We all know that fleas and ticks cause a lot of harm for our beloved pets, but how much do you really know about these dangerous parasites?
Here are a few weird, crazy and scary facts about fleas and ticks to keep you informed.
Fact 1: A female flea will lay at least 20 eggs a day. Half of the eggs will be female, which can eventually produce about 20,000 new fleas in 60 days.
Fact 2: Fleas put Olympic athletes to shame. They can jump 110 times their length. A flea jumping several inches is like an average-sized human jumping over a 30-story building.
Fact 3: When a flea jumps, it accelerates 20 times faster than a space shuttle.
Fact 4: Fleas have been on the earth for at least 165 million years. Flea fossils date back to the Mesozoic era, which includes the Jurassic period. At that time they were giants compared to today’s fleas, and their victims would have been dinosaurs.
Fact 5: Winter does not always kill fleas. Many larvae can survive short periods of freezing temps as long as they are wrapped snuggly in their cocoons. The lucky ones find warm spots to hide out until temperatures are more hospitable.
Fact 6: Ticks are arachnids. Meaning, they are more closely related to spiders and scorpions than insects.
Fact 7: Ticks do not fly, jump or fall from trees. They generally crawl up their hosts from the tips of grasses and shrubs.
Fact 8: In many hard ticks, the saliva also acts like cement, helping to anchor the tick in place and making it harder for you to remove it.
Fact 9: There are more than 850 species of ticks on the planet.
Fact 10: Bites from a Lone Star Tick can cause rare allergies to red meat in humans. Dogs can also develop this allergy and will react with itching, skin lesions and hair loss if their diets contain beef, lamb or pork.
Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
An Introduction to the Study of Insects, 4th Edition
National Park Service
Centers for Disease Control
New York Times