Did you know?
Flea larvae amount for about 35% of the total population of fleas at any given time.
Flea larvae, the second stage of the flea life cycle, are the most interesting of them all. They can feel vibrations, for example, footsteps or a running vacuum, and have been known to play dead. Of course, this doesn't help them much, since they are pretty hard to spot. The best way to see them is by running a fine toothed comb through your cat's fur, them immediately shaking the comb over a blank sheet of paper to help you see what you've picked up. If there are any larvae on the paper, you will need a magnifying glass to see them clearly.
What Does Flea Larvae Look Like?
When flea larvae first hatch from their eggs, they are plain white. As they grow into the pupa stage, they will begin to darken. This is due to their diets, which consist mainly of the dried blood that they find on your cat. This dried blood is what remains after an adult flea feasts (and now you can see how the life cycle of a flea swings around to fulfill itself.)
How Big Are Flea Larvae?
They are typically from two to five millimeters long.
How Long Do Flea Larvae Live?
Flea Larvae live anywhere from 5 to 12 days.
Can You See Flea Larvae?
Yes. They will look like dark squiggles.
The worst part of flea larvae is the fact that they are somewhat smart for such a tiny organism. Not only do they play dead, but they have the innate sense to cling to whatever they can find. They will stick to carpet fibers, pet hair, fabrics, and just about anything else they can find. Yes, flea larvae are determined to survive. This is why you need a multi-step approach to kill them - simply vacuuming and cleaning everything your cats touch is not enough.
Killing Flea Larvae
Flea Larvae are very sensitive to environmental conditions, including temperature, humidity, and even sunlight. Studies have shown that flea larvae can not survive in sunlight for any extended length of time. For killing flea larvae, it is also useful to know that they do not move very far from where they develop, which is primarily where your pet rests most frequently.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What Do Flea Larvae Eat? - as mentioned above, the flea larvae actually feed on blood from adult flea fecal matter. Adult fleas actually consume more blood than they need, so they can pass the extra through their feces to continue the flea life cycle.
- How Long Does Larval Development Take? - 1 to 10 days, depending on the temperature and humidity levels.