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Jo

do fleas breathe?

I was just wondering today (as one does):

Do fleas breathe?

If they do breathe, why can't you just get a dog to stand up to its neck in water, so they all suffocate and die? Shocked Shocked

Would they all just climb to its head? Would they die but the eggs would be left?

What do you think??? (No, we don't have a flea problem, I was just wondering!)
BritAnnie

http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2081.html
Ghilliegumdrop

Don't we ask daft questions some times?
Jan
PS I am including myself here! Laughing Laughing
Jo

Annie, I just skim read that but can't find anything - where does it say if fleas breathe or not and why they can't be killed under water?
BritAnnie

I didn't look - it just seemed an interesting article - haven't really read it properly myself. Sorry if I misled you.
But thinking logically, I can't see that they don't breathe somehow or other - I must ask my son-in-law - he's a GP so might know. Anyone got any other possible sources?
Annie
guy

it's not the first of April is it?? How are they going to survive without breathing?

http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/m...-uk.org.uk/mag/artfly/breath.html
BritAnnie

OK OK OK - so you're better browser than me! Twisted Evil More experience, more practice! Wink Laughing
BritAnnie

So can fleas breathe under water too then? Or would they drown as Josie would like.
windem bang

Oh my God ! You only have to mention fleas and I start scratching imaginary itchy bits !!! Back before I had a car I used to go shooting by Edinburgh Corporation bus. After one very successful evenings shooting, I was sitting in the bus on my way home with my dog sitting happily beside me. I noticed , sort of absentmindedly, that a lot of fleas had left the dead rabbits in my bag and were now crawling over my dogs head.
With my mind still thinking of how well the dog had worked and how well I had shot ,I went into sort of automatic function mode. I began to pick off the fleas and crack them between my thumb and forefinger. After a moment or two of this innocuous activity it came to my attention that all other passengers were now at least three seat rows away from me in every direction and were regarding me with evident horror. It took me a couple of seconds to resurface back into the real world and my ridiculous sense of humour took over to make me laugh uncontrollably. I was still laughing when the conductor chucked me off the bus, I'd been shopped!!
Some people have no sense of humour!

W.B. --- P.S. Sorry to interrupt a serious discussion with an old memory.
Jo

I remember when our cat had fleas when I was a kid, we spent an entire evening crawling around on our hands and knees, cracking them on the floor with our finger nails. I think we counted to around 250 before we gave up!!!!!! (And bought flea treatment the next day!!)

Anyway, none of this is answering my question - can fleas breathe underwater?

Perhaps I should write in to one of those Q & A things somewhere...!
guy

josie - how long do you wish them to survive/not survive for under water? insects eventually drown in water - they cannot escape the meniscus. after all one puts floating pieces into bird baths to assist their escape. Is our question how long would a flea survive under water?
Jo

Yes, how long would a flea survive for under water? Is it possible for a dog to remain in water long enough to drown its fleas? Anyone with spare time on their hands can research this!!!!!

Perhaps we can obtain a flea and submerge it. With a stopwatch running.
Liz

I seem to remember an old wives tale about foxes cleaning themselves of fleas by slowly walking into the river, and waiting with just their head above water. Then they would wait until all the fleas had climbed up to their head, and duck their heads under the water, holding their breath until the fleas all hopped off.

Don't know if this has any truth to it or not. I was told a lot of tall stories as a child!
Jo

Well, I was just thinking last night as I dropped off to sleep - obtaining a flea and submerging it isn't going to answer our question because the flea will either be alive or dead when we take it out of the water and we won't be able to tell when it died or how long it survived. So I propose a whole row of fleas, submerged at the same time, but removed at intervals of 5 seconds. That way we will be able to tell how long they can survive for!!!

Shortly after that I fell asleep and dreamt of fleas in test tubes.
BritAnnie

You are all stark raving bonkers - I must be too for laughing out loud at your stories of fleas Rolling Eyes
Ghilliegumdrop

Mad,Totally, even madder than me and thats saying a lot!!
Perhaps they are like those water spiders that have a bubble of air around them when going under water. Any way arn't there water fleas??
Jan
PS Just asked Mike [who is a chemist or was before he retired] and he looked at me as if I was doolally? and said of course they breathe, not only that they must have b....y big lungs for their size look how high they can jump. Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes
BritAnnie

They breathe through tubes in their skin - check out the link Guy sent. You should see the answers I'm getting from Yahoo - make your hair curl. Embarassed
Annie
Jo

I wonder if one reason the water idea wouldn't work is because of the tiny air pockets created by a dog's fur - perhaps the fleas could breathe from those while under water? Hmmm.
BritAnnie

Quote:
You should see the answers I'm getting from Yahoo - make your hair curl.

Here's one of the more sensible ones
Annie

"since they breath through their skin and live in oily dogfur, you know they are like a national resource of crude. youd have to have soap to break down the oil and surface tension of the water so it would spread over the lil zircs.

id rather use some peremethrin on them. i read in a chemical book that the chemical attacks the nervous system and causes paralysis. that sounded cool to me, since they breath through osmosis or like it, through their skin. well do the math, the nervous system isnt responsible for breathing. its not a hard conclusion that they starve to death, no?how cool, vengence is mine muaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh... "
Ghilliegumdrop

Like I said MAD ALL MAD and you are the worst!
guy

ah now the jumping thing is nothing to do with its lungs size - it has some special bit in its legs that it compresses a bit like a piece of rubber and then when it releases - boing (rubber sound expanding) off it goes. there was something on TV when i was a lad about it. Laughing
guy

Here is the solution to your sleeplessness Josie

The anatomy of the metathorax of fleas has been studied in detail (Jacobson, 1940;
Snodgrass, 1946) and shows various peculiarities. The main depressor of the trochanter,
and hence of the telopodite, arises on the metanotum and the main pull that causes
the jump occurs between the metanotum and the depressor tendon at the coxo-
trochanteral articulation.

full story on flea jumping here Smile
http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&...A&sig2=v7asriYR-eO8_mDQugppSg
Jo

AHHHHH, I see Guy, now why didn't someone tell me earlier that it is the main depressor of the trochanter and of the telopodite arising on the metanotum??? Shocked Laughing

But that's about fleas jumping, not surviving underwater!
guy

GGD brought up lung size because of jumping ability. i hope you have printed the full article for late night reading,

i have just read adult fleas can live a week without a blood meal. so i suppose if they can go into some sort of hibernation - will have to keep researching. soapy water is quoted as the most often used method of drowning them. But dogs like children seem to have an aversion to soapy and an attraction to muddy water.
Jo

Well, I have just discovered these snippets online:

"I was so shocked when my little cats got fleas. I was dreading the day that this would come. My husband and I tried everything. Even the Hartz spray, which I regret because it made the fur so yucky and left residue on their skin, which made their skin twitch. We put a flea collar on them until things died down. Last night we used Dawn dishwashing soap on them and it worked like a charm.

We held the cats in lukewarm water that was up to their necks for a little less than 5 minutes because we read that fleas drown underwater. That worked really well because in the first minute we saw fleas floating around."

"Non-toxic way to kill fleas - Water. Yes, drowning works. Want proof? Take a flea comb and put the captured fleas into a glass of water.
You can see them start to drown.

Train your pet to be at ease when submerged in water up to it's neck. My cats don't mind this anymore. While doing it, remember you need 2 minutes plus.

I suggest going in stages, while constantly reassuring your pet of the wonderful treats it will get later. Keep it up to it's neck in water. Next, get the flea comb on the face and neck. Be very careful not to scratch the pet around the eyes or ears. Fleas are pretty smart and try to get away from water.

Any detergent will kill flea eggs. You don't need pesticides. Remember to thoroughly rinse your pet after bathing it.

At the end of the day, water is just fine for killing fleas."

( http://www.ehow.com/tips_2439.html )

So there we go - 2 minutes, they reckon!!

PS It's not clear to me from this, if water alone would work, or if it has to be soapy water....
BritAnnie

Quote:
Last night we used Dawn dishwashing soap on them and it worked like a charm.

Yes it did - this is what they used whatever it is - never heard of it.
So all this preamble about fleas was actually not so mad after all. It has turned out to be a useful piece of information. I will use this in the quiz for the traning day!
Ghilliegumdrop

Silly twit most of them read this and will know the answer.
Jan
Ghilliegumdrop

This forum has got the right time. Why hasn't the Brittany one ?: Question Question
.:HayleyH:.

Good point Jan
-Reads through topic again until it makes more sense in small mind- Laughing
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