Understanding the life cycle of fleas is the only way to completely get rid of them.
The flea life cycle consists of 4 stages.
These stages are: the adult, their eggs, the larva, and the pupa.
It is the adult flea that we are all aware of, as it is this stage that we not only see, but unfortunately feel, when they decide to use us to feast on!
They survive on blood and are not particular where they get their meals from, including rodents, your Golden Retriever, or you!
They do like living on their prey whenever possible, so when they do take a bite out of a person, it is not a lasting meal to them, since there is not fur to hide themselves in.
Only about 5% of the total flea population consists of the adult flea.
If you are wondering, what do fleas look like, these photos will give you a more accurate idea, than the drawing I have posted here.
In order to reproduce and lay eggs, fleas must first have a blood meal. Within a few days of their first meal, the female will start laying eggs, which can be up to 50 eggs per day.
The eggs are not sticky and easily fall off of where they were laid, which is usually in your dog's fur.
They do not all hatch at the same time and can take anywhere between a couple of days to several weeks to hatch.
The life cycle of fleas then continues to the larvae stage.
The larva does not bite, as it survives by eating the adult flea's feces, since it consists of dried blood.
The larvae will go through 3 stages of development, in which it continues to grow and then spins itself into a cocoon, much like a butterfly does.
When it spins itself into this cocoon, it is in what is known as the pupae stage.
Inside of its cocoon, it is protected from insecticides and temperature changes.
The pupa can emerge as a fully developed adult in a couple of weeks, or it can stay in its cocoon for up to a year!
The secret to killing fleas is knowing how to lure the pupae out of its cocoon, so that you can shorten the flea's life cycle.
Then, topical flea preventatives immobilize the flea's ability to reproduce.
By combining these two things, you will get rid of your flea problems once and for all!