Fun Facts About Fleas,
the Flea Life Cycle and Flea Prevention
How much do you know about fleas? Most people know very little. However, if you
have pets it is important to understand how to prevent flea infestations in your
home. The more you know about fleas and their life cycle, the better able you
will be to protect yourself and your pets from these pesky little bugs. Here
are 10 helpful facts about fleas to help understand and prevent these pesky little
- Adult fleas need a host to lay eggs. Almost any warm-blooded
animal can become a host and fleas commonly are found on cats,
dogs and other mammals as well as on birds.
- Fleas are relatively small and are typically between 1/16 and
1/8 inch in length when full grown. They do not have wings. Instead
they use their 6 small legs to get around, and their hind pair
- Fleas are excellent jumpers. They can propel their bodies more
200 times their length. This allows them to easily move from host
to host and into the surrounding environment.
- There are 4 stages to the flea lifecycle: egg, larva, pupa and
adult. Fleas can
remain in the pupa stage for up to 8 months if necessary. They
wait until a suitable host is present and environmental conditions
are right before becoming an adult. Environmental cues that trigger
a pupa to emerge include vibration, heat, carbon dioxide, and warm,
moist environments. This can make it very difficult to get rid
of a flea infestation.
- Since fleas require different methods of killing during each
life cycle phase it is best to use a variety of different methods
in your flea control plan. Continue using any methods you choose
for at least 6 months to ensure that the problem has been thoroughly
- Fleas can cause a form of serious skin irritation known as flea
allergy dermatitis (FAD). This condition is an allergic reaction
to flea saliva and can manifest through symptoms of itching, redness,
bumps and pus. In severe cases it can even cause hair loss in your
- Fleas can remain in
the pupa stage for several months. Often,
when treating adult fleas on a pet, the owner may believe the problem
to be gone, only to see a re-infestation weeks or months later
because the treatment plan did not consider all of the stages of
the flea life cycle.
- Adult fleas feed primarily on the blood of their host. Flea saliva
can dissolve skin allowing fleas to use their special mouthpiece
to obtain a meal. Flea larva do not eat blood yet. They feed on
skin, hair and adult flea waste.
- Fleas lay eggs and a single adult can lay between 40 and 50 in
a single day. These eggs are typically found in clumps of 20 oval
- Flea bodies are specially designed to be able to withstand difficult
conditions. They have a hard outer coating which means that they
are not easily crushed. Additionally they easily guide their small
flat bodies through hair, feathers and animal fur.
These fun facts about
fleas will help you better understand these blood sucking pests.
The more you know, the better able you will
be to protect your home and pets from a flea infestation. This article
is for informational purposes only. Before starting any flea control
plan, make sure that you consult your veterinarian.
AnimalLoversForum.com is a free and family safe pet
forum providing information to animal lovers around the world.
You can chat with other animal lovers, make new friends in the
forum and find many professional and educational articles. Visit http://www.animalloversforum.com for
Keep Us Free of Fleas