Stick-fast flea infestation is common in backyard poultry flocks on Kangaroo Island. The flea is mostly a parasite of poultry, however it will infest any animal. Severe infestations lead to anaemia and death, especially in young chickens or ducklings. The stickfast flea is found on all classes of poultry and also on native birds. Dogs, cats, horses, sheep and numerous native animals also spread the flea and it will bite humans.
The stick fast flea has been in Australia since the early 1900s. It the 1950s, this blood sucking insect became a serious problem in the intensive poultry industry and was one of the reasons why commercial egg producers moved to battery style cages. Removal of access to the ground quickly eradicated stick fast fleas from these flocks.