The eggs begin to hatch into larvae or tiny worm like creatures that feed off their own egg shells, organic debris, flea excrement (poop), or other larvae. The larvae like to develop in cool, undisturbed environments such as under the couch or in the baseboards. In ideal conditions, eggs will begin to hatch after 2 days; but can take up to 3 months to hatch!
Once these larvae start forming cocoons, or pupae, they will emerge from this state as adult fleas. A female flea can lay up to 50 eggs a day. The entire lifecycle can be completed within 2 to 3 weeks in the summer or in ideal conditions. Once the colder weather comes, fleas look to go inside our warm home environments and that's when we as veterinary staff try to help clients understand flea infestations. I remember when both of my indoor cats had fleas from neighboring apartment cats!
Pets can be so uncomfortable that pet-parents have often described their pet as having seizure like activity when in fact they were so itchy it looked like a seizure.
The best thing for these pets is year-round flea prevention as it is less expensive than treating the problem and better for the pet too! Fleas can also be vectors for disease, which means they can carry certain pathogens or bugs that may cause illness in our pets. They may seem like small annoyances, but they can be much more!
Dr. Juanita Ashton, BSc, DVM, ACDBC-IAABC is a certified Canine Behavioural Consultant, and one of the owners of the Elmsdale Animal Hospital