Do flea larvae live on dogs and cats?

Summary

Flea larvae don’t live on dogs or cats. Nor do they bite pets as a source of nutrition. Flea larvae are free-living (not parasitic) and develop off the host.

Details

Eggs Fall from Hosts

Female fleas deposit eggs in the fur of their host. However, once dried, the eggs readily fall off of the animal. In one study, 60% of the eggs dropped off within two hours of being laid. Only 2.3% of the eggs remained on the host by the 8th hour.

Larvae Develop & Feed Off-Host

Flea eggs get distributed in the environment based off of the infested pet’s movement range and grooming habits. When the eggs hatch, the larvae the develop and feed in the environment. Cat flea larvae are free-living scavengers. They don’t feed on blood directly from the animal.

Rare Circumstances

If cats or dogs have dense or soiled fur, then flea eggs may get lodged in the haircoat. In these rare cases, providing the eggs survive long enough, flea larvae may hatch on pets.

References

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