Posts Tagged ‘flea life cycle’

If you feel like fleas are a never-ending problem, it’s because the largest portion of the flea population in your home is in its youth. Over a period of months, these young fleas grow up and head to your pets to eat a meal and to lay new eggs. New groups of fleas are maturing to adulthood all the time — and those are just the ones you see.

Get the flea life cycle timetable here.

On June 23rd, 2012, I scooped some flea eggs and flea feces (aka “flea dirt”, aka baby food for fleas) into a plastic Ziploc bag. Periodically, I checked the bag and photographed the contents as the eggs hatched, larvae squiggled around, and a couple of industrious flea wannabes worked their way toward adulthood.

Check out these photos of the normally unseen world of fleas. 

Flea eggs (on black paper)

Flea eggs on paper; photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic

 

Flea eggs (magnified; with “flea dirt”)

Magnified flea eggs and flea dirt; photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic

 

Isolated flea egg (magnified; with “flea dirt”)

Flea egg; photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic

 

Flea excrement (dried blood from the host animal; also known as “flea dirt”) This will be consumed by flea larvae for fuel

Flea dirt, often the first sign of a flea infestation; photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic

 

Flea larva (magnified)

Look closely to see the hairs along the larva’s body; photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic

 

Flea pupa in cocoon [left] and larva [right] (magnified)

Flea pupa safe in its cocoon, with larva and flea dirt; photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic

 

Immature flea (magnified) This little guy almost made it!

Immature flea, just out of its cocoon; photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic

 

Treating your dog? We recommend the Seresto 8-month Flea & Tick collar.

Treating your cat? We recommend Revolution.

Tip: Be sure to treat all dogs and cats in the household, plus your home and yard, to have a fighting chance against fleas.


This post originally appeared on July 23, 2012.

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     As promised, I have begun a new Flea Farm, this time recording video of live flea larvae. Those little guys move fast! In fact, the video looks sped-up, but I promise not to have doctored the tape (not that I would know how to.)

Teaser photo to get you in the mood:

     To see the new live-action flea larvae shots, follow these links to our YouTube channel.

Shy flea larvae

Flea larvae – speedy little suckers!

Active flea larvae on the Flea Farm

     So, am I trying to gross you out with all these videos? A little. Because if your pets have fleas, your house is growing its own Flea Farm, without any assistance from you.

     But you don’t have to let the little bugs take over! Read on for tips and products to help you win the war on fleas (plus a fun article that will have you rooting for them in the next Olympics.)

Shortcuts to articles on fleas and flea control

Prevent flea product failure

A flea jumps how high?

Advantage special offer

Revolution special offer

Adams Flea & Tick Mist

Flea comb

Fleabusters Powder for the house

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It’s amazing the fun I can have with a plastic bag, a camera and a microscope.

   On June 23rd, I scooped some flea eggs and flea dirt (for fuel) into a plastic ziploc bag. Periodically, I checked the bag and photographed the contents as the eggs hatched, larvae squiggled around, and a couple of industrious flea wannabes worked their way toward adulthood.

   Disappointed that I hadn’t thought to film the live larvae wiggling and squiggling, I’ve set up a new Flea Farm in a bag – this time with dozens of eggs. Gross, right? I’ll post those results as they become available. In the meantime, check out these photos of the normally unseen world of fleas. 

Flea eggs (on black paper)

Flea eggs on paper; photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic

 

Flea eggs (magnified; with “flea dirt”)

Magnified flea eggs and flea dirt; photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic

 

Isolated flea egg (magnified; with “flea dirt”)

Flea egg; photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic

 

Flea excrement (dried blood from the host animal; also known as “flea dirt”) This will be consumed by flea larvae for fuel

Flea dirt, often the first sign of a flea infestation; photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic

 

Flea larva (magnified)

Look closely to see the hairs along the larva’s body; photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic

 

Flea pupa in cocoon [left] and larva [right] (magnified)

Flea pupa safe in its cocoon, with larva and flea dirt; photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic

 

Immature flea (magnified) This little guy almost made it!

Immature flea, just out of its cocoon; photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic

 

Coming up on Tuesday, July 24th – I will post video on our Facebook page of live, squirming Tapeworm segments called proglottids. You’ll even get to see a proglottid belching out its eggs!
Caution: do not watch before a meal!

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