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Specializing in insect repellent products for pets and humans

Fleas and ultra sound

Can  Fleas detect sounds and vibrations???

Flea Biology

Pest Overview - The six-legged vampire that jumps

Although there are over 2,200 species of fleas worldwide, only a few are commonly encountered by humans with enough frequency to be considered pests.  These include cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis (Bouche), the dog flea, C.Canis (Curtis), the human flea, Pulex irritans (L), and the oriental rat flea, Xenopsylla cheopis (Rothschild).

Disease Aspects - Fleas are ectoparasites and are known to transmit bubonic plague (the black death) to man and are the principal vectors in the spread of murine or epidemic typhus from rat to man.


Fleas transmit Tularemia from cottontail rabbits to man.


They also act as the intermediate hose of double-pored tapeworm in dogs and of one kind of tapeworm in man.


Fleas may also act as vectors of cat scratch disease which is caused by the bacterial pathogen Bartonella henselae.  It’s symptoms include inflammation, swollen lymph nodes and sometimes fever and more serious complications.


Adult fleas are truly the “vampires” of the insect world because they feed only on our blood and that of our pets.

They are narrow, small, wingless insects, red, brown or black in color and are protected by a hard flat shell.  They are hard to see and even harder to kill with pesticide poisons - so why use poison?

The flea has armor-like plates in layers - each with backward pointing spikes (or spines) so they can move easily and quickly through hair or feathers.  Their feet have double claws for holding on to their host and they also have a barbed “mustache” under their mouth to further anchor them to the skin as they feed with their piercing-sucking mouth parts.

You normally can not feel the flea bite as it actually occurs; it is the saliva that soon sets off an itching reaction.  Their bites cause an inflammation of the skin and can carry disease and parasites.  Fleas can pull up to 400 times their own weight.  Fleas literally “fly” with their hind legs:  they can jump 150-200 times their own body length (the equivalent of a man jumping 1,400-1,800 feet!)  On takeoff, a flea is moving 20 to 50 times faster than a space rocket.

Behind their legs are a rubbery-muscular protein that allows them to move against gravity 135 time faster than you or me.  After its lift-off, the flea cartwheels end over end, until it reaches its new host/meal.  One pair of mating fleas living for nine months can theoretically produce a quarter of a million little “vampires”, or up to on trillion offspring in a year!

To the voracious little flea, dogs, cats, birds, humans or even elephants are simply something to eat.

The sensilla are usually small hairs modified for perception of specific stimuli; each sensillum consists of one sense cell and one nerve fiber.  Although these small sense organs occur all over the body, they are particularly abundant in antennae, palps and cerci.

Tactile hairs may be sensitive enough to perceive air vibrations and thus serve as organs for sound reception.

Sensory Organs

Mechanoreception - Mechanical stimuli are received by sensilla (simple or complex) distributed over the antennae, legs and body.

Auditory Reception - Very sensitive setae or tympanal organs detect vibrations that come through the substrate or the air. 



Prof. Dr. Gisele Zoccal Mingori

Veterinary Medicine

State University Paolista (Unesp)

Araçatuba Campus,

St. Paul, Brazil

Year 2002

Aims of this research:

1. Assess the efficacy of Skudo in preventing the re-infestation caused by ectoparasites in dogs after the application of a standard anti-parasite treatment (bath with a shampoo containing pyrethroid).

2. Verify whether the ultrasonic waves emitted by Skudo may represent a stress stimuli affecting the animals state of health.

Research was carried on 20 healthy adult male dogs of different breeds and ages.  The animals were taken to the kennels of the Department of Veterinary Medicine of the State University Paolista (Unesp), Araçatuba Campus, St. Paul, Brazil.

Soon after their arrival at the kennels (1st day), they underwent clinical examinations to confirm the presence of ectoparasites (ticks & fleas) on their coat.


On the second (2nd) day of the experiment, all the dogs were washed with anti-parasite shampoo (Mersey Dog brand, at base of pyrethroid)  according to the product recommendations. After the shampoo, dogs were divided into two experimental groups (n = 10 per Group):


(1) The Control Group, which did not undergo any further anti-parasite therapy until the end of the research;

(2) The Skudo Group, with the Skudo device put on the dogs collars and there left until the end of the study.



1. The Skudo device was well tolerated by dogs and no alterations in their behavior were observed during this study.




2. The percentage of animals infested in the Skudo Group (0%) was lower that the one of the Control Group (28%), and this result was already observed on the day after application of the pyrethroid composition (3rd day of the test).

3. The results demonstrate that a standard anti-parasite method (in the specific case, with a shampoo containing pyrethroid) was not sufficient to eliminate fleas, since 28% the dogs continued to be infested over 5 weeks after the bath (35th day).

4. It should be note that only a limited percentage of the animals belonging to the Skudo Group were observed as infested on the 3rd week of the experiment (21st day), but not in the following weeks.  This result suggests that fleas present in the environment may still infect the animals, but do not remain in their coats, thus demonstrating the efficacy of the Skudo in repelling fleas.

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