This is called the «pupael hatch». All this happens within seconds. The newly hatched flea can jump as high as three feet. Fleas ONLY feed on blood, and an adult flea can live without a blood meal for 100 days. A female flea has to have a blood meal to lay eggs. In addition, she lays eggs within 36-48 hours of having the first blood meal.
A female flea can lay 2,000 eggs in her lifetime. 8th of an inch in size. They have a flat body from side to side, with piercing mouths that help them in sucking blood. Fleas are often confused with bed bugs, lice and ticks. However, fleas are reddish brown to black in appearance, and they are also wingless. Waiting or thinking they will go away without treatment will make things worse. If fleas are on your pet, you can be sure they are in your house.
In fact, while adult fleas spend most of their time on animals, the eggs, larvae and pupae stages live in your carpeting, rugs, favorite chair, along baseboards, in floor cracks and other areas of the house and yard. They can be found wherever your pet goes and are most probably «propogating» or completing their life cycle wherever your pet sleeps. To control fleas — and keep them from constantly re-infesting your pet and affecting your family — you must get rid of them on your pet and eliminate the fleas in your house and the outdoor areas your pets frequent. This is only done through several treatments. The trick to flea control is to get AHEAD of the «pupal hatch». Getting ahead of the pupal hatch curve means keeping a constant chemical barrier down with an IGR such as PRECOR IGR to stop them from becoming adults and laying more eggs. The female flea lays a few eggs daily that total up to several thousand in its lifetime.
The eggs are laid on the pet and most drop off where pets spend most of their time. Pet bedding, floor crevices, carpeting, along baseboards and areas near their favorite sleeping and napping sites are especially likely places where eggs will be found. These eggs hatch into legless larvae. The larvae spin a cocoon and, depending on environmental conditions, emerge as adults in as few as five days. The life cycle is then repeated — until control measures break the cycle. The total life cycle can last from 25 days to several months.
Un-hatched flea eggs have even been frozen with liquid nitrogen and brought back to life ! Adult fleas are extremely hard to kill. Their little body is like a coat of armor. Like most insects, they have an «antifreeze protein» that protects them from the cold. Their body is like piece of wax paper. It sheds and repels sprays and chemicals, especially water based sprays resulting in very little control of the adults.
This is why overnight control of fleas is impossible. You have to control the fleas life and egg cycle and that can take at a minimum — 3 — 4 weeks with the right pest control products. The most important thing to remember when starting a flea control treatment, is that fleas only feed on 1 food source. Adult fleas feed on blood through their piercing sucking mouthparts, and immature fleas feed on the dried blood feces of the adults. Blood feces from the adult flea can be found where immature fleas are found and that is where the problem originates. Solve the problem with adult fleas, kill the immature fleas and try to prevent the outbreak of a new infestation and your flea problems will be greatly diminished. This can only be obtained through a complete and thorough treatment.
Fleas can also transmit diseases. But they can also transmit tapeworms to dogs, cats, and even small children ! What you do is critical for a successful flea control program. When you decide to perform this treatment, there are important things you need to do immediately before and after you treat your home. Observe where pets spend time — inside and outside the home. The areas where your pet spends the majority of its time sleeping is where the majority of the adult fleas and immature fleas will be found. If you have a doghouse, pillow or cage, then these areas need thorough cleaning and sanitizing. Treat your pets with an «on-animal» flea spray. To help avoid re-infestation don’t let freshly treated pets back into your house or yard until it has been treated. Vacuum carpets, floors, rugs, drapes, upholstered furniture, mattresses and cushions. Use a vacuum with a disposable bag and dispose of it by incineration or sealing in a plastic bag. Wash or destroy all pet bedding. Clean or vacuum wood and tile floors with special attention to grooves, cracks and baseboards. Sweep porches, steps and decks. Cut the lawn and remove debris and clutter prior to yard spraying.