Fleas are smaller than the tip of your pencil, they weigh a fraction of a milligram, and they can easily be squashed with just about anything. But these tiny creatures, as you may unfortunately know, can cause plenty of damage. The dreaded realization of a flea infestation leads to a lot of diligent cleaning for months on end. However, despite their nuisance, fleas are actually quite remarkable. History has even shown a strange affection for them. Ever been to a flea circus? It’s a thing.
Fun facts about fleas!
- They can pull 160,000 times that of their own body weight. That’s the equivalent of you pulling 2,679 busses.
- They can make 30,000 consecutive jumps without stopping.
- When a flea jumps, it accelerates faster than a space shuttle…50 times faster!
- Fleas can leap more than 150 times their own size. That’s as if you could jump over an entire football field.
- Fleas can revive themselves after being frozen for up to a year.
- In the 19th and 20th centuries, preserved, dead fleas and dressed up as a bride and groom, were sold as collector’s items in Mexico. Now they are a rare novelty. This was among the tiniest and strangest fads to have ever existed.
- Flea circuses were also a source of odd amusement. And in consideration of their incredible strength and talents, it is no wonder that they were impressive to watch. These originated in England in the 16th century and remained popular for centuries.
It’s no question that these critters are pretty amazing. No bodybuilder, long jumper or basketball player could ever compare to these stats. But despite their skillset, these little guys are a serious nuisance when they find their way into your home. And now that summer is upon us, it is important to take note of how to prevent and get rid of these mighty fleas.
How to prevent:
Flea infestations will most likely occur by means of your pets. Your cats and dogs love to roll around in flea-ridden grass and shrubs. And when they return to your home, their fur makes great transportation for these little bugs. So, before they arrive, you’ll want to focus on prevention tactics that start in your backyard and on your pets.
- Keep your grass mowed and shrubs trimmed back so to minimize their sources of shelter near your home.
- Do not allow feral pets and wildlife into your home. This may seem obvious. But some stray cats can be docile enough to persuade you to share some food. Never leave out dog or cat food for them, no matter how cute they appear.
- Seal off any openings into your house through crawl spaces, garages, sheds, etc.
- Consider shaving your pets’ long fur for the summer to reduce their chances of picking up fleas. This will also make fleas easier to spot in the case that they do.
- Apply preventative spot-on tick and flea treatments to your pets.
- Make sure that your home is clean. While fleas are not an indication that your home is dirty, cleaning will give them less incentive to burrow there. In particular, you’ll want to vacuum frequently as your carpets are popular nests for immature fleas.
Though fleas may be among the most impressive of insects, they are an unfortunate guest in your home. They can be quite troublesome and are exceptionally difficult to extract. The process can take months and involves extensive cleaning of all surfaces and materials within your house. So, make sure that these fleas only make a home outside and perhaps at their own circus.
If your house becomes invaded with fleas, make sure to call on a professional for extermination. We at Pete’s Termite and Pest Control are prepared to rid your home of these critters and any others that might find their way into your house this summer.