CONCEPTS TO UNDERSTAND FOR BETTER
The flea life cycle is a metamorphosis just like other insects, like the butterfly.
In Michigan, correlating with humidity, the flea's growth cycle begins in the spring, typically around tax day, April 15th.
The flea's most rapid growth cycle is from July to September and this is when most of us recognize the presence of the fleas and start working towards treatment.
Each female flea will produce up to 50 eggs per day. Eggs take a number of days to weeks to hatch, producing a single larva (caterpillar). Each larva takes up to 4 weeks before forming a cocoon (pupa, chrysalis). The adult flea takes up to 4 weeks to form within the cocoon.
It is important to note that nothing will kill the forming flea in the cocoon. The adult flea may remain dormant for over 1 year in the cocoon. Usually this flea will use its strong legs to break free from the cocoon and get on your pet in the early spring and summer. Fleas evolved to be very efficient about getting onto the animal on their first try. In humid conditions, the adult flea is stimulated to emerge in response to vibration, heat and exhaled carbon dioxide. In nature, the flea may only get one chance to succeed, and if they miss, they may become a meal for another insect.
It is important to understand that if you discover fleas in your home during the months of July or later, you WILL have fleas in your home the following spring or summer. It does not matter what you do to treat your pet or household, fleas will persist in the cocoon stage into the following year. The best course of action is to treat your pets now, and plan to begin treatment again in the spring, in order to derail the life cycle of the flea.
We encourage vacuuming frequently which may rid the home of a number of the cocoons, in addition to treating each pet monthly with Advantage Multi or Revolution. Remember to change the bag or canister on your vaccuum between cleanings - the flea eggs can hatch inside your vacuum and crawl back into the environment.
Read more about flea management in our blog!