A flea infestation is one of the most time consuming and frustrating battles a pet owner will ever face. It can take several months of treating not just all the animals in your home, but your home as well. To better understand why fleas can be so challenging, you need to understand the various life stages of the flea.
Understanding the Flea Population in Your Environment
Adults (5%): When you see adult fleas you are only seeing the tip of the infestation iceberg. They only account for 5% of the flea population in your home. Most will feed within 15 minutes of finding a host, and every 30 minutes thereafter. They mate within 24 hours of emergence, launching the next generation of fleas in your home.
Pupae (10%): This stage is particularly difficult to deal with as the cocoon protects the flea until stimulated to emerge. These incubation periods can last up to a year if conditions for hatching are not ideal!
Larvae (35%): You know the phrase "Snug as a bug in a rug"? Very fitting, as that's where larvae spend their time. Your rugs. Repelled by light, these white, maggot-like worms seek out dark areas (such as carpet) where they feed on flea feces and debris. They shed their skin 3 times before they are ready to spin a cocoon.
Eggs (50%): If you look closely, you can see these pearl-white ovals with your naked eye. A female flea can produce 40-50 eggs a day (up to 2,000 in her lifetime), and eggs generally hatch within 2-7 days.