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Boxelder Bugs


Cat Flea     Dog Flea      Brown Dog Tick     Deer Tick

Cat Flea (Ctenocephalides felis)


  • Larvae are approximately 1/4 inch long and adults are approximately 1/8 inch long.

  • Antennae are short and have 3 segments.

  • Long legs used for jumping

  • Wingless

  • Laterally flattened body, backward pointing spines and bristles assist in flea travel through hair.

  • Distributed worldwide

  • Females requires blood meal from a host to develop eggs.

  • Eggs are normally found where pets sleep or frequent.

  • Expect a second hatching of pre-emerged adults from cocoons after treatment; normally this interval is 10-21 days or longer.

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Dog Flea (Ctenocephalides canis)


  • Length: 1/8 inch

  • Wingless

  • Reddish brown in color

  • Adults appear flattened from side to side (like most adult fleas).

  • The body parts are segmented and covered with numerous spines and bristles pointed backward. These spines aid in movement through animal hair.

  • They have claws on the tips of their 6 legs to enable them to remain on a host even while the host is scratching.

  • Antennae are short and have 3 segments.

  • Needle-like mouth parts are inserted into a host for blood feeding.

  • Natural rubber, resilin, pads their hind legs, enabling them to jump from 14-16 inches.

  • Complete metamorphosis (egg, larva, pupa, adult)

  • The identifying characteristic that separates the dog flea from the cat flea is the presence of two notches and spines on the hind tibia of the dog flea.

  • Found on dogs and rabbits, rarely on cats

  • Primarily a nuisance to homeowners, they infest pet dogs causing them to scratch and shake vigorously.

  • They often bite humans if the primary host is unavailable

  • If the host leaves the home, pre-emerged adults reside in cocoons until the host returns.

  • Larval stage eats organic debris left in animal beds.

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Brown Dog Tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus)


  • The brown dog tick is a hard tick.

  • Only one nymphal stage is present.

  • Mouth parts project forward and are visible from above.

  • Respiratory openings (stigmata) are located near the 4th pair of legs.

  • A scutum, shield-like plate, is present on the back of the body and covers the entire back of the male. The scutum only covers part of the back of the female.

  • Basal segment of each leg usually has a spur.

  • This tick will attempt to feed on humans, increasing the potential for disease transmission.


  • The brown dog tick can be found wherever dogs are present.

  • Pest of dogs, but a nuisance in homes.

  • Adults reside in ears and between toes; the larvae and nymphs are found in long hairs on the dog's back.

  • After the brown dog tick engorges, it drops from the animal then it is picked up by another dog from an infested area.

  • Engorged females will lay from a few hundred to more than 5,000 eggs in cracks and crevices, in carpet and behind base boards.

  • After emerging from the egg, the brown dog tick larva is capable of surviving for up to 8 months without feeding.

  • It will take 3-6 days for a tick to become engorged with blood. After engorging the tick drops off the animal and resumes hiding.

  • Adults can live for long periods of time without feeding.

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Deer Tick


  • When not engorged, female is about 1/8 inch in length and the male is about 1/16 inch in length.

  • Larvae are about 1/32 inch long with six legs.

  • Transmits spirochete that causes Lyme disease.

  • Distinct teardrop shape is located on the ticks back in a blackish white color.

  • Body underneath the teardrop shape is dark reddish brown to black.

  • Found in northeastern and Midwestern states in the United States.

  • This tick us usually found in high grassy areas where fields meet wooded areas, along walkways and along trails.

  • They feed on small animals, their preferred host is the white tailed deer, but they will feed on other large animals.

  • The Deer tick will commonly feed on humans if the opportunity occurs.

  • Once attached to the host, the barbed mouth along with a special glue substance allows the tick to hold fast until engorged.

  • Very slow eater; may take up to 7 days to become fully engorged.

  • May inflict a painful bite when attaching to host.

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