7 Freaky Facts About Dog Fleas You Probably Didn't Know
Fleas are horrible little parasites that feed on your dog's blood and can put it in a risk of various health conditions. Here we assembled a list of some weird, yet very informative facts about these little menaces.
According to Kanas State University, one single female flea can give birth to 2,000 eggs at a pace of 40 to 50 eggs per day during a time frame of around 7 weeks. That's a lot, by any standards! Initially, they come out as larvae and later go into cocoons where they can stay for months. After which they come out as fully adult, very hungry and ready to jump on any dog, cat, or any four-legged pet living with you.
A fully grown flea can jump 100 times its length. That comes up to thirteen inches horizontally and seven inches vertically. To put that in better perspective, that's the same as the average human being able to jump 450 feet horizontally and 250 feet vertically. The person who can do that would be considered a superhuman.
There is an actual study that looked into their eating habits and confirmed that food is something they can go without for a long time. During their time in their cocoons, they can survive up to a year without a bite. Once they are out of it, they immediately look for a blood meal. But even if they don't find one, they can go on like that for a week or two without any problem.
When they are super hungry, they don't care where they get their blood from. They don't have a problem even if it is from a human. They will jump on him or her and take a bite.
They won't stay for a second bite and let go soon after, but they will feed themselves at least once from wherever. Humans are not their preferred source for blood, but hunger beats any prejudice. Dogs, rabbits, cats, wolves, anything with fur and that got blood pumping is good enough for them.
If not for more, than at least one meal that will get them till another victim comes their way.
In some severe cases, the dog can lose so much blood that it can develop iron deficiency, which is commonly known as anaemia. There are records of cases in which some smaller dogs needed blood transfusions.
As reported by the American Veterinary Medical Association, fleas can cause serious skin conditions and even infect your dogs with diseases. That is why the moment you find fleas on your dog is the moment when you start planning how to deal with them.
Dog flea shampoos are an effective method of removing fleas.
Fleas have been around for almost 165 million of years. There are flea fossils dating back to the Mesozoic era. Meaning they harassed dinosaurs as they do dogs nowadays.
However, during those days they were much larger, a couple of times bigger than today's species. You can imagine a T-Rex scratching its back from a rock during those days while a bunch of fleas is comfortably sucking blood. In a way, they were the true vampires of the Dinosaur age.
Even though they are very rare in areas where the climate is a bit chillier, they can go through most cold days wrapped in their cocoons. Usually, they find a warm spot and hide until the temperatures rise. They can even survive freezing temperatures for a short period. Otherwise, they couldn't have survived for hundreds of millions of years.