Approximately one million cases were filed with the bubonic plague (fleas mainly cause that) per year at the beginning of the twentieth century. Thanks to advanced technology and science, the death rate due to the bubonic plague has tremendously reduced. Even today, the influence of bubonic plague exists, and hundreds of human cases get filed per year.
Fleas, mites, and ticks are nothing but the worst nightmare for humans, particularly pet owners – the readers at Lifestyle Reviews would agree! Fleas are mainly responsible for your dogs, cats, or other pet animals irritation, severe itching, and killing scratching habits.
Over the years, almost 2000 species and subspecies of fleas have been found, including cat fleas, dog fleas, rat fleas, rabbit fleas, and many more. Their vast number of species and population mainly depends on their nature of rapidly laying eggs on their unwilling hosts’ bodies. In general, an average household adult female flea lays 50 eggs per day and 2000 eggs in her whole lifespan.
How Long Do Fleas Live Without Food?
Fleas Life Duration Without Food
The duration of fleas without a host or food typically depends on the stage of their life cycle. Each step holds a different number of days without food or host. Several data have shown that adult fleas are only 5% of the total flea population around your residential area. A significant population of fleas exists in the form of eggs and larvae or pupae.
We will be discussing in detail what each stage’s lifespan is without food or host. But before that, let’s briefly discuss the life cycle of fleas.
The Life Cycle of Fleas
Similar to the life cycle of the butterfly, the life cycle of fleas is typically divided into four main stages:
The very first thing an adult female flea does after having her first blood meal from her unwilling host is mate and reproduce. In general, one average household adult female flea lays 50 eggs per day and 2000 eggs in her whole lifespan.
These eggs are generally laid by the adult female flea on her host body and then be shaken off to the floors or bedding areas. The majority of the population of fleas comprise the egg.
Within 1 to 14 days of getting laid, the egg is then hatched to become larvae depending on the environmental conditions. At this stage, fleas remain under cocoons.
The next developmental stage is pupae. According to studies, adult fleas within cocoons are around 10 percent of the total flea population around your residential area. This stage can last from days to weeks to months, depending on the environmental conditions around them.
After becoming a pupa, the flea then becomes an adult. After becoming an adult flea, their first task is to look for a meal. Within minutes, adult fleas find their first blood meal and host to lay eggs. Several data points have shown that adult fleas are only 5% of the total flea population around your residential area.
Adult Fleas Lifespan Without Food or Host
Typically speaking, an adult male flea can only survive up to four or hardly five days without feeding on their unwilling host when removed from their host body.
These parasitic insects can not last more than four or five days without a proper blood meal from their hosts. According to a study, it was found that adult male fleas unconditionally depend on their hosts’ blood, increasing each dose from the previous one.
The study also stated that if the fleas continued to feed on the host body for five to six periods continuously and then removed from the host, fleas would die within 2 to 4 days because of the starvation.
Compared to adult male fleas, adult female fleas live hardly for 24 hours without food or host as adult female fleas are responsible for continuously mating and laying eggs.
They need more blood from the host body to maintain their metabolism and overall physical health. A typical household adult female flea lays 50 eggs per day and 2000 eggs in her whole lifespan. Therefore, when deprived of blood or food, adult female fleas hardly live for 24 hours.
Unfed Adults Fleas Lifespan Without Food or Host
Newly emerged adult fleas can live slightly better than the fully adult fleas who have had their first blood meal.
As the emerged unfed adult fleas have not even had a proper meal of blood, their natural physical health helps them live for roughly around a week without food or host.
In the normal household environmental conditions, unfed adults die due to starvation within a week’s time. Their lifespan can increase depending on the environmental conditions around them as they can live up to 40 days in cold and saturated conditions.
A study found that unfed adult fleas can even live for roughly around 70 days if provided with favorable environmental conditions.
Adults within Cocoons Without Food or Host
Before getting into adulthood and at the pupae stage, if the fleas are not met with the proper environmental conditions for further growth, they emerge themselves in a dormant-like stage where they can survive without food or host up to 100 to 155 days.
Thanks to the sticky surface or the cocoons, fleas can tolerate light vacuuming and anti-fleas chemical treatments. In the dormant-like condition, these fleas slow their metabolic activities to survive longer without food or host.
Adult fleas within cocoons can easily hide under your furniture, floor cracks, wall cracks, and carpets even without you noticing them. According to studies, adult fleas within cocoons are around 10 percent of the total flea population around your residential area.
The Flea Wrap Up
In short, how long a flea can live without food or host depends on the developmental stage. Each developmental stage has a different impact on the starvation of the flea. Making it the prime reason why after making your house completely flea-free, you still face a massive population of fleas next year. Consider investing in one or a few of the following flea treatment options: