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Insects and Arthropods
Northern rat flea (Nosopsyllus fasciatus)


Northern rat flea (Nosopsyllus fasciatus)
This species is found on domestic rats and house mice throughout North America and Europe, but is most common in temperate regions. The northern rat flea has occasionally been taken from wild rodents. It will also feed on humans.
Controlling northern rat fleas begin with eliminating rats and mice within the structure. 
In addition, cleaning carpets with a steam cleaner should kill some of the larval fleas, and also remove the bits of organic matter that accumulate in carpets that the larvae feed on.
Insecticide spray treatments can be used in carpets to reduce numbers of fleas.  Products on the market target the adult flea.  Methoprene (Precor) and pyriproxyfen (Nylor, Archer) are growth regulators that prevent eggs from hatching and the larval fleas from pupating into adults that reproduce.  Methoprene will reduce flea populations up to 95% in 14 days while pyriproxyfen, due to its photostability, lasts in carpets for many months.  Because these products do not kill adult fleas, products that contain both an insecticide and growth regulator are more effective.
Foggers are basically total release aerosols.  The insecticide is released into a mist which dissipates in the room.  Unfortunately, foggers do not penetrate well where adult and larval fleas are hiding.  In general, they provide poor flea control. 

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