Flea Facts

All You Wanted to Know about Fleas and More
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 neighbor 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 to 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, 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, it is 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 half an inch!

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