8 Fun Facts About Fleas

The fleas are out! These tiny creatures are known for causing a lot of trouble. Fleas feed on domestic pets like cats and dogs and find warmth and comfort in your home. 

Fleas can be very annoying for pet owners. When fleas come into contact with humans, a bloody rash can form. Victims can also suffer persistent itching, and infections may develop.

  • During the Black Death, fleas helped spread the disease. Can you believe it?
  • Within 21 days after one flea infects your pet and home, it can turn to 1,000
  • There is a chance that fleas can be frozen and then come back to life after as long as a year

Whatever their size and however irritating they may be, nature’s tiniest hitchhikers are fascinating to learn about. Here are some fun facts about fleas!

Fun Facts About Fleas

1. Approximately 165 Million Years Ago, Giant Fleas Plagued Early Dinosaurs

Inner Mongolian and Chinese compression fossils suggest fleas plagued dinosaurs as well. The two types were called Pseudopulex Magnus and Pseudopulex Jurassic and lived during the Mesozoic period. 

One of the larger species of dino flea, Pseudopulex Magnus, measured almost 1 inch long, possessing jaws strong enough to penetrate dinosaur skin. It’s believed these fleas could not jump like the ones that exist today. 

2. Fleas Are Blind

Fleas can detect light and dark but cannot see full visual images. Fleas’ eyes are sensitive to the green and yellow aspects of the light spectrum, with 300-600 nanometers of wavelength. 

Fleas’ eyes are sensitive to the green and yellow aspects of the light spectrum, with 300-600 nanometers of wavelength. 

3. Rather Than Laying Eggs on Your Carpet, Fleas Lay Them on Other Animals

Fleas are commonly believed to lay their eggs in carpets and furniture. If your dog has fleas, you should treat them accordingly. In reality, flea eggs are laid on animals, so if your dog has fleas, you should treat him accordingly.

Flea eggs do not adhere to surfaces. They don’t tend to stay in place very well and often land on the carpet or dog bed.

4. The Fleas Are Very Small

It’s difficult to detect fleas since their length is typically between 1 and 3 mm — similar in scale to a fruit fly. A flea infestation is rarely discovered until it’s already substantial. Even though fleas may originate on your pet, they can spread to your lawn via their eggs, causing the problem to spread. 

In the absence of food, fleas can live for one week

Generally, fleas live for two to three months. But if fed continuously, their lifespan can reach 100 days. A flea’s life expectancy is about one week without food.

5. Fleas lay Eggs in Large Numbers

Unless you act at the first sign of fleas on your pet, they can quickly grow into a horrible infestation. Similarly, fleas, bed bugs, and other bloodsuckers multiply rapidly when they find an animal to feed on. A mature flea lays around 50 eggs per day and produces 2,000 eggs throughout its short life.

6. A Flea’s Poop Contains Blood

Blood is the only food fleas eat. A flea’s feeding frequency is unlimited as an adult. Blood is the only thing going in and the only thing leaving.

Dry blood residue is the only component of flea feces. Excrement may remain on the host, and newly hatched larvae will eat the waste.

7. There Is Evidence That Fleas Contributed to the Spread of the Black Death

Known as the Black Death, the plague ravaged the Middle Ages and led to the deaths of tens of millions of people. The plague alone reduced London’s population by 20% in two years. The little, humble flea must seem irrelevant to this story. 

The bacteria causing the plague killed many rodents and animals. A flea’s primary and preferred host was the same animal. In other words, as soon as the animals succumbed, fleas found humans to feed on. As a result, the infection spreads rapidly by proximity.

8. Pets Can Become Extremely Ill if Flea Infestations Are Not Treated

An untreated flea infestation can cause your pet severe health problems and even lead to death. Animals, including puppies, kittens, and adults, can become extremely anemic due to flea bites. Feeding upon blood is what fleas do, and the greater the number, the more they must consume.

Other Fun Facts about Fleas

  • Most species have larger females than males
  • A group of fleas is referred to as a swarm
  • Dawn and dusk are the only times when sand fleas are active
  • In addition to being excellent jumpers, fleas have fast feet as well. Despite their size, they are faster than Olympic sprinters
  • It’s estimated that female fleas consume about 15 times their body weight in blood every day. That’s not much, but for small puppies with heavy flea infestations, you can see how it could lead to anemia
  • Fleas can be picked up from any environment where flea-infested animals, such as other animals, including wild rabbits, foxes, or other pet dogs and cats
  • Over 2,000 flea species exist throughout the world. There are more than 300 species of these animals in North America
  • Beaver fleas are about 11mm, making them the world’s largest
  • Flying fleas accelerate 50 times faster than space shuttles when they jump
  • In the flea population, 5 percent are adults, 10 percent are pupae, 35% are larvae, and 50 percent are eggs
  • Flea bodies are specially designed for harsh conditions. Their hard outer coating prevents them from being crushed easily. Aside from that, they easily glide through fur, feathers, and hair with their small flat bodies

Final Thoughts

There are some interesting, fun, and unbelievable facts about fleas here. Pet parents should never underestimate flea infestations. Both you and your pet can be impacted by fleas, and they are known to carry parasites and diseases.

If you suspect your pet has fleas, start treatment immediately to avoid it becoming a huge problem. Professional treatment is needed if fleas are found around the home.

While fleas may be interesting to learn about, they are nothing more than a problem for everyone.