Flea Pupae

flea pupa inside a cocoon

Auguste Le Roux

Img 1 A young flea pupa inside its silk cocoon, which has been torn open. View more pictures.

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

What do flea pupae look like?
Flea pupae closely resemble adult fleas. They are 1.5 to 3.2 mm long. Pupae start out white, turn yellow, and then finally brown. Most pupae are found within camouflaged cocoons, making them difficult to locate.

How long do flea pupae live?
After the cocoon is formed, larvae molt into pupae in 2-3 days. They remain pupae for 6-7 days before completing their final molt into adults.

Do flea pupae go dormant?
Yes. Well, kind of. Technically it’s mature adults that enter into a quiescent (dormant-like) state. Only adults within cocoons, right after pupal-imago molt, can become quiescent.

Do all fleas pupate within cocoons?
No. Some develop without cocoons and can still successfully reach adulthood. These are called naked pupae.

What percent of infestations are pupae?
Pupae make up 8-10% of flea infestations.

Does vacuuming kill flea pupae?
Vacuuming can remove up 63.8% of pupae from carpets, depending on carpet type. 100% of those removed will die in the process.

What’s the best way to kill flea pupae?
Please see our page on How to get rid of fleas for control information. Flea pupae are the most difficult stage to eradicate. Vacuuming can help eliminate them, but often patience is needed for them to emerge as adults and then die.

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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