What is the purpose of the flea? How does it benefit the environment? Does anyone know? - Suzzette
I've searched and haven't found any purposes for fleas that we would like. It must be that they help diseases and bacteria travel from place to place and probably help with population control of mammals through passing on plagues, diseases and weakening the animals. Here is all I could find.
"FREEDOM FROM FLEAS
We challenge you to come up with one really good reason for fleas to exist in a just world. In nine months, two fleas can generate 222 trillion descendants. They can live two years, they're built to survive the most frigid winters, and they can go months without eating. They can cause anemia and transmit disease and parasites. To defeat the Charge of the Flea Brigade, Debbie has to create a flea-cological disaster area."
"However, there are those creatures that serve no purpose whatsoever. Fleas are such an example. They don't pollinate any flowers, nor do they prey on any destructive or harmful insects. Instead, they siphon the blood of unsuspecting animals and people all the while passing harmful organisms into their bloodstream! "
Here is another site that talks about fleas and their types and history:
Anybody else have any ideas?
Susan from ThriftyFun
By Steven (Guest Post) 11/10/2004
I have often asked that very same question about Mosquitoes. Acctually, if you think about it, there are very few insects that help the enviroment. Take grasshoppers for example: In the great plains the 1800's, these grasshopers would travel together in millions and could eat an entire corn field in minutes, leaving the farmer with no crops to sell which means he would eventually lose his land. But you have to ask yourself: " Why do things have to benefit something to exist?" Look at human beings, do we benefit the enviroment? Absolutley not, but does that mean we don't have a right to exist? The flea works in the same way...Even though they are quite a nuisance.
Hope this was of help
By (Guest Post) 11/10/2004
They keep vets in business? LOL just joking...vaseline makes them slow down so you can pick them off...the answer lies in the food chain, of the smaller creatures........They even have fleas on them who are asking the same question about their own fleas.
The purpose of the flea is simple: To teach dogs that they are dogs.
By lynn (Guest Post) 07/28/2005
Corrie Ten Boom wrote THE HIDING PLACE, a book about her experiences in the Nazi Concentration Camps and not only gave a reason for fleas but a reson to thank God for them.
By Dickhead (Guest Post) 09/22/2005
They did used to perform in flea circuses but now due to Corporate re-organisation, they are all unemployed. A possible useful purpose if enough could be harnessed together, and made to jump similtaneously could be to launch the space shuttle.
By janie (Guest Post) 12/26/2005
Just wondering, if fleas carry diseases, can they transmit HIV/AIDS??
By katie (Guest Post) 03/08/2008
The wee fleas are here for a very good reason, they keep the pile on the carpets very nice indeed!
By Florence. (Guest Post) 08/06/2008
I think they are here to make our lives miserable, and to think about it they want us to feel what its like been a dog or an animal. This is their plan, they are very angry that they can not be seen and its like they don't exist so they try to pay back by biting us and our animals, seriously! I got bites all over me and I don't understand why they have to bite us when they have the dogs and the cats but then I came up with my idea "they hate being what they are: tiny, no-purpose creatures.
Sorry guys, but they are really getting on my nerves this summer.
By Victor (Guest Post) 01/29/2009
I have a life long GRR for fleas. Ive never figured out why there are fleas. I just wish that we as humans can inflict the same amount of frustrated annoyance to them at least once!
Many insects and bugs serve the purpose to feed other animals and birds. Mosquitoes, grasshoppers and flies all serve this purpose. Even cockroaches serve a purpose, like flies, they are natures little garbage collectors. Maybe flees are food for something as well.
"They help dead things rot and enrich the soil. Flea larvae emerge from the eggs to feed on any available organic material such as dead insects, feces, and vegetable matter."
Adult fleas also spread parasites which is important in regulating the breeding frequency of some mammals. For example, a fox that has tape worms will have an effected breeding/heat cycle and therefore will reproduce slower and in some cases not successfully at all. Same goes for all mammals.
Also, the spread of diseases is historically documented to have some links to fleas. Fleas were even the first form of biological warfare, being sent into cities on rats that would infect entire populations will plagues so the cities could then be overtaken.
Both of these are examples of population control.
"If you really want to stretch their value to us : they tell us when a rabbit is about to give birth ! Adult female fleas can detect the changing levels of hormones in the rabbit's blood that indicate she is getting close to giving birth. This triggers sexual maturity in the fleas and they start producing eggs. Then they stop for a bit and start again every time she gives birth. I suppose this information must be important to someone! What about this - Fleas have the same sleep cycles as their hosts. Research is on to investigate human sleep disorders, and the flea may turn out to help in the advancement of this knowledge."
Fleas now are the keys to many forms of research into human illnesses, diseases and disorders and may hold the secrets to many treatments and cures.
Source of quotes: http://www.bihartimes.in/maneka/Minors.html