Scientists Suggest Re-Thinking Which Flea-Borne Bacterium Causes Fevers in Humans

Female Ctenocephalides felis

By Josh Lancette In Southern California over the past five years, there have been nearly 500 cases of flea-borne rickettsioses, more commonly known as flea-borne typhus. Rickettsia felis has become the presumed bacterium causing the fevers, but scientists from the California Department of Public Health think the presumption might be unfounded. Instead, in an article […]

Backyard Chickens Harbor Greater Diversity of Mites and Lice than Farm-raised Chickens

By Meredith Swett Walker Today’s backyard chickens are not your grandmother’s birds — they sport jaunty sweaters, go for walks on leashes, and dine on treats like “chunky chicken caviar.” As keeping chickens has become more popular, the bird’s status has been elevated from practical livestock to pampered pet. And though they may indulge in […]

Fleas that Could Potentially Carry Plague Found on New York City Rats

In the first study of its kind since the 1920s, rats in New York City were found to carry Oriental rat fleas (Xenopsylla cheopis), which are capable of transmitting pathogens that cause bubonic plague, also known as the Black Death. The study is published in the Journal of Medical Entomology. Researchers collected more than 6,500 […]