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Friday, 6 February 2015


The phrase 'A flea in one’s ear', meaning a stinging rebuke, refers to a common problem in the Middle Ages of being infested with fleas and other parasites. Getting a flea in the ear was particularly painful.

Queen Christina of Sweden (1626 – 1689) had a phobia about fleas. She ordered the construction of a tiny four-inch long cannon so she could spend hours firing tiny cannonballs at the fleas which infested the royal bedchamber.

When the British polymath Robert Hooke published his 1665 masterpiece, Micrographia, people were blown away by its depictions of the miniature world. Until then, few people knew that fleas had hairy legs.

The replacement of carpets and matting for rushes in Western Europe during the first half of the seventeenth century meant that there were fewer fleas in middle class homes, which thus diminished the chance of the richer classes catching the flea-borne plague.

The snow scorpionflies (Boreidae)  By I.Sáček, senior; Chiswick Chap 

Japan's entomological warfare program in China during World War II used plague-infected fleas and cholera-coated flies to kill nearly 500,000 people.

A typical hedgehog harbors up to 1,000 fleas.

Birds that live in cities have learned to line their nests with cigarette butts. Nicotine is a powerful insecticide that wards off mites, lice and fleas.

The flea can jump 350 times its body length. That is like a human jumping the length of a football field.

Female fleas cannot lay eggs until after their first blood meal and begin to lay eggs within 36-48 hours after that meal.

A female flea can consume up to fifteen times her body weight daily.

Fllea allergy dermatitis (FAD) is the most common dermatologic disease among domestic dogs in the United States. 

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