adBlockCheck

Recent News

Best Sports Stadiums

As Detroit prepares to demolish and say goodbye to the storied Joe Louis Arena, Onion Sports examines some of the greatest stadiums of all time.

Bo Obama Addresses Graduates Of Dayton Obedience School

DAYTON, OH—Calling on the 2017 class of canines to make the most of their training as they head out into the world, former first dog Bo Obama delivered a stirring commencement speech Friday to graduates of the Dayton Obedience School.

‘Star Wars’ Turns 40

When George Lucas’ Star Wars premiered in 1977, the movie quickly became a phenomenon. On its 40th anniversary, The Onion looks back on the franchise’s defining moments:

Mom Finds Disturbing Reading Material In Teenage Son’s Bedroom

OMAHA, NE—Saying she felt disgusted and saddened by the shocking discovery, local woman Beth Loomis told reporters Thursday that she was deeply disturbed after finding recruitment reading material from the Baylor University football team in her teenage son’s bedroom.

Most Notable Google Ventures

Ten years ago this week, Google Street View launched, offering panoramic views of locations all over the world. As the tech giant continues to debut new projects, The Onion highlights some of Google’s most ambitious ventures to date:

Rural Working-Class Archbishops Come Out In Droves To Welcome Trump To Vatican

VATICAN CITY—Arriving in their dusty pickup trucks from as far away as the dioceses of Oria and Locri-Gerace to express their support for a leader who they say embodies their interests and defends their way of life, droves of rural working-class archbishops reportedly poured into St. Peter’s Square today to greet U.S. president Donald Trump during his visit to the Vatican.

Rookie First Baseman Nervous To Chat With Baserunners

ATLANTA—Noting how important it is to make a good first impression, Pittsburgh Pirates rookie first baseman Josh Bell told reporters before Tuesday’s game against the Atlanta Braves that he’s still nervous about chatting with opposing baserunners.
End Of Section
  • More News

U.S. Dog Owners Fear Arrival Of Africanized Fleas

ATLANTA—Panic is spreading among American dog owners, following the Center for Veterinary Medicine's Monday announcement that the arrival of a deadly mutant strain of Africanized killer fleas is imminent.

"No dog is safe," CVM director Stephen Sundlof said. "While canines around the U.S. innocently fetch sticks and chase their tails, killer fleas are migrating north at a rate of two kilometers a day. They've already invaded the border towns of Texas and California. We've got to act now, before our pets pay the price."

Killer fleas, a staple of '70s B-movies like The Bloodsucking Swarm, I.T.C.H., and Roger Corman's Night Of The Fleas, are not, in fact, poisonous. The danger lies in the parasites' excessive defensiveness, extreme resilience, and tendency to swarm.

"Africanized fleas are capable of draining a full-grown collie in less than 24 hours," Sundlof said. "They attack in massive numbers, sometimes completely covering the animal, leaving only his eyes and tongue visible. Even if given a blood transfusion, a dog infested with Africanized fleas will often scratch himself so vigorously that he either bleeds to death or collapses from exhaustion. And regular flea powders are useless against them."

Minneapolis veterinarian Greg Schepke said widespread fear of the deadly pests is justified.

"It's hard to separate fact from fiction, as most of the information we have about the fleas is anecdotal," Schepke said. "But if the stories are even half true, killer fleas are capable of cutting a swath of death across our nation, dotting the land with brittle, desiccated doggie husks."

Bred in Brazil at the Sao Paulo Animal Research Facility in the late '60s, Ctenocephalides canis africanus is a crossbreed of the common North American flea and an African variant that infests the tough hides of bull elephants. The Sao Paulo entomologists never meant to release the mutant fleas into the wild, but a 1974 fire at the lab led to the dangerous subspecies' escape. In the past 30 years, Africanized fleas spread from Brazil to South and Central America and on to Mexico.

A Hidalgo, TX veterinarian fumigates a puppy infested with Africanized fleas.

According to legend, the fleas crossed the U.S. border for the first time in June 2003, when Mexican flea-circus owner Pedro Romero brought his show to McAllen, TX. Romero, whose bone-dry corpse was discovered outside the Hidalgo County fairgrounds, is said to be single-handedly responsible for bringing the menace to America.

"The threat that once seemed straight out of a Saturday afternoon science-fiction matinee is now real," said entomologist Harvey Smithson, author of the Africanized-flea tracts Unleashed! and No Day At The Park. "With no natural predators in America, these super-fleas will be unstoppable. They can jump from dog to dog at distances of up to 35 yards. One doghouse after another will be surrendered to the marauding fleas."

Police sergeant Tom Lafferty, head of the Laredo K-9 Korps, said his force is taking serious measures to prepare for the killers' arrival.

"We've reinforced all our doghouses with quarter-inch steel plates—killer fleas can burrow through concrete like cardboard," Lafferty said. "And don't bother with plastic flea collars. Killer fleas chew straight through those."

Added Lafferty: "The force over in Asherton has already lost 10 of their best dogs."

Basset hound owner Hank Jeffreys of Carpentersville, IL said the government must protect the nation's pets.

"I hear the Feds developed a top-secret super-shampoo, but it's too dangerous to use because it contains radioactive isotopes," Jeffreys said. "How am I supposed to keep my Woofers safe? Even if you isolate the furry little victim and subject him to chemical baths, there's a danger of immediate re-infestation. At this point, the only effective treatment is the mega-flea-collar, but it weighs 45 pounds and gives off such intense fumes that it makes dog owners hallucinate."

In spite of the impending infestation of America, Sundlof urged dog lovers to remain calm.

"Should your dog become infested, isolate the animal and contact federal pest-control agents immediately," Sundlof said. "When the killer mutant ringworm fungus arrived in Los Angeles from Tokyo, we developed ways to deal with it. We can lick this, too."

More from this section

‘Star Wars’ Turns 40

When George Lucas’ Star Wars premiered in 1977, the movie quickly became a phenomenon. On its 40th anniversary, The Onion looks back on the franchise’s defining moments:

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

Close