Fast Facts for Kids
Flea Facts for Kids

Flea Facts for Kids

  • Common Name: Flea
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Siphonaptera
  • Total Species: ~2,500
  • Distribution: Worldwide (Except Antarctic)
  • First Appeared: ~240 million years ago

20 Flea Facts For Kids

  1. Flea is the common name for a large group of small parasitic insects in the Siphonaptera order.
  2. You can identify a flea by looking for small dark specks in hair or fur, up close they look like a teardrop with long legs.
  3. Fleas and their ancestors first started to appear around 240 million years ago.
  4. Fleas are one of the most widely distributed insect species, found on all seven continents, including Antarctica.
  5. Fleas are hematophagous, which means that feed on the blood of other animals.
  6. The diet of a flea varies by species, some fleas feed off a specific host, while others feed off multiple hosts.
  7. Flea hosts can include, but are not limited to birds, cats, dogs, humans, small to large mammals, and reptiles.
  8. The hen flea (Ceratophyllus gallinae) is an example of a flea species that feeds on the blood of birds.
  9. The dog flea (Ctenocephalides canis) is an example of a flea species that feeds on the blood of dogs.
  10. The house flea (Pulex irritans) is an example of a flea species that feeds on the blood of humans and other hosts.
  11. There have been around 2,500 flea species scientifically described by taxonomists.
  12. Fleas haven’t been studied in detail and around 600 of the 2,500 know flea species were studied from the same single records.
  13. The average adult flea body length is between 0.1 and 0.125 inches.
  14. All flea species are wingless and can only travel between hosts by jumping.
  15. The average flea species can jump 7 inches vertically (straight up).
  16. The average flea species can leap up to 13 inches horizontally (forward).
  17. Flea bites are usually harmless, they cause some swelling and/or itching, but hosts with the dermatitis (flea allergy) can have worse symptoms.
  18. Fleas are known vectors of several different bacterial and viral disease, which they can transmit through their bites.
  19. Fleas were partly responsible for The Black Death plague pandemic between years 1345 and 1353. They transmitted the bacterium Yersinia pestis between black rats and humans, which killed up to 200 million people during the 14th century.
  20. A flea circus was an exhibit at a circus were fleas appeared to perform different circus acts or tasks. In reality, they used dead or fake fleas and invisible wire to make them perform.

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Flea Pictures

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the below images will be helpful for your research on fleas. Below are three pictures of various flea species. These pictures should help you better understand the different types of fleas found around the world.

Close Up Of A Flea

A picture close up of a flea.

A Flea On Human Skin

A picture of a flea on human skin.

Fleas In Dog Hair

A picture of fleas in dog hair.

Flea Resources

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