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Why are fleas considered pests?

The significant pest status that fleas have achieved is largely due to their biting, piercing and sucking habit, which cause mild to severe irritation or serve to transmit diseases.

Where a flea infestation is troublesome in domestic residences, most flea bites occur around the ankles and lower legs. Great variations in the degree of irritation which can persist for days is due to the injection of saliva, which acts as an anticoagulant. Typically a cluster of bites may occur and these usually develop into a small red spot, surrounded by a reddish halo but seldom with any swelling. In Australia it is the frequency of bites which may occur indoors or outdoors that can annoy and irritate to the extent where control measures are sought.

The role of fleas in disease transmission and human welfare has been profoundly important because any flea bite allows the possibility if infection at the wound site and because a number of diseases some devastating are transmitted by fleas. Historically these devastating disease are better known as the bubonic plague “the black death” that occurred during the middle ages.

Information Source:
Gerozisis, John, and Phillip Hadlington. Urban Pest Management in Australia. Sydney: UNSW Press, 2001. N. pag. Print.