You are here

Being a flea

Big Flea Project dog imagery

You might not know much about fleas – why should you? So here’s the science bit, which is much more interesting than you’d think. A few facts like these and you’ll soon see why fleas are such a humongous problem.

It's a flea's life...

Big Flea Project flea life cycle

Adult flea
Fleas start feeding on your pet's blood in 5 minutes, and can mate after 8 hours. Females lay up to 50 eggs a day - that's up to 2,500 eggs after 50 days!

Flea eggs
Eggs fall onto carpets and furniture - and hatch into larvae after 1 to 10 days.

Larvae feed on flea dirt, food particles and dead skin, and like damp places. Larvae moult twice then weave cocoons to protect the pupa stage. At this stage, fleas can become infected with the tapeworm Dipylidium caninum which can then go on to infect our dogs.

Pupae hatch into adult fleas in response to heat, carbon dioxide and movement.

Big Flea Project imagery


Fleas have been around for 150 million years - some flea fossils date back to the Jurassic period.