Are you sick and tired of fleas? Well, you’re not alone. Thousands of US homes struggle with infestations from these external parasites.
Unfortunately, these pesky critters are a nightmare to deal with. Seeing an adult flea means there are hundreds right behind it.
You need to nip flea eggs in the bud, and we’ll tell you everything you need to know to do that:
- The Flea Life Cycle
- Effects on Pet and Human Health
- How to Know if Your Pet Has Fleas
- Flea Prevention Tips
- Treatment Options for Cats and Dogs
Everything About Flea Eggs
Unfortunately, fleas come with their dreaded eggs, which can be a mission all on their own.
Fleas can have a dramatic effect on your pet’s health, so stay alert for tell-tale signs like dirt and bites.
Besides, treatments for cats and dogs differ, so you need to use pet-specific products, even with natural ingredients. Topical spot-on products, collars, oral pills, and shampoos are all great options.
Prevention is always better than cure. That’s why you should mow your lawn and cut back your plants to keep fleas away. Above all, vacuum your house at least once a week to prevent eggs from hatching.
These tiny insects can be a nightmare, so let’s learn all we can to prevent infestation.
When Do Flea Eggs Hatch?
We’ll get to their life cycle in a minute, but first, you should know that the eggs hatch about one to 12 days after being laid. The adult flea will only have them after a blood meal and usually towards the end of its life cycle.
The eggs are not sticky and often fall on the floor, that’s how they end up on our furry friends. Temperature is a massive component of the hatching process — the warmer it is, the quicker they hatch and mature.
Yes, you read that right. Central heating is a breeding ground for these pesky parasites.
What Do Flea Eggs Look Like?
They’re tough to see, making it near impossible to know if your home is infested. By the time you see that one adult flea, it’s too late.
The eggs are about half the size of a grain of salt. Now, do you see what I mean when I say they’re hard to spot? Unlike salt, their shape is more oval, but it won’t be a thing you notice.
If you want to be sure, put the egg suspect on a piece of dark paper, and you should be able to see the shape.
How Many Eggs Can a Flea Lay?
Once a female flea starts breeding, it can lay between 20–50 eggs a day — that’s over 2000 in its lifetime.
As we mentioned, the eggs would probably end up on the floor, but they can quickly scatter around your entire house. That’s why proper treatment and prevention measures are vital.
If you’re not running away yet, know that the eggs can lay dormant and activate only when heat and vibrations occur.
How Long Can Flea Eggs Lay Dormant?
If they don’t hatch within ten days, they won’t. As we mentioned, the temperature needs to be just right — about 80°F. Plus, the humidity level should be between 75–90.
What’s more, if the conditions are ideal, an egg can progress to larvae in less than 48 hours.
The good news? The eggs make up about 50% of the population, so you can prevent them from hatching if you catch the infestation early.
Flea Life Cycle
To understand how to get rid of flea eggs effectively, you need to know the different stages of their life cycle. Let’s jump right in:
Eggs: Once a mama flea has fed, she’ll distribute eggs onto the host — usually your pup or kitty. The eggs will then fall off the fur and around your home. They’ll hatch within one to 12 days.
Larvae: These are almost see-through and between three to five millimeters in length, making them difficult to spot. But wait, there’s more, they also hide in dark spaces like fabrics, floor cracks, and carpets, so you really need to look everywhere. This stage lasts about 18 days, and they feed off organic materials like dead insects.
The difference between flea eggs and larvae is vast. That’s why they need different eradication treatments. But more on that later.
Pupae: Your skin might be crawling at this point, but picture the next stage as a butterfly. The larvae spin a silk cocoon around themselves before becoming an adult flea. This process can take months, even an entire year. Unfortunately, the cocoon is super sticky, protecting the pupae from most treatments.
Adult: When the adult flea emerges, it’s on the hunt for a blood meal, as that will start the life cycle all over again for females. Now, do you see how it turns into an infestation so quickly?
Flea Effects on Human and Pet Health
It’s pretty different when it comes to flea eggs on humans. We don’t have fur, so they won’t attach to us, but the adult fleas will bite and might leave undesirable side effects.
Fleas will go for your ankles and legs because they’re the body parts trekking through the insect territory. The bites are distinctive and come in clusters of three or four.
Also, they itch very badly but try not to scratch as that can damage the skin. It’s incredibly vital to know how to kill flea eggs to stop them from spreading.
Like with mosquito bites, many of us are allergic to flea bites. You could end up with hives, a nasty rash, or even have difficulty breathing.
Don’t worry. The chances of getting a disease from fleas are very low. After all, the black plague isn’t around anymore. But this doesn’t mean things can’t get worse, as the bites might get infected if you scratch them too hard.
Unfortunately, since flea eggs are so difficult to see, you won’t know about the invasion until the adult fleas spread around your home. A surefire way to prevent flea bites is getting rid of the insects throughout the house and pets. There’s not much to do if you get flea bites except to buy anti-itch creams and antihistamines.
Our furry pals are at a higher risk of complications as the flea live on them. One of the biggest concerns is your pup ingesting a flea, as the parasite is also a host for tapeworm. It might cause an itchy bum, so you best check with a vet if you see Spike rubbing his back end across the carpet.
What starts as a small number of flea eggs on dogs can become a massive problem fast. A large infestation can even cause anemia from blood loss, so you want to get on top of things quickly.
How to Tell if Your Pet Has Fleas
Knowing when your furry friend has fleas can be challenging, but there are a few tell-tale signs you can look out for.
Can You See Flea Eggs on Dogs and Cats?
You might notice flea dirt that many believe are the eggs, but it’s not. The black pepper-looking stuff is dried blood and poop left from the adult flea.
Distinguishing between flea poop or eggs is pretty straightforward. As we mentioned, the eggs are near impossible to see, whereas the dirt is instantly noticeable. So, as gross as it is, it could help you tell if your furry friend has a flea problem.
Now you know that black flea eggs are not a thing, and it’s just dirt. Apart from that, you’ll notice more scratching than usual and red dots on your pet’s belly, under its legs, or near the tail.
Dry skin and hair loss are also significant signs that fleas have made their way to your animal companion.
How to Check Your Pet for Fleas
The pet brush will be your sidekick for this, as it parts the hair, helping you see your pal’s skin.
Adult fleas and flea dirt are easy to spot because they’re dark. So, you can place your pet on a white towel or sheet and pick up any suspicious bits that fall off. Sprinkling water over the dark pieces will also help. If they turn to a brownish red, that’s dirt.
If you got hit by a flea infestation, don’t panic. There are things you can do to prevent another outbreak in the future.
How to Protect Your Home From Fleas
Yard work: Fleas migrate from your yard, hitching a ride on your furry pal into the house.
Mowing your lawn and cutting back all plants is a significant part of flea prevention. Flea eggs on cats are typical because kitties creep into the garden’s densely planted areas.
Keep wildlife at bay: Don’t leave pet food bowls outside. It attracts feral cats and other creatures like raccoons that often have flea infestations. Additionally, seal off the openings into your home, no matter how small.
Outdoor flea treatments: You can get a spray to eradicate and prevent fleas in your garden.
Brushing is your friend: Do it when your pet comes indoors, as this will sweep away any flea eggs and critters that have made their way into the fur. Apart from that, if your furry friend has long hair, consider shaving it in summer.
Vacuuming is the name of the game: You need to do this around the house at least once a week.
Checklist — Flea Hideouts
To get on top of the problem, you need to know where these parasites hide. In short, wherever your pet goes, fleas follow. Unfortunately, this includes your bed. If your furry pal sleeps with you, laundry is going to be a massive part of eradicating live and dead flea eggs.
Carpets and rugs are also fleas’s favorites in all stages of their life cycle. Sometimes even the vacuum won’t help, and that’s usually the number one advice on how to get rid of flea eggs. They bed themselves deeper and deeper, making it more challenging to get rid of them.
Attics, basements, and outdoor crawl spaces are also flea population hideouts. We’ll get to dealing with large areas like these in a little bit.
Flea Treatments for Dogs and Cats
Now, let’s see what you need to do once the dreaded parasite has invaded your pet and house. There are many options, so read carefully to see what would work best for you and your furry pal.
Treating Your Pet
This will be the most important part of eradicating fleas. But treatments for dogs and cats differ significantly, so you need to be sure you’re using the right products.
The flea treatment for cats is specific and can’t be interchanged with the dog’s. It could even kill your kitty. Be careful and read the instructions of all products closely.
Natural treatments might be a bit easier on pups than cats because they tend to be fussier.
Home Remedies for Fleas on Dogs
There’s a wide range of natural treatments. Let’s dive right in.
Great for preventing fleas from jumping onto fur, essential oils repel any critter. Citronella, peppermint, tea tree, and eucalyptus oil all work brilliantly. Dilute a few drops of the oil in 10–14 oz water in a spray bottle.
Remember that essential oils can be toxic for cats, so this is just for pups. Flea eggs on dogs is a different ball game, and we’ll go into more details below.
The bonus effect is that your pup will smell fresh as a daisy. Squeeze half a cup of lemon juice into two cups of water. Then, add a squish of your dog’s regular shampoo.
Natural brands are a great choice and will get rid of fleas before you move on to spot treatments. Burt’s Bees all-natural shampoo and conditioner is a popular choice.
It’s an excellent option for fussy dogs that don’t enjoy bath time or topical treatments. You can do this at home by soaking your pup’s collar in diluted lavender oil. Let it dry and place it back on your dog.
Chemical Flea Treatments for Dogs
There’s a wide range of prescribed flea products for pets, but how long does it take for fleas to die after treatment?
Oral pills: Capstar works wonders for flea infestations, and you can give it to your dog once a day if reinfestation occurs. Plus, it starts working within 30 minutes.
Flea collars: These last up to eight months, so there’s a minimal hassle, and they take effect within 24 hours. Dog owners love the Seresto collars.
Spot on: Frontline for Dogs is an excellent once-a-month treatment and kills fleas within 18 hours of application, but does frontline kill flea eggs? It does, eradicating the nasty insects at all phases of the life cycle.
Shampoo: Pups are much more used to baths than our feline friends, but there are products, like the Adams shampoo, that are for dogs and cats. It also works on the whole flea life cycle and lasts for 28 days. Besides, it’s an integral part of their routine. Researching useful bathing tips and tricks can even turn it into a fun experience for both of you.
Home Remedies for Fleas on Cats
As the flea treatment for cats goes, natural remedies aren’t the first thing that comes to mind, but some of these options can work wonders.
Spice up Your Life
Try mixing oregano with olive oil. No, this is not a pasta recipe. The spice actually repels fleas. Add one teaspoon of it and three teaspoons of olive oil, and then place it on common flea areas like your cat’s stomach, ears, and neck.
This wonder plant can calm kitties down and might even give them a good catnap. Studies show that lavender works just as well as chemical sprays for fleas.
Gather up some fresh lavender, let it soak in water overnight, and then strain it. Spray the liquid directly on your kitty’s fur. The best thing about this remedy? There’s no need to wash it off.
Your kitty might not like this one, but the smell does repel fleas. Sprinkle cedar chips around your cat’s favorite areas, like their bed and the garden. This isn’t how to get rid of flea eggs on cats, but we’ll get to that soon.
Chemical Flea Treatments for Cats
Oral pills: You may have heard of prescription treatments, but does Comfortis kill flea eggs? Surprisingly, it kills fleas before they even get a chance to lay any eggs. The only downside is that you’ll need a prescription.
Flea collars: The Seresto cat collar is brilliant for fussy felines who don’t enjoy topical treatments. It lasts eight months, and it’s the treatment with the least hassle.
Spot on: You need to be careful with these. Make sure you use a spot-on treatment for your feline, as pup products can be toxic for your kitty. Frontline is one of the more popular options because it’s easy to use, kills eggs, and lasts a month.
Why Reinfestation Occurs
The number one reason is owners thinking that fleas are just a pet problem. The truth is these insects are all over the house.
We’re going to discuss how to treat your home in the next section because flea eggs in the carpet, beds, clothes, and curtains are a massive issue.
Keeping up with pet tick and flea treatment regimes is essential, and you can’t miss a dose. It’s best to set a calendar reminder and not forget. If you let even one flea, there will be hundreds more just around the corner.
Treating Your House for Fleas
Hot Water: Wash your bedding, clothes, and other material items at 284°F or higher. The temperature will kill all the flea eggs on bed sheets.
Diatomaceous Earth: This is highly recommended online but be warned — some vets won’t allow this anywhere near an animal. Talk to a specialist for the best option but keep in mind that it can get expensive if you go back to them each time your pet has fleas. You could also look into pet insurance to protect your furball.
Vinegar: This doesn’t kill the eggs, but it works well as a flea repellent. Dilute some vinegar with water in a spray bottle and use it around the house. Besides, it’s a great disinfectant, too.
Chemical Treatments for Flea Eggs in the House
Dish Soap: We don’t recommend using this on your pet. It’ll only kill some of the adult fleas but not the eggs, larvae, or pupae.
Fogger: Precor is a brilliant flea fogger that kills eggs. It lasts up to eight months and can control infestations in large areas around the house.
Yard Spray: You now know that fleas often come from the garden, so treating the yard is an essential part of the process. Pet owners recommend the Adams yard spray.
House Spray: Use only products that won’t harm your pets. For instance, Vet’s Best has a natural formula and won’t put your animal at risk.
Vacuuming Is Your Friend
This is the most crucial step against eggs and pupae. The latter is incredibly stubborn, and it’s challenging to sweep them away with a broom.
Flea eggs on your bed are also a health risk for you and your pet. A good vacuum would suck up the eggs from all your fabric furniture.
Working With Professionals
Sometimes no matter what you do, the infestation could be too large to handle. That’s when you should call in the big guns.
Don’t be ashamed. Countless companies get rid of fleas all the time, and there are thousands of pet households in the same boat.
Do some research to find a highly recommended specialist in your area you like. Most of the time, eradicating these pesky parasites is a team effort. Besides, they can also offer professional advice on how to get rid of flea eggs in the future.
Fleas can have a dramatic effect on your pet’s health, so stay alert for tell-tale signs like flea dirt and bites. Remember that cats’ and dogs’ treatments differ — use pet-specific products, even if they’re with natural ingredients.
Prevention is better than cure. That’s why you should mow your lawn and cut back the plants. Above all, vacuum the house at least once a week to prevent hatching eggs in the first place.
Flea eggs can be a nightmare, so we hope this info will help keep your home and pet healthy and flea-free.