C. meleagridis is an ectoparasite, meaning it is a parasite that lives on the surface or exterior of the host organism. The host of C. meleagridis is a turkey, specifically found on the wings and body feathers of the turkey (Emerson 1962).

C. meleagridis has been found on turkeys in North America, as well as all over the world. Thousands of lice may infect one single host. Feeding activity on a host of C. meleagridis results in feather loss, skin irritation, and possibly a secondary infection (Calvete et al. 2003).

The two main ways C. meleagridis moves between individual hosts is by direct contact of the birds, like using the same nest or resting place, or during parental care (Calvete et al. 2003).

Most lice are host specific, meaning they only affect one type of host. Because of this, humans cannot be infested by the louse C. meleagridis.