Updated: Apr 7
Fleas will suck blood from both you and your pet. These wingless bugs do not discriminate and will feed off anything that has blood flowing in them. Aside from the painful bites and the allergic reactions they cause, flea bites have the potential to spread diseases to pets and humans alike. One such disease is the rare Bubonic plague.
Fleas are not limited to homes which have pets. They can also be introduced into no-pet homes by haired pests such as possums and rodents among others. Fleas have long hind legs that enable them to jump up to 7” high and 13” horizontally enabling them to switch hosts easily. It might not seem much to you but relative to its size, 7” is about 150 times the height of a flea.
Imagine if you could jump 150 times your height: that’s impressive.
The Life Cycle of a Flea
Fleas – like most insects—go through four stages in their lifecycle. These stages are egg, larva, pupa, and adult. An adult flea will live for about 100 days provided there is ample food supply.
The flea’s life cycle begins after the female has laid her eggs – usually on the host’s body. She can lay batches of up to 20 eggs at a time. Since the eggs are laid on the host’s body and not anchored in any way, they might roll off and spread all over your house as your pet or the intruding pest moves around. The eggs will hatch in about 2-14 days.
The eggs hatch into blind, sunlight-avoiding larvae that limit their movement to dark places such as bedding, cracks and crevices, and sand. The larvae feed on any available organic materials such as faeces, vegetable matter and dead insects.
With enough food, flea larvae will pupate weaving itself into silken cocoons in about 1-2 weeks.
The developing flea will stay in this “resting” phase until it fully develops into an adult after which it will be ready to emerge. Fleas will usually stay in rest until they detect a host nearby.
For flea treatment please get advice from your vet and treat for worms at the same time :-)