Sunday, 18 May 2008

Atlas of the Fleas (Siphonaptera) of Britain and Ireland

The Biological Records Centre has released Robert George's latest edition of the "Atlas of the Fleas (Siphonaptera) of Britain and Ireland". This new Atlas includes distribution maps, species accounts, details about flea hosts, over 60 different types of British Flea and is an update of the first edition of a “Flea Atlas” which was published by BRC in 1974 also by Mr George.

The TimesOnline reports:

"His fascination with fleas began in 1949, when he was living close to a butcher's and restaurant in Gloucester and trapped 35 mice over three nights. He collected 15 fleas from one mouse and sent them to Frans Smit, curator of the Rothschild Collection of Siphonaptera at Tring, Hertfordshire. Mr Smit told him that they included two species that had never been recorded in Gloucestershire before."

this inspired Mr George to switch from studying beatles to studying fleas. His work has since been recognised as a national recording scheme in 1964 by the Biological Records Centre (BRC), and encourage by Hon. Miriam Rothschild.

Atlas of the Fleas (Siphonaptera) of Britain and Ireland
by Robert.S. George
Edited by Helen Roy, of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
Published by the Field Studies Council of behalf of the Biological Records Centre
ISBN 978-0-95576-723-4

Ordering Information:
CEH Publication Sales,Monks Wood,Abbots Ripton,Huntingdon,Cambs, PE28 2LS
Tel: 01487 772400
Fax: 01487 773467

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

National Flea Week 2008

TV presenter and ‘Perfect Housewife’ Anthea Turner is fronting the 3rd National Flea Week which runs from 19th-25th May 2008. Because of the recent spell of warm weather, fleas could be hatching out now and feasting on your family pets. This week is an ideal week to visit your vet for preventative treatment and advice.

Anthea’s top tips for keeping pets and homes flea-free:

  1. Vacuum carpets and soft furnishings at least every other day, paying particular attention to your pet’s favourite spots
  2. Wash your pet’s bedding (and yours if they prefer it!) regularly. Experts recommend washing at 60°C for at least ten minutes to ensure eggs, larvae and pupae are removed.
  3. Check your cats and dogs often for fleas and treat immediately. Gently part the fur and check for flea dirt (small black specks). Comb through your pet’s coat and collect any debris on a wet piece of white paper or cottonwool. If the dirt speck dissolves or makes red/brown patches, then your pet has fleas and requires treatment. Consult your vet
  4. Once you have treated your pet, adopt a preventative approach by treating your pet regularly while keeping on top of the vacuuming!
Flea Circus Director's top tip for keeping pets and homes flea-free:
  • Don't take your pets to see a Flea Circus as they may steal the show!