Numerous researchers have investigated the efficacy of beneficial nematodes for biological control of flea and other soil-dwelling pest infestations.

2020 Biological Control paper: High potential for use of microbial agents against cat fleas

Samish M, Rot A, Gindin G, Ment D, Behar A, Glazer I (2020). Biocontrol of the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis, by entomopathogenic nematodes and fungi. Biological Control, 149:104301. Retrieved from

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The cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis (Bouche) (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae), is the most important ectoparasite of domestic pets. Its control is mainly based on chemical insecticides. In this study, the potential of fungi and nematodes to control this pest was evaluated. The various life stages of the cat flea were exposed to several variables: strains and species of entomopathogenic nematodes and fungi at different ambient temperatures and levels of relative humidity (RH), as well as in\on filter paper, sand or carpet as substrates. The nematode Steinernema feltiae (Nematoda: Steinernematidae) was most virulent against flea larvae, cocoons and adults, and the nematode Heterorhabditis bacteriophora Poinar (Rhabditida: Heterorhabditidae) was highly effective against flea cocoons on all substrates evaluated. Overall, the nematodes were most effective at 28o C and 95% RH. The fungus Metarhizium robertsii 2575 (Bischoff) (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae), was highly virulent against adult fleas. Flea eggs were resistant to both nematodes and the fungus evaluated. The results indicate high potential for use of microbial control agents against cat fleas. While the fungus, M. robertsii, could be effective in killing adult fleas on infested vertebrates, the nematodes S. feltiae and H. bacteriophora could be successful in controlling pre-imaginal stages on the soil.

1982 Journal of Nematology paper: Nematodes shown to be effective on cat fleas

Silverman J, Platzer E G, Rust M K (1982). Infection of the Cat Flea, Ctenocephalides felis (Bouché) by Neoplectana carpocapsae Weiser. Journal of Nematology, Jul;14(3):394-7. Retrieved from


Infection of cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis, larvae by the entomophilic nematode Neoaplectana carpocapsae was accomplished in the laboratory. The Breton strain of N. carpocapsae provided higher larval mortality at lower dosages than did the DD-136 strain. Adult nematodes were evident in the insect hemocoel after 48 h; however, no infective third-stage larvae were produced. Larval flea infection increased with an increase in the moisture content of sand from 2% to 7% and of sandy clay from 7% to 12%. Larval flea infection was also obtained on turf containing dauer larvae. Nematode penetration of cocoons with invasion of prepupal and pupal fleas was apparent.

1987 Pennsylvania Dept of Agriculture paper: General biocontrol of pests in agriculture

Hill N S (1987). Biological Control of Insects With Insect-Pathogenic Nematodes – A Brief Status report. Ornamentals Northwest Archives, Spring;10(3):ii-iv. Retrieved from