According to scientists, super fleas with penises that are two and half times their size, are all set to invade the British homes this soggy summer and bring with them a host of diseases. They warn that the damp weather this August following a hot spring has led to the successful breeding of these bugs.
These fleas further have undergone mutations to develop supersized penises! These penises are far bigger than normal adult male penises and the size that’s two and half times the entire length of the bug itself makes it the largest genitalia, relative to size, of any insect on Earth!
The wet summer days have prompted the fleas to come indoors to feed upon the flesh of the unsuspecting humans. Nigel Binns, of pest controllers Basis Prompt explained this saying that the behavior of the fleas – as to where they would breed or live or go and feed are dependent on the climate to a large extent.
These fleas for example thrive best in warm and humid environments. Over the next few weeks the warmth and the sogginess thus would make it best for them. Binns explained that in general the flea population has risen over the last few years. However this year might be one of the worst ones with a larger threat of infestation.
Image Credit: Schankz / Flea on human skin
Fleas are normally carried inside the homes on the furs of cats and dogs that usually get them from rodents, rabbits or foxes outdoors or even indoors. Binns explained that scratching could be the first indicator of an infestation with the fleas. There are usually telltale bite marks around the ankles or legs which leave behind small red itchy spots. Soon these fleas may be seen to jump around over the carpets, beddings, rugs and furniture as well. The female fleas lay up to 50 eggs a day making their multiplication rate accelerated. Within a few days these fleas hatch and live on for a few months. This makes the flea population hug within a very short span of time noted Binns.
The British Pest Control Association thus recommends that pets need to be regularly treated and inspected for flea infestation and furniture and beddings need thorough cleaning and removal of pests at frequent intervals to prevent the pests from returning.
In a related news, fleas have been found to cause plague in at least two Arizona counties. Most recently they have been detected in the Navajo county. The first case was first reported a week ago in Coconino County where infected fleas were detected on local prairie dogs. Navajo County Health Department consequently has issued health warnings for public especially hikers who might be exposed to infected fleas.
Fleas and human health
Fleas have been known to carry a host of diseases for hundreds of years now killing vast populations. One of the most notable among them is the plague or the “Black Death” that wiped out more than half of the European population in the 14th Century killing 100 million people.
Over the last few decades the geographic locations and range of hosts have changed and the climate changes have also changed these bugs to a great extent. Flea borne diseases have the potential to become another epidemic any day say researchers.
Fleas are small, flattened, wingless insects. Both males and females live on blood of mammals and birds. There are around 2,574 species of this insect but only some live in close proximity to humans.
Some of the common lfea borne illnesses include;
- Plague caused by Yersinia pestis bacteria
- Murine typhus or endemic typhus by Rickettsia typhi
- Rural epidemic typhus by Rickettsia prowazekii
- Flea-borne spotted fever by Rickettsia felis
- Cat-scratch disease (CSD) by Bartonella henselae
- Helminthic diseases or infestations with Dipylidium caninum and Hymenolepis diminuta
- Tungiasis in tropical regions caused by T. penetrans
Bits usually leave small red itchy spots. Within 12-24 hours this spot turns a hard button like lesion called a papillar lesion. The intense itching is the hallmark of flea bites. There may be spreading redness and edema or swelling of the affected area.
The incidence of flea-borne diseases can pose a serious health threat worldwide especially with the rapid changes in the climate.