Can Fleas Live on Clothes?

Flea eggs and pupae can remain dormant for long lying under carpets, pet fur, or clothes lying on the floor. But, cats & dogs – which are warm-blooded are their prefered hosts. Also, fleas may host tapeworms and spread diseases like Lyme diseases. But, can fleas live on clothes? 

The short answer is, No! Cat fleas can’t live on clothes. Fleas stay on humans for only about 7.5 minutes as they suck blood. If you disrupt them while sucking blood, the fleas will hide in seams of your clothes. But, sometimes the fleas can hide in clothes for about 24 hours if they can’t figure their way out – as they continue sucking human blood.


Adult Fleas won’t Live in Clothes

1. Adult Fleas live on Cats & Dogs (their Hosts) 

Cat Fleas (being permanent ectoparasites) live on their hosts (mainly cats and dogs) – and they’ll not favour biting human beings. They mainly bite, reproduce, and live off the blood from the warm-blooded hosts without leaving. 

But, you can get pupa and eggs hiding in clothing (like winter coats) that you don’t wash regularly. Thus, you might want to kill the fleas in a dryer as the heat and detergents will help in the process. 

2. Human beings aren’t fleas’ favoured Hosts

Flea bites in humans are only incidental compared those on dogs and cats. Reasons?…

  • Human beings have no hair (cats and dogs have fur) required by fleas to hide from prying human eyes. 
  • Also, typically, fleas will not reproduce from feeding human blood. 

3. Fleas Bite humans beings and Jump Off

As noted above, fleas will suck blood on human beings and jump off to a more suitable host. Fleas won’t bite through your clothes. Hence, the fleas will crawl to an exposed skin area where they’ll make 2-3 bites before jumping off.

But, any interruption will make the flea to hide under your clothes for a short time – possibly for a maximum of 24 hours. Fleas won’t bite through your clothes. Therefore, if they’re trapped in your clothes, fleas will continue biting and feeding on the exposed skin. 

Flea Larvae Won’t Live in Clothes

Flea larvae won’t live on cats or dog, but will mainly be in the environment in areas such as carpets ( digging deep into carpet fibres), protected and dark environments like the porches,  underneath decks, attics, and crawl spaces.

Therefore, fleas will largely escape to areas that have a w amount of lighting. For example, teh fleas can hide under clothes that are left lying on the floor or hide in seams of clothes/ fabrics to escape being killed by humans or by insecticides such as sprays and flea bombs

1. Fleas larvae hatch on their hosts

Flea larvae will hatch from their fleas eggs while still on their hosts such as dogs and cats. However, flea larvae don’t live on the hosts but will fall off to the environment in areas such as carpet fibres when the cat or dog is walking around your house.

The fleas’ eggs will behave like any round ball that will roll off any surface. Therefore, when the cat or dog rises up and shales its body, the flea eggs will fall off to the surrounding surfaces in their environment. Further, when the pet is in its sleeping area, the flea eggs will fall off to the bedding where they’ll hatch into larvae and grow. 

2. Larvae exhibit negative phototaxic 

Flea larvae will hatch within 2-7 days after the females adult fleas lay the eggs. However, the larvae will tend to hide from any bright sources of light, this is because they have negative phototaxic. 

Therefore, the flea larvae will hide deep inside carpet fibres, crevices and cracks, which implies that they won’t favour living in clothes. Also, the larvae will eat flea dirt and organic debris.

Flea dirt is the dried blood excreted by adult fleas after they suck blood from various hosts such as dogs and cats. Also, larvae practice cannibalism where they’ll eat the sickly or injured fleas. 

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