Fleas are common insects found in most households in Australia. As long as you have pets, you cannot avoid these pests. While there are more than 200 known species of these insects, cat flea is the most common since they feed on human, native animals and pets (cat and dog). But fleas will most likely choose a pet since the fur provides warmth and shelter for their bleeding.
Flea Facts You Need to Know
How well do you know these insects? In this guide, we are presenting several fascinating and surprising facts about fleas.
They Contain Resilin above Their Hind Legs
Have you ever noticed that fleas are excellent jumpers? Well, even with their small size, they can jump very high. They have an elastic substance called resilin on their hind legs that enable them to jump this high. If you drop the ball made from resilin 100 feet, it will bounce back nearly 97 feet. This is what makes fleas good jumpers. In fact, it is believed flea could jump 1000 feet if it was human size.
They Are Faster Than a Space Shuttle
Space shuttles are believed to be the fastest known objects, but this might not be the case. It has been observed that when a flea jumps, it can actually accelerate 50 times faster than a space shuttle. The resilin is mostly responsible for this speed generated by their hind legs.
They Have Undeveloped Sense of Hearing and Sight
These household pests are virtually blind, and they do not possess hearing sense. They simply rely on vibration to detect the location of the host. But they can detect changes in light which is an adaptability feature that allows them to hide from or escape predators. That’s why when you expose them to light they will run away instantly.
They Spread Infections
This is among the most ignored facts. Fleas are known to spread a dangerous bacterial infection known as flea-borne typhus or murine typhus. The infection is transmitted by bacterial infested faeces of an infected flea when it bites you. The infection affects all hosts including human, pests and other native animals.
They Can Put on a Lot of Weight
If a flea finds a host where they suck a lot of blood, then they can put on one thousand times their weight. In fact, they can put on 106,000 times their weight. That’s why sometimes you’ll find a huge flea on your pet and you wonder where it could have come from.
They Breed Very Quickly
Fleas can reach plague proportions if you are not careful with pest control. A few fleas can multiply into tens of thousands within a concise time. A matter of fact, a female flea can lay 2,000 eggs in her lifetime (2 to 3 months). This means two thousand fleas in that short span.
Can Survive 100 Days without Meal
Fleas are very resilient, and they can live more than 100 days without a blood meal, waiting for an unsuspecting host to walk past their location.