Cat Flea Eggs

Cat Flea Eggs

Of the approximately 2,000 recorded flea species, the most commonly found is the Ctenocephalides felis, or cat flea. These fleas are attracted to homes with domestic pets. Cat fleas infest a variety of animals and are not only found on cats.

Cat fleas develop through the egg, larval and pupal stages before emerging as adults. This process can be complete in 30 days, although environmental conditions may cause the development cycle of the cat flea to stretch over one year. Females can produce one egg an hour. Eggs are oval-shaped and usually fall from the host animal’s fur to the ground, remaining there until they hatch into larvae. Larvae then become pupae and eventually mature into adult cat fleas. Adult cat fleas live on their hosts, consuming their blood in order to reproduce.

Cat fleas, like all fleas, undergo three stages of development before emerging as adults: egg, larval and pupa.  First, female cat fleas lay their eggs on their host’s bodies. Eggs then drop to the ground and hatch into larvae within one to twelve days. They remain larvae for one to two weeks, at which point they become pupae. The pupal stage typically spans between four and eighteen days. The sticky outer surface of cat flea pupae attracts dirt, creating a camouflaged exterior. After completing the pupal stage, cat flea adults emerge.

Upon hatching, young adult cat fleas immediately begin searching for hosts, whose blood they consume in order to survive and reproduce.  They also lay eggs on the host. Female cat fleas lay between four and eight eggs after each blood meal, thus beginning the cycle anew.

Cat flea eggs are oval-shaped and white in color. They are extremely small, measuring only 1/64th inch in length. They have dry, smooth surfaces which enable them to slip to the floor. Cat flea eggs are almost impossible to see against rough surfaces such as carpet and bedding.

Warm, moist environments are most amenable to cat flea development. In dry, cold environments, eggs can die before hatching and both the larval and pupal stages may take up to one year to complete.

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