Do Fleas Have Wings? If You Don’t Know by Now
Do Fleas Have Wings? Fleas are bothersome parasites and learning about them is necessary; to ensure that you get rid of them effectively. Knowing how they look like, what they eat and how they move is crucial. Their ability to move determines how far they spread as they cling to their chosen hosts. Also, knowing how to get rid of them is key to a healthier life. Many people think that because fleas are insects they must have wings.
Do fleas have wings?
The funny thing is that despite fleas being insects, they actually do not have wings. Fleas move by jumping and they have an extraordinary capability to jump to reach their host. They have very strong hind legs that are well adapted to jumping. They use these legs to jump up and forward. Vertically, fleas can jump up to 18 cm. Horizontally, they can jump up to 33 cm. Going by their relative body size, this ability to jump is very impressive. In fact, they are one of the few mammals that have this ability.
There is a good reason why they can jump this well. In addition to the strong hind legs that are long, fleas do not rely on muscle power only to jump. As they jump, they store energy in pad of protein that is elastic known as resilin. This energy is able to propel the flea fast in a quick way employing an intricate mechanism in its joints.
How can you identify a flea?
Because fleas do not have wings, this is one way to identify them. However, knowing exactly how they look like will help in identification. Just like other insects, they have three body parts which are the head, thorax and the abdomen. Some experts suggest that their ancestors had wings. However, as they adapted, they found no need to have wings because they are parasitic in nature. Fleas are very thin and flat-looking. This is an asset when it comes to jumping to their hosts. Fleas at close examination will reveal tiny spiky hairs. This hair helps in attaching itself to the host’s fur. Because they are flightless insects, they will need to anchor themselves in this respect.
What do fleas eat and where do they survive without wings?
Because Do Fleas Have Wings the privilege of flying around looking for suitable homes, they have adapted to certain conditions. You will not find fleas in extremely cold or hot climates. They love warmth; just like the warmth in your home. This is why fleas are attracted to yards and homes. They feed on animal blood and they love warm blooded animals. They are able to feed on the hosts blood better; thanks to their anti-blood clotting saliva.
How do fleas travel long distances?
Because of their flightless nature, fleas will rely on people and other hosts to move from place to place. Their hosts can move great distances enabling fleas to traverse different places. They hitchhike on to wild animals like rodents like mice and rats. They can also be transported by humans in shoes and socks. If you are driving or even flying, you can carry flea eggs to various locations and this is how fleas are distributed. In essence, they will seek to thrive wherever the hosts takes them.
How do you tell flea bites and flea eggs?
It is really hard to see flea eggs. First, they are usually very tiny and can be best seen using a magnifying aid. In addition, these eggs are laid in places that are hidden and looking for them can be difficult. Therefore, in many cases, you will not know that you have flea eggs until they eggs mature into bloodsucking fleas. However, many flea eggs will be colorless. There are certain kinds of flea eggs that can manifest in a white pearly color or yellow.
Bites from the wingless fleas can wreck havoc not just in pets but in humans as well. They are very itchy and cause the formation of a red spot together with a halo that is red. In pets, the bites will be identified by redness which can be in dots or can affect a wider region. When a lot of scratching happens, these red patches will shed the fur around the area. The bite spot can also become rough; and this is certainly uncomfortable to say the least.
How long do fleas live on the host?
Without any host, fleas have the ability to survive for up to 2 weeks. However, in the presence of a host, they will live longer. The best hosts are long haired pets or furry pets. As you can see, they do not really need wings to live their lives.
Why should you eradicate fleas from your home?
Fleas pose a health risk not just to your family members but to your pets as well. First, the flea bites are itchy and very uncomfortable. They cause irritation which can lead to flea allergy dermatitis. Pets can also suffer from tapeworms, hair loss and anemia. Fleas are bloodsucking parasites that can literally compromise health of pets causing anemia. This condition is more severe in puppies and kittens. Do not forget that fleas can be carriers of dangerous health conditions like bubonic plague that is caused by rodents.
Finally, the good news is that you do not have contend with an infestation by fleas. You can eradicate them and prevent their infestation. The best practices for doing this will involve you determining where the fleas came from. It could be your yard, your pets or even yourself. Identify the cause and start by cleaning out different areas. vacuum the carpets and rugs accordingly. Your yard should be groomed properly avoiding dark shady corners where fleas like to hide. If you have a problem with wild animals, discourage them by removing any water or food in your yard. Take better care of your pet and give regular baths. Check for fleas and keep anti flea treatments close by. The fact that fleas do not have wings does not make them less notorious; they are very mobile and you need to stay vigilant to keep this threat at bay all the time.