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Fleas & Fun Flea Facts


Did you know…..

There are more than 2000 flea species.

They can perform the human equivalent of jumping over St. Paul’s Cathdral in London…not just once but 600 times an hour for three days in a row!

Fleas have a ball of a substance called Resilin above their hind legs, which gives them their bounce. Resilin is the most elastic substance known. A Resilin ball dropped from 100 feet would bounce back to 97 feet!

Bat fleas in Southeast Asia hitch rides to the bat roosts on the backs of bat earwigs – as many as 41 fleas have been counted on the back of one earwig!

An Antarctic flea has evolved to wait 9 months under several feet of ice and snow for its host, the petrel, to return to the nest.

One theory of historians says that lap dogs were bred, not for their company, but to distract the fleas into biting the dog instead of its owner!

London’s Natural History Museum contains a collection of souvenirs from 19th century Mexico of “dressed fleas” – tiny, meticulously dressed figures of woodcutter, drummer boy, wedding couple etc., all with flea heads for faces.

Modern life makes it easy to forget about fleas. Our houses are drier than those of our ancestors and flea larvae need moisture to reproduce. Hence we are less plagued with them than our forebears. However, for most of human history humans of all classes were routinely flea-bitten. In the words of one old poem the flea was “born to range the merry world / To rob at will the veins delectable of princes… To lie with ladies, and ah fairest joy, / On infants’ necks to feed.”

Please call your veterinarian if you have a flea problem in YOUR house!