Pest Guides

Oriental Rat Flea

Xenopsylla cheopis


Image of Oriental Rat Flea (Xenopsylla cheopis) | Ehrlich Pest Control
  • Golden brown in color which camouflages them in the host's fur.
  • Very small body (2-2.5 mm) which consists of head, thorax, and abdomen.
  • Unlike most other fleas, they have no genal and pronotal combs.
  • Abdomen has 8 visible segments.
  • Very large legs that allow them to jump from one nest to another.


  • Fleas go through a four–stage life cycle: eggs, larva, pupa, adult.
  • This particular flea is distinct from others in that it has a very large egg.
  • Eggs normally incubate for between two to twelve days.
  • The larval stage usually lasts 9-15 days, but can continue for up to 200 days if conditions are favourable.
  • During the pupal stage changes in temperature and humidity greatly affect development and can inhibit emerging from the cocoon for up to a year.
  • An adult can survive up to a year in a warm environment.


  • Larvae and fed adults avoid light, unfed adults are attracted to light.
  • Their long legs mean adults can jump 100 times their length.
  • Adults feed on blood of Black Rat (Rattus Rattus) and other mammals, including humans.

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