Although small in size, fleas can turn an otherwise peaceful home into a chaotic environment. The constant biting and itching can take its toll on family members, both mentally and physically. The first step in ridding your home of fleas, however, is to understand their behavior and what drives them. This week, we’re going to reveal 5 unusual facts about the flea’s behavior.
#1) Fleas Are Attracted To White
Several studies have found that fleas are attracted to white. You can test this theory by wearing a pair of white socks and walking around your home when it’s infested with fleas. Chances are you’ll notice the blood-sucking parasites jumping and attaching themselves to your socks.
#2) Fleas Are One of The Most Capable ‘Jumpers’ In The Animal Kingdom
With the ability to jump vertically 7 inches and horizontally 13 inches, fleas are viewed as one of the most capable jumpers in the animal kingdom. Experts attribute this behavior to the flea’s ability to store energy in the form of a protein called resilin. Using this energy, fleas are able to thrust their body up and/or forward to attach themselves to a host.
#3) Most Species of Fleas Are Nocturnal
There’s a good reason why fleas are worse at night: it’s because they are nocturnal. Fleas — like all nocturnal animals — hide and rest during the daylight hours and come out at night to feed. The darkness of the night offers a shroud of cover to protect fleas from natural predators. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t see them during the day, but fleas are far more active during the night as opposed to the day.
#4) Most Fleas Are Eggs, Pupae and Larvae
Fleas go through four different stages in their life cycle: pupae, larvae, egg and adult. Experts believe that just 5% of a typical flea infestation is comprised of adults, whereas the remaining 95% are eggs, pupae and larvae. This is why it’s important to use a flea treatment product that targets fleas during all stages of the life cycle and not just adults. Insect growth inhibitors (IGI) and insect growth regulators (IGR) are designed specifically for breaking the flea’s life cycle.
#5) Fleas Spend Three Quarters of Their Time Away From a Host
Here’s another unusual fact about the flea behavior: fleas spend approximately three quarters of their life away from a host. Fleas spend just 25% of their time on a host, whereas the remaining 75% is spent hiding or waiting.