Fun Facts About Fleas
Fleas are blood-sucking parasites that are found throughout the United States. While you probably don’t want to share your home with fleas, these pests are much more interesting than you might think! Apex, the Tampa pest removal experts, are here to share eight fun facts about these common pests.
- There Are Many Kinds
Throughout the world, there are more than 2,000 known species of fleas. North America is home to more than 300 of those species.
- They Have a Long History
Like many insects, fleas have been on the planet for a long time. Fossil evidence shows that they lived in China between 125 and 165 million years ago, but at nearly an inch long, these ancient fleas were much larger than their modern counterparts. Their mouthparts were also much larger, which let them feed on dinosaurs.
- Their Lives Are Short
Fleas have very short lifespans. Depending on the species, they can expect to live anywhere between two weeks and two years.
- They Have Large Appetites
Fleas feed on blood and they have large appetites. In a single day, a flea can drink 15 times its weight in blood! Their appetites can sometimes harm their hosts. When a small animal, like a kitten, is heavily infested with fleas, it could develop anemia from blood loss.
- They Can Skip Meals
While fleas have huge appetites, they can go a long time without eating if necessary. After having a single meal, some fleas can survive for up to two years without more food. To reproduce, fleas need to feed on blood, so these hungry fleas won’t lay eggs.
- They’re Talented Athletes
Fleas have long, strong legs that are designed for jumping. They can jump as high as eight feet vertically, which is 150 times their height. If people were as athletic as fleas, a 6-foot-tall person could jump 900 feet in the air!
- They Multiply Quickly
During their short lives, fleas produce many offspring. A flea with a 100-day lifespan can lay as many as 400 to 500 eggs. When those eggs hatch, they’ll go on to produce their own offspring. Large numbers of fleas can infest an area in a short time.
- Humans Can Get Fleas
Fleas are often thought of as a problem for dogs and cats. However, fleas can feed on any warm-blooded animals, including people, and can spread diseases like plague and typhus. Some people can even have allergic reactions to the bites.