Identification: Fleas are parasites which means they require another living organism to survive. They are small, dark colored insects with 2 small mouth parts used for sucking blood from the host. Once they have a blood meal, the saliva they leave behind often causes a severe itch to pets.
Life Cycle: The adult female flea gets blood meal from the host and lays her eggs on the host’s skin. Female fleas can lay up to 50 each day! The eggs fall off the host, landing on your couch, rug or floor. The eggs hatch into larvae in 2-14 days and prefer a dark environment, often hiding in cracks and crevices. Larvae complete their development in 5-10 days. Next, they spin a cocoon and emerge as adult fleas. At this stage, you will be able to see the flea with the naked eye. Depending on environmental conditions and food supply, the flea life cycle can take from 2 weeks or up to 6 months.