Adults can emerge in as little as 13 days; emergence may be delayed up to 50 weeks depending on temperature and other stimuli.
In temperate climates, 90 to 95% of fleas emerge within 21 to 35 days.
In subtropical climates, 96 to 99% of fleas emerge within 14 to 28 days.
Adults begin feeding immediately when on the host.
Blood excreted by adult fleas dries into reddish-black pellets in the hair coat ("flea dirt" or "frass").
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. Under normal conditions, most adult fleas generally survive 2-3 months.
Whitish pupae (cocoons 0.5 cm long) can be found in soil, on vegetation, in carpets, under furniture, and on animal bedding.
Adult C. felis can begin emerging about 8 days after initiation of pupal development; all fleas are usually emerged by day 13 at 24°C (75.2°F) and 78% relative humidity.
Adult C. felis may remain quiescent in the cocoon for up to 30 weeks at 11°C (51.8°F) and 75% relative humidity. Delayed emergence occurs when there are no appropriate environmental stimuli.
Mechanical pressure, CO2, and increased temperature stimulate flea emergence.
Larvae are maggot-like, approximately 0.5 cm long, and covered with many small hairs.
Larvae feed on blood in adult flea feces, organic debris, flea eggshells, and other flea larvae.
Flea larvae will not develop outdoors in areas exposed to sunlight. Common sites of outdoor larval development are cool, shady areas where pets rest. Development occurs inside in undisturbed, protected sites (e.g., in carpets, under furniture, along baseboards).
Speed of larval development to pupae is dependent on temperature and humidity.
Eggs are pearly white, oval with rounded ends, and 0.5 mm in length.
Eggs are deposited on the host and readily fall into the environment within a few hours.
* - Ctenocephalides felis survives for 10 days at 30°C (37.4°F) or 5 days at 10°C (33.8°F).
In cold climates, fleas survive as adults on dogs and cats or wild mammals or within pupal casings as preemerged adults in protected environments.
Does the picture of this dog look familiar?
He is presenting with signs of flea bite hypersensitivity.
Fortunately, this can be treated with proper veterinary care, flea prevention and environment control. But it can come at a cost too. Let this not happen to your pet(s).
Below is an explanation of the flea cycle. A typical flea cycle lasts up to 21-28 days (longer if a warm-blooded animal is not around). Furthermore, fleas can hibernate (*). Depending on your pet's immune system, fleas can cause hairloss, and severe skin infections which can take days to weeks to heal.
Ctenocephalides felis (cat flea)
Treat your pet with a safe and licensed flea treatment/preventative available from your veterinarian. Talk to our veterinary team about which product will be appropriate for your pet.