All you wanted to know about fleas and more
Did you know fleas have quite a unique history and lifestyle too?
You know that fleas can "bug" you and your pet. But did you know fleas have quite a unique history and lifestyle too? Come along as we explore the "flea" facts about the number one pest "bugging" your pet.
- Flea fossils date back
to the Lower Cretaceous period, meaning fleas have been around for about 100
million years. At that time, their neighbors might have been a Tyrannosaurus
Rex or Triceratops!
- Some fleas can jump 150
times their own length. That compares to a human jumping 1,000 feet. One flea
broke a record with a four-foot vertical jump.
- Undisturbed and without
a blood meal, a flea can live more than 100 days. On average, they live two
to three months.
- Female fleas cannot lay
eggs until after their first blood meal and begin to lay eggs within 36-48
hours after that meal.
- The female flea can lay
2,000 eggs in her lifetime; if all 53 million dogs in the U.S. each hosted
a population of 60 fleas, we'd have more than six trillion flea eggs surrounding
our pets. Laid end-to-end, those eggs would stretch around the world more
than 76 times!
- The female flea consumes
15 times her own body weight in blood daily.
- While adult fleas all
suck blood from a cat or dog or other mammal, their larvae live and feed on
organic debris in the host animal's environment.
- Flea larvae are blind.
- If you happen to see
one flea, there may be more than 100 offspring or adults looming nearby in
furniture, corners, cracks, carpeting or on your pet.
- The cat flea, which infests
both cats and dogs, is a tropical insect and cannot tolerate freezing temperatures
for long periods of time. However, they are well adapted to indoor living.
- While there are more
than 2,000 known species and subspecies of fleas, only one flea species --
the cat flea -- accounts for almost all the fleas found on cats and dogs in
the United States.
- Fleas are often confused
with bedbugs, lice and ticks.
- The largest recorded
flea is the North American Hystrichopsylla schefferi, measuring 12mm in length
- almost ½ inch!