Sunday, April 18, 2010

My Town Monday: San Diego and the Flea


San Diego is known for its idyllic weather. More than 30 million visitors (edited) flock here annually. And spend over $80 billion.

Guess who else likes San Diego? The flea. Basically, any season is flea season for us, with a peak from July to October.



Based on fossil evidence, fleas date back 100 million years which means a tyrannasauras rex or a triceratops might have been bothered by the biting, blood-sucking insects.

A female flea begins laying eggs 36-48 hours following her first blood meal. Then she drinks 15 times her body weight in blood each day. She can lay 2,000 eggs during her two-to-three-month lifetime.

There are over 2,000 species of fleas, but the cat flea (which infests both dogs and cats) doesn't like freezing temperatures. Which is why they love San Diego. The cat flea is mostly likely the flea bugging your pet.

In general, a flea jumps 150 times its length which is like me jumping 813 feet.

A flea has two eyes, but only sees bright light. Flea larvae are blind.

Fleas can smell exhaled carbon dioxide. This helps them find hosts.

Flea-ridden rats are responsible for the Black Plague of the Middle Ages.

Writing this post made me itchy.

Please check out the posts by the other My Town Monday participants by clicking here. If you have a MTM post, leave a comment on the My Town Monday blog, and a link to you will be added. Actually, you can even leave a comment at the bottom of this post, and I'll hop over and link to you from the MTM blog.





sources:
http://www.insecta-inspecta.com/fleas/bdeath/bdeath.html
http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/deh/pests/fleas.html
http://www.sandiego.com/lifestyle/every-season-is-flea-season
http://www.akc.org/public_education/fleas2.cfm

35 comments:

Maggie May said...

We just got our first fleas..we have two big dogs...and Advantage is expensive!

Barrie said...

Advantage is definitely expensive! My dog has been scratching these past couple of days ;( Hmmm.....I wonder if we can find Advantage cheaper online??

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

*scratch scratch* 100 million years means they do something right. It must be the jump.
Thanks for a fascinating, if itchy, post.

Gary Corby said...

Sydney weather is similar to San Diego -- which is one of the reasons I like San Diego! -- but it means we have a similar problem, only our cross to bear is with ticks.

Barrie said...

Tricia: Yes, those pesky little parasites have something figured out!!

Barrie said...

Gary: Ticks. Yuck. I got one once in Oklahoma.

Beth said...

Reading this post made me itchy!
And I'm still trying to envision you jumping 813 feet.

Barrie said...

Beth: Perhaps with the help of a bungee cord, I could spring up 813 feet@

Charles Gramlich said...

Fleas are pretty well adapted. That's for sure.

Rebecca @ Diary of a Virgin Novelist said...

Loved the last line! I itching my head by the time I got to it. ;)

Kathleen A. Ryan said...

Cool post!

Fleas are hardy buggers, aren't they?

I have an MTM post up today, too, about visiting the grave of a murder victim in Southampton, NY, and studying memoir with Frank McCourt at the Southampton writers conference in '07:

http://www.womenofmystery.net/2010/04/mtm-my-visits-to-southampton-new-york.html

San Diego Momma said...

I think I am being bitten by fleas. I have red "bites" all over my legs, but I don't have a dog or cat to attract the fleas. Is this possible?

Also. Thanks for the closeup of the flea. I appreciate it and will not have nightmares.

Barrie said...

Charles: I wonder if fleas would survive a nuclear war? I read somewhere that cockroaches will!

Barrie said...

Rebecca: I hope you're planning a big birthday celebration!

Barrie said...

Kathleen: I enjoyed your MTM post!!

Barrie said...

San Diego Momma: Got any friends with cats or dogs? The eggs are round and do roll easily. So, for example, if you visited someone with a fleae-infested pet and sat on the couch where the pet had sat and left behind eggs.... Maybe you should google to see if your bitest match the photos of flea bites? I did read somewhere (the Tribune??) that we'll have a lot of bugs this year due to our rainy winter. One of my kids just had a few spider bites. YUCK!

Stacy said...

If I could jump 150 times my height, my work commute would be awesome. So would weekend road trips. Would a bite from a radioactive flea do the trick?

Suzy said...

If only 3,000 people spent 80 billion dollars in a year I'm hanging out with the wrong crowd!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I never knew that fleas were indigenous to California! Yay--we don't get them here!

Alyssa Goodnight said...

I'm thinking the same thing as Suzy--3,000? Surely that's not all.

Excellent flea image.

And finally...a downside to San Diego. :)

Clare2e said...

Okay, Bleck, Barrie. And also, I need to get my dog's back on the calendar for treatments : )

debra said...

with 3 dogs and 3 cats, we are well acquainted with fleas! Thank goodness it freezes here. I am highly allergic to flea bites so I'm attentive to prevention.

Travis Erwin said...

Flee now while you still can.

Teresa said...

Does San Diego also have sand fleas on the beach in addition to the regular garden variety that love to live on pets?

Barrie said...

Suzy and Alyssa: 30 million not 3 thousand visitors. Yeesh!! Sorry about that, guys. I edited the post.

Barrie said...

Stacy: Sounds like a comic book in the making!! Ha!

Barrie said...

Teresa: yes, we do have sand fleas. Or are they sand flies?

Barrie said...

Green Girl: I don't think they're actually indigenous to San Diego. We just have more than our fair share! :)

Barrie said...

Clare 2: I'm with you on that. I'm getting out dog groomed this week, then....it's advantage time!

Barrie said...

Debra: We don't have freezing to help keep the flea population in check, but I have a lot of hardwood floors and leather furniture.

Barrie said...

Travis: Ha! ha! Ha!

laughingwolf said...

i have no use for fleas! GRRRR

take a bare room, a flea, a dog, a cat, and me... i'm the one first attacked by the flea! :(

Keri Mikulski said...

Learn something new everyday. :)

Bina said...

So, if I ever come to San Diego, I need to bring flea spray, right?

I'm itchy now, too.

Kathy Holmes said...

I'm a bit late weighing in on this one but I didn't know that about the flea in San Diego. But Florida has the "love bug" every May and September - they mate mid-air - hence, their name - and they're everywhere - on your front door, your car windshield, up your nose - lol!