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Are you dealing with a flea infestation and want to nip it in the bud as soon as possible? When ridding your dog and house of fleas, it’s crucial to stop future fleas in their tracks in addition to killing existing fleas. Flea eggs can get everywhere, and it’s only a matter of time before another imminent infestation. We have answers to all the pesky questions you have about flea eggs and how to get rid of them so you’re not scratching your head about why your flea problem won’t go away.
So, what do flea eggs look like to the human eye? Unfortunately, they’re difficult to spot, especially if your dog has light-colored fur. They’re only around 0.5 millimeters, about the size of a grain of salt or sand, off-white in color, and translucent.
When inspecting your pup, it’s easy to confuse flea eggs for dandruff. The main difference is that flea eggs are oval-shaped rather than flat. But because eggs fall off their hosts easily, you may not see many on your pet. Still, you can use a flea comb to get eggs (as well as adult fleas and flea feces) off your pup.
The best way to tell the difference is to place the speck in question on a dark surface and inspect it using a magnifying glass. If it’s oval, then it’s likely a flea egg — especially if you’ve already found fleas on your pup.
Flea Poop vs Flea Eggs
Many people also confuse flea poop, often called flea dirt, with flea eggs. Flea dirt is typically a bit larger than eggs, dark, and dry, resembling black pepper flakes. If you put a few specks of suspected flea dirt on a white paper towel, add a few drops of water, and see a reddish color, then you can confirm that it’s indeed flea poop. You can find flea dirt on your pet, bedding, carpeting, furniture, etc.
Although fleas lay their eggs in your pet’s fur, they don’t stay there — the eggs don’t stick well to your pup’s fur or skin, so they drop off easily. Of course, this means that they get on everything, including bedding, carpeting, furniture, between floorboards, and anywhere else your pup goes. On furniture and elsewhere, they look like tiny specks of salt. You can confirm that they’re flea eggs using a magnifying glass (as mentioned above).
Female fleas begin laying eggs within 36 to 48 hours of their first meal (their host’s blood). Within just a few days, one flea can lay as many as 20 to 50 eggs per day.
Depending on their environment, eggs can take anywhere from 36 hours to 10 days to hatch. They hatch faster in ideal conditions of higher heat and humidity.
What Do Flea Larvae Look Like?
Flea larvae that hatch from eggs look like tiny worms that are off-white colored and about two to five millimeters long. Within the next five to 14 days, they feed on flea dirt until they spin a cocoon and enter the pupa stage. Adult fleas emerge from their cocoons anywhere from one week to several months or more — they don’t emerge until they detect body heat or movement of a host nearby.
The first step in killing flea eggs is to treat your pup with a product that kills adult fleas, larvae, and eggs. You may want to check with your veterinarian’s office to see what they recommend, especially if the infestation is severe.
But several over-the-counter products are very effective. We recommend Frontline Plus Flea & Tick Treatment, a topical liquid that you apply to the skin between your dog’s shoulder blades once a month. If you prefer shampoo, Adams Plus is extremely effective in killing adult fleas, eggs, and larvae.
If you’d rather go with a natural flea treatment, we recommend Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Advanced Strength Dog Shampoo or Richard’s Organics Flea & Tick Shampoo. Both are vet-formulated blends of all-natural oils that kill adult fleas, larvae, and eggs.
TIP: Not all flea treatments kill eggs and larvae, so be sure you choose one that does to prevent future adult fleas.
The next step in eradicating your flea infestation involves ridding your home of all of the eggs, larvae, and pupae that are lurking in bedding, carpeting, cushioning, etc. And this takes a multi-pronged approach to ensure success.
Vacuuming & Cleaning
Thorough vacuuming is one of the best ways to kill fleas in all of their life stages (adults, pupae, larvae, and eggs). Pupae are particularly hardy because the cocoon protects the larvae from insecticides. But vacuuming your carpets, hardwood floors, floor tiling, and furniture every day kills all four flea life stages.
Vacuuming also lifts the fibers in your carpeting, which improves the penetration of insecticides down to the base of your carpet. To cover all your bases, be sure to vacuum under furniture and throw rugs, deep into cushions, and along your baseboards.
While research has shown that the vacuuming process kills flea eggs, etc., you may still want to empty your vacuum bag or canister in an outdoor trash can just to be on the safe side.
You’ll also need to wash linens, your bedding, and pet beds in the washing machine on the hot cycle. Mopping floors and steam cleaning carpeting can also get rid of flea eggs.
Flea Products For The Home
Several home flea treatment products can also effectively kill eggs, larvae, and adult fleas. Many people find sprays to be the easiest to use for all of your flooring and furniture. Here are some excellent options that get great reviews from pet parents:
This two-minute video has some helpful tips on the best ways and places to look for fleas in your home.
The good news is that it’s very easy to prevent future flea infestations by administering a regular flea preventative treatment. Typically, this requires a monthly treatment during warm and hot seasons.
And speaking of prevention, you’ll want to make sure you’re giving your dog preventative medication for other parasites that your dog can contract, including heartworms and intestinal worms. You may even want to consider getting a pet wellness plan, which covers all of your pup’s preventative care, from annual exams to vaccines and much more.
Tagged With: Fleas