Fleas prefer to spend their entire
adult life on their host but obviously are shaken loose during the
activities of the host animal (jumping, running, scratching, grooming.)
Inspection and vacuuming of a home should always be thorough.
Hotspots that often require extra attention are usually where pets
frequent. Adult fleas, flea eggs and future food for larvae all
fall off of the host in the same general area. Being sensitive to
light, the larvae are usually close by but underneath or behind objects.
Put your knowledge of the adult flea habits and the complete flea life
cycle as the major tool in flea management.
Make certain the company is licensed and bonded. Ask
groomers and veterinarians in your area for referrals.
- Fleas pass through a complete life cycle of four stages.
|The flea population is
made up of 50% eggs,
30% larvae, 15% pupae
and only 5% biting adults.
- Completion of the life cycle from egg to adult varies
from two weeks to eight months.
- Normally the female flea lays about 15 to 20 eggs per day
up to 600 in a lifetime.
- Usual hosts for fleas are dogs, cats, rats, rabbits, mice,
squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, opossums, foxes, chickens, and
- Eggs loosely laid in the hair, drop out where the pet
rests, sleeps or nests (rugs, carpets, upholstered furniture,
cat or dog boxes, kennels, sand boxes, etc.)
- Eggs hatch in two days to two weeks into larvae found
indoors in floor cracks & crevices, along baseboards, under rug
edges and in furniture or beds.
- Outdoor development occurs in sandy gravel soils (moist
sand boxes, dirt crawlspace under the house, under shrubs, etc.) where
the pet may rest or sleep.
- Larvae are blind, avoid light, pass through three larval
stages and take a week to several months to develop.
- Their food consists of digested blood from adult flea
feces, dead skin, hair, feathers, and other organic debris. (Larvae
do not suck blood.)
- Pupa mature to adulthood within a silken cocoon woven
by the larva to which pet hair, carpet fiber, dust, grass cuttings,
and other debris adheres.
- In about five to fourteen days, adult fleas can emerge or may
remain resting in the cocoon until the detection of vibration
(pet and people movement), pressure (host animal lying down
on them), heat, noise, or carbon dioxide (meaning a potential
blood source is near).
If no stimulation occurs, adult fleas may lie in wait in their
cocoons for up to a year.
Most fleas survive the winter
in the larval or pupal stage
and grow best during warm, moist winters and spring.
- Adult fleas cannot survive or lay eggs without a blood meal,
but may hibernate from two months to one year without feeding
while remaining in their cocoons.
- There is often a desperate need for flea control after a
family has returned from a long vacation
or moves into a previously occupied home. The house
has been empty with no cat or dog around for fleas to feed on,
yet even a few may have been present when they vacated. While
no family or
pets are on the premises,
flea eggs hatch and larvae pupate. The adult fleas fully developed
inside the pupal cocoon remain in a kind of "limbo" for a
long time until a blood source is near. The family returning from
vacation is immediately attacked by waiting hungry hordes of fleas.
(In just 30 days, 10 female fleas under ideal conditions can
multiply to over a quarter million different life stages.)
developed adult fleas can live for several months without
as long as they do not emerge from their cocoons.
- Newly emerged adult fleas live only about one week if a blood
meal is not obtained.
- Optimum temperatures for the flea's life cycle are 70░F to 85░F
and optimum humidity is 70 percent.
- Breaking the cycle with an Insect Growth
Regulator like Precor or drying out the environment
with Boric Acid Powder, not just
killing the few adults is the secret to flea control.
It is our recommendation that you contact a professional that uses
either of the products listed above and have your home environment
treated under contract of gu