Help

You are here

Flea life cycle

Fleas are the most common parasite problem for UK dogs and cats. It’s vital to understand the flea life cycle to beat an infestation. Take a look at the different stages of the cycle below – and remember that 95% of any infestation is in the home and not on the pet!

The only way to treat a flea infestation and break the cycle is with at least 12 weeks of continuous protection1.

1 Dryden et al. Parasites & Vectors (2015) 8:364

Adult flea

Fleas start to feed in 5 minutes, and mate after 8 to 48 hours. Adult females lay up to 50 eggs a day – that’s up to 2,500 eggs after 50 days!

Eggs

Eggs are not sticky: they fall off onto carpets and furniture – and hatch after 1 to 10 days.  Once in your home, they are difficult to get rid of.

Larva

Larvae feed on ‘flea dirt’ and move downwards, away from light and towards moisture. Larvae moult twice then weave cocoons to protect the pupa stage.

Pupa

Fleas hatch in response to heat, carbon dioxide and movement.

  • Adult flea

    Adult flea

    Fleas start to feed in 5 minutes, and mate after 8 to 48 hours. Adult females lay up to 50 eggs a day – that’s up to 2,500 eggs after 50 days!

  • Eggs

    Eggs

    Eggs are not sticky: they fall off onto carpets and furniture – and hatch after 1 to 10 days.  Once in your home, they are difficult to get rid of.

  • Larva

    Larva

    Larvae feed on ‘flea dirt’ and move downwards, away from light and towards moisture. Larvae moult twice then weave cocoons to protect the pupa stage.

  • Pupa

    Pupa

    Fleas hatch in response to heat, carbon dioxide and movement.


  • Our studies

    What have the studies shown us?
    Read more
  • Temperature effects

    Temperature effects on fleas
    Read more
  • Map of threats

    Fleas and ticks are nasty! Do you...
    Read more