This is an outline, in simple language, of the cat flea life cycle:
1. Adult flea is on host, say a cat. The flea sucks blood to feed.
2. After feeding (a prerequisite to reproduction) the female lays eggs in batches of 20s
3. The eggs are not sticky and fall onto the host and then to the ground where the host animal usually spends time (cats have a favorite spot to sleep so hoover this regularly).
4. Eggs hatch over a 2 day to 2 week period. The time frame depends on the conditions.
5. Flea larvae emerge from eggs and feed on any available food - organic matter. The larvae are blind and like dark places.
6. After another 1-2 weeks and having gone through 3 larval stages including spinning a cocoon, and pupating, the full developed cat flea emerges from the cocoon.
7. The adult flea waits for a host to pass by and has about 1 week to do this.
8. Adult flea senses host is close through vibrations, carbon dioxide emissions (from breath) etc.
9. Flea jumps onto host and feeds as at 1 above.
See and read more:
photo top is a flea - published under Wikimedia® creative commons license license = Attribution-ShareAlike License. Author: Robert Hooke. Greyscale picture of Robert Hooke's drawing of a flea in his Micrographia. See Wikipedia® license generally.
Photo bottom is a flea larva - same license as above - these are not necessarily cat fleas
Cat flea life cycle to cat health problems
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