Have you seen a movie about a gigantic insect—as an effect of nuclear radiation—laying and hatching her eggs? There are usually thousands of eggs being hatched by their mother, and when they turn to larvae or even the other adult gigantic insects, it is like an apocalypse.
Well, in reality, the exact same thing also happens when flea eggs are laid and hatched. How to get rid of the flea eggs? Keep reading to the end of this article.
1. The life cycle of a flea
The life cycle of a flea is generally similar to that of most insects. It is classified into four stages, i.e.:
- eggs (laid and hatched by the adults)
- larvae (will turn to pupae after several stages)
- pupae (covered in cocoons and will usually turn to immature fleas—the ones that do not feed yet)
- adult fleas
The cycle may last in several weeks or months, depending on some conditions of the surrounding environment, such as heat, humidity, and the existence and variety of the flea hosts.
2. Where do fleas lay eggs?
No matter how sophisticated your “weapon” is to get rid of fleas and their eggs, it will be in vain if you do not know their existence. So, the first real question that has to be answered here is: where do fleas lay eggs?
The thing is, you should focus on the surrounding conditions. They are the primary factors in which flea breeding happens. The temperature of the surrounding plays a pretty big role in this. In general, the warmer or more humid the place is, the quicker fleas grow, breed, lay, and hatch their eggs. The good temperature for them is 25°C in average—with the very humid surrounding.
If you have pets at home—especially cats and dogs, your risk of getting the attack of flea eggs is bigger. Yes, fleas will usually grow, lay, and hatch their eggs in your pet’s fur. The next thing you should know now is how flea eggs look like.
3. What do flea eggs look like?
Flea eggs are tiny—with an average size of 0.5mm—and often mistaken for pieces of dandruff, cooked white rice, or salt grains. They can usually be found not only in your pet’s fur but also on fabrics or rugs. It is indeed disastrous when you mistake flea eggs for pieces of dandruff as you will not notice the flea breeding on your pets or carpets until everything is too late.
The next question is: what color are flea eggs? As mentioned before, flea eggs are often mistaken for grains of white rice or salt, so if you wonder about their color, they are generally pearly white or transparent.
People also often mistake flea eggs for pieces of dandruff, especially when they see their pets scratch themselves for the itch they get from the flea bites. The dandruff pieces they find might be flea eggs as they are not sticky like flea dirt. Try not to confuse flea dirt for its eggs. The dirt usually sticks to your pet’s skin and has a dark color, such as black or brown while the eggs easily fall off your pet’s fur.
4. Getting to know flea larvae
When survive, flea eggs turn to flea larvae—of which will get through several more particular stages. However, your next question might be: what do flea larvae look like? Even though flea larvae look reddish when their pictures are taken, they are transparent with dark matters inside—with an appearance like a tiny caterpillar and length of 4-5mm.
Flea larvae move a lot but cannot stand the light. So, when exposed to it, they will hide behind anything around them. They feed on flea dirt and other organic stuff. When they feed on your pet’s blood, you may see their color turn reddish. After a couple of weeks, another transformation happens to them. They will then spin a cocoon on themselves and turn to pupae.
5. Know your pet’s flea eggs
Fleas on your cats—also known as Ctenocephalides felis—are insects without wings that mostly appear slightly reddish brown. Some others are dark or blackish, depending on their host’s color. Having been fed on the host’s blood, female fleas will usually lay their eggs which will then be hatched and look like tiny pearly white or translucent egg-shaped dots.
You will find flea eggs on cats best on their beds or other spots where they rest. If the plague is quite serious, you may use a magnifying glass to look for your cat’s flea eggs. It is best to look through its tail and belly.
If you find flea dirt on your cat or its bed, it is more likely that the eggs are blend in. Cat flea eggs generally hatch and turn to flea larvae in a couple of days to a couple of weeks.
Meanwhile, flea eggs on dogs—Ctenocephalides canis—are less likely to be identified but barely have differences with those of cats. What should be differed is their treatment. Treat your dogs and cats— regarding their flea egg extermination—differently, since cats are more prone to get poisoned. Thus, do not use flea medicine for dogs to treat your cats, ever.
6. Tips on how to kill flea eggs
The fleas and their offspring can be disastrous just like what you see on a sci-fi movie about mutated insects. Therefore, here are the tips to exterminate them all:
- Wash and dry clean all the bed sheets, blankets, mattresses, and cushions to keep fleas and their eggs away.
- Sweep or vacuum the floors, rugs/carpets, and all the furniture.
- Wash your cats or dogs with pet shampoo to wash away all the fleas and their eggs.
- Take your pets outside and comb their fur there with a special flea comb to remove the remaining fleas and their eggs (if any).
- Use flea drops to treat your pets to prevent any new flea breeding.
- Spray your pet beds and blankets, rugs, and furniture with IGR (Insect Growth Regulator)—a type of insecticide used to control the population of dangerous insect pests such as fleas and roaches.
- Use a flea steamer, fogger, or bomb to deal with more serious flea plagues.
- Sit back, relax, and enjoy the result.
To sum everything up, it is crucial to learn more about how to kill flea eggs as killing only the adult fleas does not solve the problem. While you are busy exterminating the adults, a new generation is coming up to attack. So, if you have read everything here, hopefully, you are not one of them who face the disaster.