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WHAT IS THE FLEA?


Fleas are a pesky almost invisible creature and only 1 percent of fleas are big enough to see with the naked human eye. If your house has fleas in it then not only do you have to kill adult fleas but all of the smaller ones as well. There are 4 distinct stages in the life of a flea. The egg, the larva, the pupa or cocoon and the adult.



Flea eggs are barely visible to the naked eye. They are laid on the host animal and either fall off or are scratched off into carpeting and other upholstery, where they will hatch over a period of one to ten days. Eggs will not hatch in temperatures below 40F, but can exist indefinitely until the temperature rises, often a year later. Eggs die at temperatures above 95F.














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When eggs hatch, fleas enter the larval stage which lasts approximately one to two weeks, depending on the environment. Larvae begin spinning whitish cocoons (properly called pupae) where the worm develops into an adult flea, metamorphosing from the cocoon in as little as one week or as many as six months. Three factors can accelerate emergence from the cocoon: warm temperatures from a sleeping host animal, hummidity, and vibrations, whether caused by footsteps, vacuum cleaners or other sources. Upon entering the adult stage, a flea will immediately seek a host to feed from and will be able to reproduce. Thus, the flea life cycle begins anew. The female flea will lay 20 to 50 eggs per day and can continue doing this for over three months. Two out of three fleas are female, so the possibility for huge infestations, in a relatively short time, can be predicted during the course of one flea season (a season which usually begins in April in warmer climates and extends through September).

 

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