Flea Facts

Flea Facts
Flea is a type of insect that belongs to the group of external parasites (animals that live on other living creatures and use them as a source of food). There are more than 2.000 species and subspecies of fleas that can be found around the world. Besides in the wild, fleas are often found in the rural and urban areas where they live in close proximity of domestic animals, pets and humans.
Interesting Flea Facts:
Flea can reach only 1/16 to 1/8 inch in length and 0.001 ounces of weight. Female are usually larger than males.
Most species of fleas are dark, reddish brown colored. Their body is covered with tiny, backward oriented hairs and spines.
Flies do not have wings. They have flat body protected with hard coat and three pairs of legs. Hind legs are used for jumping.
Flea can jump 8 inches in height and 13 inches in length. It can travel 150 to 200 body lengths in a single leap. Fleas are able to jump 30.000 times without pause in between the jumps. Unusual way of moving facilitates transfer from one host on another.
Mouths of adult fleas are tube-shaped and designed for sucking of blood. Fleas drink blood of humans, various mammals, birds and reptiles. Blood-based diet is scientifically known as hematophagy.
Flea is able to drink amount of blood that is 15 times bigger than its body weight (on a daily basis). Bite usually induces itching and redness. Flea is also able to transmit tapeworms and various viruses and bacteria into the blood of host.
Despite its huge appetite, adult flea can survive 100 days without food.
Unlike fully developed fleas, larvae eat pieces of skin, hair and droppings of adult flea.
Female flea lays 40 to 50 oval-shaped eggs per day. Eggs are often arranged in clumps composed of 20 eggs. Female is able to lay 2.000 to 5.000 eggs in a lifetime.
Life cycle of flea consists of 4 developmental stages: eggs, larvae, pupa and adult insect.
Life cycle can last from 14 days to 12 months, depending on the species and environmental conditions. Eggs hatch after 2 to 14 days. Larval stage lasts 1 to 2 weeks and leads to pupa, which lasts from few weeks to 8 months. Warmth, moisture, vibrations and adequate amount of carbon dioxide are triggers for development of adult flea.
Eggs, larvae and pupa are often found in the sofas, rugs and beds. Adult flea requires host for survival.
Flea can be frozen for a period of one year and still be able to return to life.
Idea of flea circus (miniature circus which features fleas) originates from the 16th century.
Most adult fleas live from 2 to 3 months. Some fleas are able to survive one or more years under optimal conditions.

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