Anyone who’s dealt with a flea infestation will agree, these blood-sucking parasites are the ultimate pests. This is due largely in part to evolution. Over the course of millions of years, fleas have evolved into incredibly efficient pests, making them a serious nuissance for homeowners and their families. So, what exactly makes fleas the ultimate pest?
They Reproduce Fast
One reason why fleas are the ultimate pest is because they reproduce fast. According to 1800PetMeds, it takes a single female flea just 6 weeks to turn into one million fleas. And if preventive measures aren’t taken to eliminate them, their numbers can grow even larger.
They Can’t Be Squished
Every try to kill a flea by squishing it between two fingers? It probably didn’t work, because fleas have a tough outer shell that protects them against such injuries. Rather than attempting to squish fleas between your fingers, you should press down on its body using the tip of your nail. When done correctly, the nail should pierce through the flea’s shell, cracking and killing it.
They Can Jump Nearly a Foot Into The Air
Yet another reason why fleas are the ultimate pest is because they can jump nearly a foot into the air. If you take your eyes off a flea for just a split second, it may jump to safety, preventing you from catching it. The flea’s exceptional jumping ability also allows it to hitch rides on dogs, cats, squirrels, and other animals with ease. Even large Mastiffs and Great Danes aren’t safe from the clutches of a jumping flea. And in case you were wondering, fleas can jump roughly 7-8 inches horizontally.
They Can Consume 15 Times Their Body Weight In Blood
Not to gross you out, but fleas are capable of consuming 15 times their body weight in blood (yuck!). From the moment it first emerges from its dormant egg state, a flea will begin hunting for blood. Once it finds a host, it will continue to drink until its body is no longer able to hold any blood, at which point it will fall off its host, waiting for the blood to digest before going back for a second helping.
They Can Survive Freezing-Cold Temperatures
Fleas are capable of surviving freezing-cold winter temperatures by going into a dormant state. They will remain in dormancy until spring rolls around, at which point they will emerge to begin their hunt for blood.