adult ticks reside on the dogs' ears and toes. Dogs tend to get Ticks from other dogs or infested kennels or clinics. Once infested, the female Ticks will lay up to 5,000 eggs in cracks and crevices, in carpets, baseboards or wall coverings in homes. Ticks can live for several years without a blood meal until a warm-blooded mammal comes. Both the male and female Ticks feed on blood.

Stored Product Mites: Family Acaridae and Glycyphagidae are most common, Tropical Rat Mite: Ornithonyssus bacoti, Dust Mites: Dermatophagoides spp.

Appearance: Varies according to species; has sensory hairs on its soft legs and body. They breath through stigmatas in the surface of their bodies. The mouthparts of the different species vary but most have piercing mouths.

Size: Barely visible to the naked eye; most are much less than 3 mm in length

Smaller than ticks, Mites are also eight-legged blood-sucking arthropods that are occasional pests to humans. There are a lot of species that can be encountered by man that has both economic and medical importance. There are Stored Product Mites such as those that infest Cheese, Flour or Dried Fruit. There are also House or Furniture Mites that may be seen in pantries or those with humid conditions. In contact with man, they can cause itchy allergies and even asthma. They feed at night or under the cover of darkness and hence usually found in cinemas; and also where there is a heat source like in restaurants and buildings. The Tropical Rat Mite though that is associated with Norway Rats are serious problems and do attack people. There are also Poultry Mites, Itch or Scabies Mites that affect both animals and humans. Then there are Dust Mites whose feces produce the allergens that cause rhinitis, asthma, dermatitis, etc. Dust Mites thrive on humidity and feed on shed human skin, as well as feathers or molds, and especially abundant in upholstered and mattresses.

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Why professional pest management is key

Proper grooming and care
Effective management of Fleas, Ticks, Mites and other ectoparasites rely heavily on the proper grooming and care of its usual hosts or carriers.
Meticulous sanitation need
Very meticulous sanitation that includes deep vacuuming of their resting spots will always be the first step.

PIXA has the answer

In situations where infestation has progressed, professional pest management such as the PIXA ALLERX Program which is a combination of non-chemical and science-based chemical applications is the best resort such as for households, hotels, offices, theaters, etc.. For Stored Product Pests, professional fumigation services is also an option in addition to controlling the conditions that allow such pests to thrive, such as controlling humidity, sufficient ventilation, etc.


PCAP Training, 2020
Dr. I. Lit, Jr.
Urban Pest Control, A Practitioner's Guide
P. Dhang
Handbook of Pest Control
A. Mallis

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