Stopping a flea infestation starts with understanding the flea life cycle

Fleas are tiny little blood suckers that can begin feeding on your pet in seconds. Within 24 hours of its first blood meal, a flea can begin laying eggs and can rapidly reach a rate of 40 to 50 eggs per day.1 The result? An infestation, which is why it’s critical to kill fleas fast—before they can lay eggs.

Life Cycle of a Cat Flea. Fleas begin feeding immediately after acquiring a host and excrete flea dirt as a food source for larvae. Mating occurs on the host. Each female can deposite 25-50 eggs per day starting 24 to 48 hours after acquiring a host. Eggs and flea dirt drop off host and into the environment (carpets, bedding, etc.). Maggot-like larvae hatch from eggs and must consume flea dirt in order to properly develop. The larvae go through 3 stages and then spin a silken cocoon. Pupal development takes as little as 8 days or may take up to 30 weeks in poor conditions. The newly emerged flea waits in place for a suitable host.

How did my pet get fleas?

There are many ways your pet can come into contact with fleas:

  • Flea eggs can fall off a pet onto bedding and other areas of your home.
  • Flea eggs drop to the carpet and mature into larvae, hiding in the carpet pile. Larvae turn into pupae, which may be dormant for months.
  • Wildlife and outdoor domestic animals can be infested with fleas, dropping flea eggs in areas around your home. Newly hatched fleas may then jump onto your pet.

For optimum flea control, treat all pets inside and outside your home with an approved flea protection product on a routine basis. Learn about the health risks associated with fleas.

Comfortis® (spinosad) kills fleas before they can lay eggs

Learn more about how Comfortis starts killing fleas on dogs and cats 30 minutes after administration, and how it killed 100% of fleas on dogs and 98% of fleas on cats in just four hours in controlled laboratory studies. Comfortis is not for use in humans. Like all medications, keep Comfortis out of reach of children.

Learn More About Comfortis

Here's a more in-depth look at fleas, where they come from and how to prevent an infestation: