What do fleas look like?
- Size: Up to 1/6 in.
- Color: Reddish brown
- Body structure: Flat body consisting of a head, thorax, abdomen, six legs, two eyes, and two short antennae. The mouth of a cat flea is made up of three mouthparts- two laciniae, an epipharynx, and the labium.
Characteristics of fleas
The flea’s life cycle has four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. A couple of days after mating, the female adult lays 40-50 eggs on the body of her host. Because the eggs have nothing to adhere them to the host, they typically fall off and continue their development where they land. Within a week, the eggs hatch into larvae and, after another week, the larvae spin cocoons to become pupae. After another couple of weeks, the pupae develop into adults. Each stage of the cycle can move more slowly or quickly depending on environmental conditions. This flexible life cycle can take as little as two weeks and as long as two years for a flea to become an adult.
New adult fleas must have a blood meal within a week or they die. Generally, a flea usually lives between two and three months. However, fleas are capable of surviving a few months between meals if they don’t expend energy. A female flea can lay 2,000 eggs over the course of her short lifetime, quickly causing a serious infestation on their host and the areas it frequents.
When are fleas most active?
Where are fleas commonly found?
Fleas prefer low altitudes that are warm and humid, but will live anywhere they can find a suitable host. In the United States, fleas are most abundant in the Southeast and West Coast. They are least active in the dryer, colder states in the North, Midwest, and West.
Fleas are most commonly found on mammals, though they will also live on birds. In homes, fleas burrow into carpeting, furniture, pet beds, clothing, or any other location they can develop undisturbed.
Get Help Now!