Fleas: Understanding Their Life Cycle So You Can Stop Them

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Fleas: Understanding Their Life Cycle So You Can Stop Them
Posted on January 17, 2019 in Caring for your pet, News

Any pet owner who’s had trouble with fleas on a dog or cat knows how quickly an infestation of these pint-sized pests can spiral out of control. But how does it go from one flea to hundreds–even thousands–so quickly? Here’s a breakdown of the flea life cycle from egg to adult:

  1. Egg
    Eggs are deposited onto the pet and fall into the environment within just a few short hours.
  2. Larva
    Larvae are maggot-like and roughly 0.5 cm long. They feed on blood in adult flea feces, organic debris, flea egg-shells and other flea larvae. Flea larvae develop outdoors in cool, shady areas—where pets rest— as well as indoors in undisturbed, protected sites such as in carpet, under furniture and along your house or apartment’s baseboards.
  3. Pupa
    Whitish cocoons can be found in soil, on vegetation, in carpets, under furniture and on animal bedding. Adults emerge about eight days after formation of these cocoons. All fleas usually emerge by day 13, depending on the temperature and relative humidity.
  4. Adult
    Adults begin feeding immediately when they’re on a pet–usually within three minutes. Egg production begins within 20 to 24 hours of females taking their first blood meal. Female fleas can produce 40 to 50 eggs per day–that’s nearly 3,000 fleas in two months!

During the warm summer months, the entire flea life cycle can be completed in two to three weeks.

Now—let’s stop the cycle!

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Courtesy of DVM360
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