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Article
December 1949

FLEA PROBLEM IN CALIFORNIA

Author Affiliations

OAKLAND, CALIF.

Arch Derm Syphilol. 1949;60(6):1184-1202. doi:10.1001/archderm.1949.01530070124012
Abstract

THE TESTIMONY of present day dermatologists is that fleas are more of a nuisance in California, particularly in the San Francisco Bay area, than elsewhere in the United States.

HISTORICAL ACCOUNTS

In the vast literature relating to exploration, settlement and life in California the references to misery caused by fleas encountered by the authors are related entirely to experiences in Northern California.

Padre Juan Crespi,1 the diarist of the Portola expedition of 1769, wrote that when the expedition visited an Indian village on Purisima Creek in San Mateo County they found the grass huts so infested with fleas that they called it "Village of the Fleas."

In 1786 the Frenchman La Perouse1 had this to say about the fleas in Carmel and Monterey: "Under the influence of the Missionaries the Indians had refused to make the slightest change in the construction of their huts because they could

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