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Are fleas insects?

are-fleas-insects

ANSWER:

Fleas ARE insects.

Insect Order Siphonaptera

The flea is a wingless parasite that attaches to a host and uses its tube-like mouthparts to extract blood.  Due to these characteristics, the flea is classified in the order Siphonaptera derived from the Greek language, siphon meaning tube or pipe, and aptera meaning wingless.  The order Siphonaptera is any group of blood-sucking insects that are major carriers of disease.

How Long Do Fleas Live?

Fleas can live for a year or more and are able to live away from their hosts without a blood meal for months.

What Do Fleas Eat?

Fleas are parasites that survive on blood from a variety of animals.  Up to 90% of fleas feed from mammalian hosts while 10% choose birds as hosts.

Are Fleas Harmful?

Fleas are major carriers of bacteria and disease which are easily transmitted to the host during feeding.  Fleas were responsible for the bubonic plague of the Middle Ages, which wiped out more than one-quarter of the European population.

 

Resources

“flea (insect) — Britannica Online Encyclopedia.” Encyclopedia – Britannica Online Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2011. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked//topic/209867/flea

“Siphonaptera.” College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. University of California, n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2011. www.cals.ncsu.edu/course/ent425/compendium/fleas.html

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