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….. brought to you by Advantage® flea control, the flea’s number one enemy.
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 1/2-inch!