How Do Fleas Find a Host?
The flea life cycle without host is an extremely varied concept with several different variables to consider.
In this section, we’ll give you a better understanding of all these factors in order to clear up any misunderstanding you may have about fleas before they hitch a ride on a host.
How Long Do Fleas Live WITH a Host?
Generally speaking, an adult flea lives for about 2-3 months with regular access to a host. The parasite’s life span also depends on other external conditions. The optimal conditions for fleas are 85% relative humidity and 85 degrees F.
How Long Do Fleas Live WITHOUT a Host?
The average flea can only survive for four days to one week without a host. It is for this reason that an adult flea may remain in its cocoon until outside conditions indicate the presence of a host.
Hiding Places: Where Fleas Live
It helps if you know where fleas like to hide so you can maximize your chances of winning the battle against these invaders. Here are a few places where you should inspect in case you suspect a flea infestation in your home.
On pets. The most obvious place to start is with your pets. As previously mentioned, fleas like to live on furry animals, and their bodies are adapted to living in pet fur. Their narrow bodies, spiked legs, and strong mouthparts allow the pests to navigate fur, and to hold on tight even when the animal attempts to shake or scratch them off.
On humans. Although rare since fleas prefer to hide deep inside animal fur, fleas will occasionally infest humans if the preferred blood meal is scarce. Fleas typically bite humans on the feet, legs, and ankles although bite marks may appear anywhere on the body.
In carpet. Fleas in all stages often hide in carpet fibers, away from light and human activity.
On furniture. Flea eggs, larvae, and pupae may also be deposited on furniture including beds, pet beds, armchairs, sofas, and any other furniture that your pets come into contact with. The pests like to stay away from light and will hide inside crevices, cracks, and upholstery on furniture. This makes them even more difficult to spot and treat.
High places. As cat owners can confirm, cats like to roam strange and high places including on top of shelves, appliances, and other out-of-the-way places. Cats are more effective at spreading fleas around the home than dogs and require extra attention in the event of an infestation.
In the yard. Fleas aren’t just a nuisance indoors. These pests can also live outdoors given the right conditions and are usually to be found in outdoor areas where your pets eat or play.
Under Leaf Piles. It is not just your pets that may be spreading fleas around your property. Wild animals that scavenge in or around your yard can also deposit the tiny pests. The fleas may hide on grass or under leaf piles and wait for an opportunity to jump on a host.