13 Flea Facts That Will Gross You Out

cat scratching its chin

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!

  • 1

    There are more than 2,000 species of fleas, 300 of which are found in the United States.

  • 2

    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.

  • 3

    Fleas can jump up to 8″ vertically — that’s 150 times their body length!

  • 4

    Female fleas can consume up to 15 times their body weight in blood.

  • 5

    Female fleas lay eggs within 48 hours of their first meal.

  • 6

    A female flea can lay up to 50 eggs a day, or 2,000 during her lifetime.

  • 7

    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.

  • 8

    Fleas can live on your pet for up to two months.

  • 9

    They don’t just live on your pet — flea eggs and pupae can burrow in your carpet, couch, and car.

  • 10

    Fleas can transmit diseases that affect humans, the most common being the bacteria that causes cat scratch fever.

  • 11

    They can also transmit parasites, the most common being tapeworm.

  • 12

    Flea bites cause irritation, itching, and dermatitis.

  • 13

    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.