Flea Eggs

picture of a cat flea egg on finger

Denni Schnapp

Img 1 Cat flea eggs on the tip of a human finger. View more pictures.

This page provides a quick summary of flea eggs, in the form of a FAQ. Click on the answers for detailed information, including citations.

What do flea eggs look like?
Flea eggs look like grain of salt. They’re a rounded oval shape, off-white, and measure 0.5 by 0.3 mm.

Are flea eggs hard?
No. The eggs have a soft, flexible chorion (shell).

When do fleas lay eggs?
Eggs are laid once females find a host, feed, and then mate. The first eggs are produced 1-2 days after the first blood meal.

Do fleas reproduce asexually?
No. But unmated females can lay non-viable eggs.

Where do fleas lay eggs?
Eggs are laid on the host, but they aren’t sticky and fall off within a few hours.

Where do flea eggs incubate?
The eggs fall into the environment anywhere infested animals have access. In homes, they accumulate where pets frequently rest, sleep, and feed. Most immature fleas develop within carpeting.

How many eggs do fleas lay?
Females lay an average of 25-30 eggs a day (one at a time). Adults live an average of 7 days, so a female will produce a total of 160-180 eggs in her life.

How long do flea eggs live?
In homes, flea eggs will hatch 2-3 days after being laid. In poor conditions (cool and dry), they may take up to 12 days to hatch. They won’t survive beyond this.

Do flea eggs die in winter?
Yes. They’ll die outdoors in cold weather (anything below 55.4°F). However, they can survive indoors and in insulated wildlife dens.

Do flea eggs go dormant
No. Only cocooned adults can enter into a dormant-like state.

What percent of infestations are eggs?
Eggs make up 50-57% of flea infestations.

Do all of the eggs hatch?
No. Many of the eggs will be non-viable, which other flea larvae may then consume.

Do all of the fertile eggs survive?
No. The eggs must fall into humid, warm substrates to survive. Food also must be available to the larvae upon hatching. Most won’t reach adulthood.

Does vacuuming kill flea eggs?
Vacuuming can remove 32-90% of flea eggs from carpets. 100% of the removed eggs will be killed in the process.

Do flea eggs drown?
Insect eggs don’t drown easily. However, a washing machine will kill any flea eggs due the tumbling action, heat, and detergent.

What’s the best way to kill flea eggs?
Please see our page on How to get rid of fleas for control information. Effective techniques to kill eggs include vacuuming, laundering, and using insect growth regulators.

Please leave a comment below if you have any questions that weren’t addressed, and I’ll add them to the list.

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