The World of Fleas


The Hard Facts

Fleas are a problem all over the world. In the United States, pet owners spend an estimated $1.6 billion (US) every year treating fleas with the assistance of pet groomers. Another $4 billion (US) is spent on flea treatments bought over the counter and a whopping $348 billion (US) is spent on professional flea removal services.

At one time, however, people didn’t look at fleas as nothing but a bother. In fact, they once provided entertainment in the form of flea circuses, which have been around for about 300 years throughout Europe and the United States. At these special circuses, fleas were attached to miniature carts and performed various circus acts. In some cases, the acts were simulated, but there were flea circuses that truly used fleas as the main attraction.



Powerful Fleas

Fleas are very small creatures weighing only one-millionth of a pound. Despite being only 2-3 millimeters long, they are capable of pulling 160,000 times their own body weight. Put into proportion, this would be equivalent to a human pulling about 24 million pounds.

Fleas are also very strong jumpers. They are able to jump up to 12 inches into the air, which is 150 times their own height. This is equivalent to a human jumping 1,000 feet. To be able to get this height, fleas have to work up an acceleration that is 50 times more than a space shuttle when it lifts off. Because of their incredible endurance, fleas are also able to jump 30,000 times non-stop. Oddly, they reverse their direction each time they jump, which makes them very difficult to catch.



The Flea Life Cycle

Fleas can be difficult to get rid of once they have taken over a pet or a home. This is mostly due to the fact that their life cycle has not been stopped. To truly get rid of fleas, you need to get rid of the adult fleas, the eggs, and the larvae. Advocate for Dogs and Advocate for Cats both do a superb job of destroying fleas in every stage of the life cycle.

You will also need to wash all of your household bedding, particularly the pet’s bedding, once per week while eradicating fleas. This will ensure the larvae and the eggs are destroyed. Be sure to never bathe your pet with harsh soaps, either, because they can remove your pet’s natural oils. These oils help protect your pet from fleas and other potential skin irritants. Instead, use products such as Petgloss Insecticidal Shampoo or Killyptus Flea and Tick Shampoo to get rid of fleas. Even if your pet does not seem to be itchy or showing signs of fleas, it is best to provide regular flea baths to help prevent problems from occurring.