Flea Life Cycle
Know Your Enemy
The Flea life cycle is something that every cat owner should understand to enable them to make sure that both their cat and their home can remain flea free.
Unfortunately fleas are very common and easily spread but if you can make sure that your home environment and your cat are protected, then an infestation is far less likely.
The Life Cycle Of The Flea
There are four stages in the life of a flea and the cycle is known as metamorphosis.
The stages are:
- The flea egg is incredibly small and often very hard to see with the naked eye. It is about .5mm in length, whitish in colour and is very smooth and dry, enabling it to easily fall off of the cat onto the floor and so infecting the environment.
- An Adult female flea can lay up to one egg every hour of her life and so as you can see the spread can be very rapid.
- The egg hatches between 1 and 10 days after laying, depending on the conditions. The optimal temperatures for the eggs to hatch in are between 21 - 32 degrees centigrade; this is why flea infestations are more common during the summer months.
- Flea eggs can lay dormant for up to two years waiting fro the right conditions to hatch. This is why cleaning the home thoroughly after a flea infestation is important.
- The Flea larvae look like little maggots about 6mm long.
- The larvae keep out of the light by burying themselves in thick carpet or under furniture, in cushions or even wall crevices.
- During the larvae stage they live on adult flea excrement, food debris and even our own dead skin cells. Yuk
Flea and Tick Spray
- The next stage of the flea life cycle is the pupae. This stage is the transition between larvae and an adult flea.
- The larvae pupate between 7 and 18 days after hatching. They remain in this state for a further 7 to 10 days while they develop into an adult flea, although they may not emerge straight away.
- While in the pupate state they are incredibility resilient and even insecticides will fail to kill them.
The Adult Flea
- The adult flea will emerge from its cocoon within seconds of being stimulated to do so. This stimulation could be any of the following:
- The breath of a host i.e. your cat
- Vibrations i.e. a ct walking past
- Warmth of its host
- A Flea has an adult lifespan of between 2 and 3 months. Its appearance is dark brown and around 4mm long.
- During its lifetime the adult flea lives on the blood of your cat and can consume up to 15 times her own body weight of blood a day.
- They start laying eggs after around 36 hours after their first meal.
Now you have all the yucky facts about these rather disgusting little creatures, you will be able to understand just how much work you will need to ensure your cat and your home remain flea free.
I know this from bitter personally experience myself. As I remember as a young child my parents home being very badly affected during a very hot summer and I remember just how hard it was to control.
Luckily these days we are far more able and prepared to eradicate these fleas quickly and easily. And as they say prevention is better than cure.
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