Fleas are interesting pests. Of course, they cling to your pet’s skin, causing a lot of problems if not taken care of quickly, but they are not as boring as you would think. There are a number of strange but true facts about them. Here are the top five.
- There are over 2,500 different types of fleas in the world. Of these, the most common is the Ctenocephalides felis, or cat flea, which is indiscriminate as far as its choice of host goes. Despite its name, these fleas have been known to bite dogs and humans, as well as cats.
- Flea eggs are creamy in color, and tend to accumulate in areas that your pet frequents. But that is not the creepiest fact about them: an adult flea can lay between 25 and 40 eggs a day, which can add up to over 2,000 eggs throughout its lifespan. Now multiply that by the number of fleas in your house. Disturbing isn’t it?
- An adult Ctenocephalides felis, or cat flea, can jump as high as 12 inches, which adds up to be about 80 times the height of its body. This means that it can easily leap off of your pet and onto you, your furniture, or anything nearby that looks like it might be a great host. And although they do not usually transfer between hosts, it can happen, thanks to their jumping ability.
- The largest known species of flea – Hystrichopsylla schefferi – grows in mountain beavers in the Pacific Northwest. An adult Hystrichopsylla schefferi can grow to be 8 millimeters, or .314 of an inch long. This does not sound so scary, but when you consider that the standard cat flea grows to around 1.5 millimeters long, it is pretty large in comparison.
- The average cat flea can live for around 100 days. Its life cycle consists of four parts: the egg stage, the larval stage (which is made up of three stages in and of itself), the pupal stage, and then the adult stage. They do not begin to feed until they reach adulthood.