mein Hund hat Flöhe

How long can fleas survive?

Med. vet. Fulya Şafak

The flea is a parasite that can infest our four-legged friends, but also humans. With three distinct life phases, the flea goes from egg to larva, before reaching adulthood. Its location and characteristics change over the course of its life, making it difficult to eliminate. To get rid of this invasive and sometimes disease-carrying parasite, it is really important to know them well.

How long can fleas survive?

The total lifespan of the flea is between 6 months and 1 year. The flea goes through two phases before reaching adulthood. At the time of egglaying, the female produces up to 50 eggs in 4 days! 

During a female flea’s lifetime, they can lay up to 2,000 eggs! Those eggs are laid directly on hosts, so the eggs will fall off as your pet moves around. 

The flea develops less quickly (which can take from 3 weeks to 6 months!) depending on the conditions of its environment and the humidity level.

Adult fleas can not live very long without a host. Therefore, once fleas reach the adult stage, they immediately look for a host. This is why they are able to jump up to 1 meter to reach their target: to your pet. Once it arrives at its host, they quickly start to reproduce. 

Itching dog

Where do fleas live?

During the egg-laying phase, the flea egg is detached from your pet and falls to the ground. Once hatched, the larvae look for a dark, damp place to set up their cocoon. Your pet’s neck, the lumbar region, and abdomen (belly region) is their favorite place on your pet. But don’t forget, as they transported by your pet, they invade your whole house in a short time. 


Types of fleas

Not all fleas infect the same individuals. Cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis), dog fleas (Ctenocephalides canis) and human fleas (Pulex irritans) are the most common species in the world. There are also bird fleas and even fish fleas! But don’t worry, most of these species infect mostly individual hosts. Adult fleas live on individual hosts and feed on them by sucking their blood. 


How can I get rid of fleas?

It is not that easy to get rid of. Why?
Because the life cycle of fleas and their rapid reproduction make them hard parasites that are difficult to get rid of. We can see them reappear when we thought we had eliminated them. To avoid this kind of trouble, it is absolutely necessary to treat the places where fleas live. These are your home and of course your pet. If you want to know more, check Flea article from PetLEO. 

PetLEO task scheduler reminds you when your dog needs an ectoparasitic treatment.

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