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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

Big Flea Project flea lifecycle dog cat parasite

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.

Big Flea Project flea lifecycle dog cat parasite
  • Big Flea Project imagery dog cat parasite 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

    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

    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.

  • Pupae Pupa

    Pupa

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


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