Fleas are tiny nuisances that can bite your pets and family. They feast on your dog or cat’s blood for survival. They don’t even need a host to survive up to two weeks in your home. A pest control company can stop a flea problem, no matter the severity, and sometimes, even before a major infestation occurs. However, you should understand what fleas are and why they’re a concern.


Generally, a flea is between one to 2.5 mm in length, although their size varies slightly based on the species. Usually, they’re yellow to dark brown. All species have six legs, with the hind legs being the strongest, so they can jump.

Fleas have a flat shape, almost like someone stepped on them. They have a head, abdomen, and thorax, just like many other insects. The full fleas have an abdomen that appears plumper and may look paler than the rest of their body.


A single flea may survive between a few weeks to a few months, depending on the environment. Generally, fleas thrive well in warm, humid conditions, which makes summer an ideal time for these pests to invade your home and reproduce.


Fleas are wingless. Instead of flying, they maneuver around by jumping. Despite their small stature of only 1/6 to 1/8 inches long, these parasites can leap up to seven inches into the air but travel less than one-inch in distance per leap.

Life Cycle

One female may lay up to 40 eggs in a single day and can lay this amount every day once she reaches sexual maturity. The females require the blood from your pet for the nutrients necessary to reproduce.

Egg Stage

The eggs are white and smaller than a single grain of sand. The female tends to lay them in clusters, typically around 20 per bunch. Unfortunately, these eggs may fall from your pet as he or she moves, and the eggs end up throughout your home.

Within two days to two weeks, an egg is ready to hatch if the conditions are right. In general, the eggs hatch sooner when it’s warm and humid.

Larvae and Pupae

Once they hatch, they become larvae. The larvae are blind. They don’t host off your pet at this stage. Instead, they survive by consuming the following:

  • Flea eggshells
  • Skin flakes
  • Flea feces
  • Other debris

During the larval stage, they prefer cool, damp places. The larval stage tends to last between five and twenty days before they become pupae. During the pupae phase, they’re looking for a host to feed from, so they can become an adult.


Adulthood is when a flea reaches sexual maturity. In around 24 hours after a female’s first meal of blood, she can start laying eggs to continue the lifecycle. An adult can live between two to three months, and the female can continue to reproduce during this time as long as she continues to eat. Adult fleas require a host to survive their full lifespan, though.

Danger of Fleas to Your Pet

First and foremost, your pet may have an allergic reaction to the flea’s saliva. The reaction can cause your pet to scratch frequently, and then an infection can set in to the wounds.

The most serious problem for your pet that stems from a flea infestation is a tapeworm. Tapeworms are another parasite, but they host on fleas. If your pet should happen to eat a flea, he or she can ingest the tapeworm inside of the flea. This parasite then grows inside of your pet and robs him or her of nutrition.

Fleas are harmful to your pet, and their bites can irritate you. You may remove fleas from your pet by bathing your pet with a flea shampoo or taking his or her to the vet. However, you still need to have your home treat to fully remove the problem.

Contact Environmental Services Pest Control, LLC, serving Lansdale, PA and the nearby region, if you suspect you have fleas.