As a home- and pet owner, flea infestations are a real nuisance to humans, cats, and dogs – including baby fleas. But where do fleas lay eggs? Knowing the hideouts will help us to easily break the flea’s life cycle.
Definitely, of the 2,000 flea species, dog fleas and cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis) are the most common on furry mammals, birds, dogs, and cats.
Fleas lay their eggs on hosts such as cats (around the neck) or dogs (around their hips). The flea eggs are non-stick and thus will fall off from the pet’s fur. They’ll accumulate on the upholstery, between floorboards, carpets, and on the pet’s bedding and will hatch into larvae. But to break the flea cycle, you should use spot-on or oral treatments.
- But what do flea eggs look like? Flea eggs are tiny oval-shaped specs (size of rice or salt grain) measuring ~ 0.5 mm. They are off-white, translucent, or bright white – unlike dandruff that’s irregular-shaped.
Details: Where Do Fleas Lay Eggs?
Cats fleas will adopt and live long on their hosts such as dogs and cats – and they rarely leave unless the host dies. Otherwise, they’ll eat, mate and finally lay their eggs on the dogs and cats – the fleas will live a few months without a host.
The fleas will hide on the cat’s collar, neck, hindquarters, and dorsal area. When freshly laid, the fleas’ eggs will be sticky, wet, and smooth with that oval (rounded) shape but will dry fast as fall off the host.
1. Pet’s and their bedding
Flea treatments will kill flea larvae, immature flea, and adult fleas in the pet’s environment. Flea-treat all the pets and small mammals including guinea pigs, hamsters, pet rabbits that are in your household.
But, “flea dirt” will appear like black pepper flecks – they’re actually flea waste – they’ll clump readily and stick on the cat’s or dog’s skin or fur. Also, you’ll get flea eggs around their main food source – that’s your cat and dog.
Science tells us that fleas don’t reproduce or produce eggs from consuming a human blood diet. Therefore, the bugs may bite humans but still won’t hide in your hair – but you may find them in the pet’s fur within 36 – 48 hours.
You’ll notice that flea eggs will be anything similar to the ping pong balls, they’ll roll between floorboards, carpets, and also on the cat’s or dog’s fur – they’ll hide in these locations up to when they hatch.
- But will flea eggs fall off fast? Well, this will depend on the length of the pet’s fur and the activity status (severity) of that infestation. However, most flea eggs tend to fall off the pet’s fur in just a few days.
With flea bites, your pet will itch or scratch the body naturally and thus the flea eggs will be shed faster. Normally, flea eggs will be lying around the areas that your pet rests or sleeps – this includes the pet’s bed or on the carpets.
- During the warmer weather, the pets will move into the backwoods and backyards – as do the fleas. This weather will make the flea eggs (and larvae) hatch or molt to the next stage (in just weeks) – which makes controlling challenging.
2. Rugs and Carpets
First, yes flea eggs can be found on rugs, floorboard gaps, carpet fibers, and bedding. These eggs will be roughly 0.5 mm in length (quite tiny), white and oval – thus they might be difficult to see when on rough materials and surfaces.
But either way, check for signs of flea eggs on your rugs and carpeting. The tiny oval objects will get deep into the fibers of the carpeting since they’re small. Female fleas may equally lay the eggs directly on the carpets -which may also hatch while there.
- So, to notice the flea eggs, simply run your hand on the rug or carpet fibers checking for adult fleas or their eggs.
However, if it’s challenging to notice any of the bugs, try the white socks trick – wear white socks and round around the carpeted places and shuffle your feet.
The adult fleas, if there are any, tend to hop into the socks. Feet shuffling over the carpeted areas will entice and attract the fleas to jump onto the socks.
- The heat generated from feet shuffling tends to attract the bugs. To identify the fleas take a flashlight and point it to the white socks. Check for some brown or black specks on the white socks – these are flea or flea eggs.
Also, check for flea dirt – which is the fecal matter from fleas looking like black pepper or dirt. So, check the carpeting or floor – or the pet’s sleeping areas. Scan the crates, pet bedding for flea dirt and fleas.
Examine the upholstered furniture and couches where your pets tend to love and so will drop their fecal matter.
You may examine if the specs you find are really flea dirt by dropping them into some water basin – see if they turn reddish (this is confirmatory).
Related: Flea Eggs Vs Dandruff
3. Lawn and Yard
Fleas and their eggs will effectively thrive in humid and warm weather – and under these conditions will lay about 50 eggs daily. Thus, the yard and lawn will play an excellent breeding area for fleas and their babies – they’ll hitch your pets and also humans.
Notably, flea & flea eggs won’t be a small problem as each female of these bugs will lay roughly 50 eggs daily – and these bugs can live even for 2 years with the correct conditions – after hatching they’ll bite to cause rashes and sores.
The 1/6-inch long, wingless, reddish-brown, and tiny fleas could be difficult to spot on the yard or lawn – you can also use the white socks trick – wear them and move around the lawn and areas that pets rest or sleep.
To treat the yard or lawn for fleas by using Scotts® Turf Builder for grass control that tends to hide and feed the bugs. Use Ortho® Home Defense to create a flea barrier in the yard or around the house – while cutting plantings, brush, and leaf litter to 6 to 18 inches.
- So mow the yard or yard appropriate for the grass type – notably very long grass will provide a hiding place for fleas. But ensure it’s not overly short ( (under 2 inches) to avoid attracting other bugs like ants and spiders.
Remove all the thatch where fleas, larvae, and eggs may finding hiding spaces. Ensure to maintain a thatch layer of just under 1/2 inch.
- Further, don’t over-water your yard or lawns – you’ll require just about 1-inch of water each week on the yard – including from rainfall or irrigation
- Next, mulch your porch, deck, and hedge using cedar as its smell will tend to repel the fleas – creating a barrier on your patios and various play areas.
Undertake shrub and tree pruning to allow the sun and light to shine on most areas of the yard. Allow more light by pruning the thick canopies and low branches. Also, clear the yard clutter and evict the wildlife including skunks, feral cats, and squirrels.
Further, treat your flea-infested pets using medication and flea shampoo (like for cats) – consult the pet vet. Remove the trash bin and garbage bag – plus vacuum the furniture and carpeting – finally remove that vacuum bag.
- You can control the bugs and their eggs in your yard using Nematodes (microscopic worms) as they’ll eat the flea larvae and eggs. But the worms won’t harm your gardens, grass, pets, and humans – you can buy the Nematodes from various stores.
How Fast do the Eggs Fall
Researchers have reported that over half of the flea eggs will fall off from the pet in just 2 hours after getting laid. Over 65-percent of the eggs will have dropped from the cat in 4 hours.
About 70-percent of the flea eggs will be dislodged from the pet’s fur within 8 hours. Only under 3-percent of the flea eggs will be left on the host with over 27-percent eaten while grooming.
Thus, the rate of falling of the flea eggs will vary on the movement and grooming habits of the pets plus their fur length. With a dirty and dense hair coat, the eggs may be lodged with the fur.
The fleas will bite and inject their saliva into the wounds – which results in some irritation, and scratching and this may enhance the dropping (or dislodging) of flea eggs.
Where Do Eggs Fall?
Once dislodged, the flea eggs will drop off in areas like outdoors or indoors. They’ll drop on places that the bug hosts such as dogs and cats will access.
The fleas’ host behavior and movement patterns will determine how the eggs will be dispersed. The eggs will be dispersed mainly in the home and places that pets feed, rest, or sleep.
The eggs will be deposited mainly around the resting and sleeping areas since egg shedding and oviposition is high during night hours as the dogs & cats rest.
Further, the cats will be grooming, resting, and sleeping themselves for a long time – around 13-percent during the day. But they’ll share the sleeping and resting areas with different cats.
- But flea larvae won’t travel far from the bug’s laying location and pet’s sleeping area – and they’ll die when exposed to high or lower temperatures.
Appropriate Habitats for Flea Eggs
The best habitat conditions for flea eggs to exist and develop effectively – and thus the incubation areas for eggs won’t be in many areas of the house.
1. Temperature and Humidity
Fleas will die from desiccation – but to hatch and develop effectively, the eggs need to be on substrates that have correct humidity and warmth.
- The appropriate temperature for the flea eggs is between 10° – 38°C (50.4° – 100.4°F) and relative humidity of between 50% to 92% RH – notably, they’ll desiccate at under 50% RH.
2. Feeding on Flea Dirt (Fecal Blood)
Fleas will survive effectively when they take flea dirt – which is fecal blood for adult fleas. With no food (blood or flea dirt), the flea larvae will die in just 3 after hatching.
- The basic food source for fleas is flea dirt – the adult fleas will equally die.
Thus the flea eggs will develop fully once they are in the right habitat plus there must be enough fecal blood – and this is because the fecal blood doesn’t fall easily as the flea eggs. It’ll fall off in the pet-grooming times and tend to mainly fall around areas that the pets rest and sleep.
Compared to flea eggs from other bugs, flea eggs will hatch within 1 – 12 days to become larvae – they’ll fall off from the flea host (dog or cat) to the ground as they’re not sticky.
So, where do fleas lay eggs? Well, check the carpeted areas, indoor & outdoor spaces that pets (dogs & cats) rest and sleep.