Summary: Dealing with flea eggs is a critical part of removing fleas from your home. In fact, if the eggs are not removed, you will have another flea infestation within a couple weeks! After giving your carpets a good vacuum, make sure that your flea product of choice contains IGR (Insect Growth Regulator) to stop their eggs from hatching.
Since a female flea can lay about 40 eggs per day, a few case studies have shown that for each flea you find, there are an estimated 120 eggs (or a further stage of the flea development cycle) around your home or garden. Your efforts to combat fleas will be useless if you don’t stop the flea life cycle. Before we look at the removal process, what do these eggs look like on your pets and other places in your house?
What Do These Eggs Look like?
While fleas don’t always come from pets, usually a flea problem starts with them so they may require an immediate inspection. Can you see fleas or their eggs? Well since they are very small, they can often be rather hard to find. These eggs are about 0.4mm in size and are completely white and sometimes slightly see-through. I personally think that they look like little grains of salt but I have heard a few people say it looks like dandruff. One of the most common mistakes is confusing flea dirt for these eggs. Always remember that this dirt is often a sign of fleas as it contains their feces. However, these are not eggs! Their eggs also don’t stick to animal fur (or any surfaces for that matter) and this allows them to fall off rather easily and land in your carpets, couches, bedding and other concealed places. Also, if your pet does have fleas, chances are that he or she will be scratching the bite marks as they are very itchy and this can also spread the eggs around.
Environmental Conditions That Speed Up Reproduction
Temperature has a direct effect on the rate in which fleas complete their reproductive cycle. Generally speaking, if you live in a hot environment, this will speed up this process, which gives you less time to put an end to all forms of flea life before the next wave arrives. The ideal temperate for fleas is about 25°C at an estimate of 70% humidity. How do fleas reproduce so quickly?
Well in these conditions, fleas will reproduce fast (provided they have a host available), their eggs will hatch after only a couple days and will take extra effort to get them under control because they thrive in warmth. However in colder regions, its noted that adult flea eggs take much longer to hatch and female fleas do not lay a large amount of eggs each day. Any temperatures that fall below 0°C usually results in the developing fleas becoming dormant but unless its below freezing, they can survive about 7 months without food. Quite a scary thought! Also, even though fleas prefer animals, remember that human fleas are rather common so don’t be too alarmed if you find one on yourself.
Treating Flea Eggs on Your Dog or Cat
While there are a number of natural and product based solutions for getting rid of fleas on dogs, remember that flea eggs also need to be removed! Female fleas will usually start laying their eggs in just a single day after coming into contact with your pet. Once the eggs have hatched into larvae, they feed on the dried remains of the adult fleas (blood and feces) and in some circumstances, also tapeworm eggs that was transferred from another pet or animal. While adult fleas cannot transmit these tapeworm eggs by feeding on the animals blood, they can be swallowed by your dog when it licks or bites itself (or during grooming, this is rather common with cat fleas). This will result in your pet contracting tapeworms, which can pose a fairly serious health risk if ignored.
The most common form of tapeworms on dogs and cats are referred to as “Dipylidium Caninum“. As previously mentioned, your pets are often responsible for bringing fleas and their eggs into your home so if you are currently dealing with a flea attack, make sure that you treat them on your animals otherwise you will be fighting a loosing battle. If you are unsure if your pet has fleas, signs of their presence can often be found in their sleeping areas, whether it be adult fleas, their poo or their eggs.
How to Get Rid of Flea Eggs in Your Home
The Bug Squad has a number of detailed removal methods for adult fleas. However, in this section, we are going to explore a few ways to kill their eggs to stop the flea life cycle from causing repeat flea infestations. Here are some things that you can use right away:
- Give your pet bedding (blankets, etc.) a good, hot wash. This will get rid of both the eggs and any lingering fleas.
- Vacuum your carpets and couches. If possible, try and use a water based model as these do an excellent job at removing the eggs. This also removes flea dirt and ensures that the larvae doesn’t wake up to find a tasty meal nearby.
- Use an IGR flea spray (natural ones are fine as well, just make sure it has a insect growth regulator) on your carpets and furniture. If you have a dog and it has a kennel, also treat this area. Remember that this wont actually kill fully developed fleas in your home. If you require this as well, you may also opt to use a flea fogger/bomb in your home. These are slightly more aggressive methods but they definitely work. Just make sure all the pets are out the house and you follow the instructions carefully. This step is extremely important as vacuuming doesn’t always cover all areas where eggs from fleas may be found and even if a small amount is left over, it could result in another generation of fleas.
- Use a flea comb to remove any eggs off your pets. Make sure this is done outside. Its also important to treat your pet for fleas otherwise the female fleas will simply lay more eggs and the problem will persist. You may also wash your animal with flea shampoo to get rid of eggs and even the adult fleas.
Another optional step is to use a steam cleaner to remove adult fleas, eggs and larva. The hot steam kills fleas instantly and these devices can usually be hired at an affordable price, if you don’t have one already. Finally, if you have a number of pets that frequently spend time inside your home, I highly recommend frequent vacuuming (every couple days) and checking your pets for fleas daily as a proactive measure to keep fleas away, especially during the warmer seasons. However, please stay away from pet flea collars as they can be deadly to your furry friends.
In conclusion, learning how to kill flea eggs is very important if you want to get your flea problem under control. While you may have some success with various flea products on your pets, another generation could be waiting to bug you (literally) after a couple weeks if you do not remove the eggs as well. Many people spend hundreds of dollars getting rid of fleas but fail to ensure that the eggs are removed. After reading this article, I hope this will never be you Thanks for reading my article about flea eggs!