These tiny pests take “icky” to a whole new level. From blood gorging to disease transmission, read on for gross facts you probably never wanted to know about fleas!
There are more than 2,000 species of fleas, 300 of which are found in the United States.
The species commonly found on pets in North America is called Ctenocephalides felis, or the cat flea, and can grow up to 1/8″ long.
Fleas can jump up to 8″ vertically — that’s 150 times their body length!
Female fleas can consume up to 15 times their body weight in blood.
Female fleas lay eggs within 48 hours of their first meal.
A female flea can lay up to 50 eggs a day, or 2,000 during her lifetime.
A flea’s life cycle typically lasts about 21 days — starting as an egg and growing into an adult — but warm weather can speed up that process.
Fleas can live on your pet for up to two months.
They don’t just live on your pet — flea eggs and pupae can burrow in your carpet, couch, and car.
Fleas can transmit diseases that affect humans, the most common being the bacteria that causes cat scratch fever.
They can also transmit parasites, the most common being tapeworm.
Flea bites cause irritation, itching, and dermatitis.
Severe infestations can make your pet extremely sick and cause anemia.
The good news is that fleas can be prevented with a year-round medication. Talk to your veterinarian about a preventative recommendation to keep your pet happy and flea-free.