Flea Biology 101

Here are some facts about fleas that you may not have known.  These can help you keep your home and pets free of fleas.

  • A female flea lies between 300 and 800 eggs in her lifetime.
  • The flea larvae hatch from their eggs after 1 to 12 days, living near the areas where your pets lie.
  • It takes from 7 to 15 days–or even several months–for the larvae (worm-like) to form cocoons and pupate.
  • Adult fleas take anywhere from a week to several months to emerge from their cocoons, depending on environmental conditions, i.e. heat, humidity, and the amount of activity (presence of a host).
  • This is very important: If fleas are in pupate (cocoons), and they do not sense a blood host (activity), they can remain dormant in their cocoons for up to a year. This is why you need to vacuum. The vacuum creates vibrations that the flea in the pupae (cocoon) senses and stimulates the flea to emerge.
  • NEVER kill fleas by squeezing them, as they can carry parasites and diseases.

Adult Fleas

The adult fleas you see in your home make up approximately 20% of the total population. 80% of the fleas in your home are in the egg and larvae stages.

Growth Inhibitors or Insect Growth Regulators (IGR’s) are products or materials that interrupt or inhibit the life cycle of a pest.  Many people loosely use the term “birth control for fleas.” If an animal cannot reach adulthood, it is not capable of reproducing.  By inhibiting the maturity of an insect, we keep it from reaching the critical adult stage, thus stopping the life cycle and infestation.  In layman’s terminology, an IGR is not an insecticide (in the bug killing definition) but is a man-made protein that only affects certain insects or groups of insects. Pre-adult fleas and flea larvae that are exposed to an IGR will never develop into the adult jumping, biting, and (most important!) reproducing fleas.

If you think you may have a flea problem in your home, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free quote.