How Long Do Fleas Live Without A Host?

How long do fleas live for Infographic

If you live in a humid climate like West Virginia or another Southern state, you may have an issue with fleas and catching them when it gets hot.

Fleas thrive in 70 percent humidity and temperatures ranging between 70 to 85 degrees.

Although fleas are tiny insects with no wings, they can still jump up to 50 times their body length and can even cause anemia from blood loss. Fleas can also transmit different parasites and diseases, so it’s important to deal with them as soon as possible especially before it gets too hot!

The Lifespan of a Flea

Humidity is something that can contribute to the lifespan of a flea. Thankfully, there are ways to get rid of fleas, and even prevent them.

So, how long do fleas live without a host? Fleas may only last a few days without a host at the adult stage, but it’s important to remember that this is only a small fraction of the life it may have. It’s especially important to ensure that fleas are eliminated at the egg, larvae, pupae, and adult stages to ensure that even if they are eliminated off your pet, the eggs will not continue to infest your home.


Female fleas need a host in order to lay eggs. Fleas can lay 40 to 50 eggs in a day where she feeds. You’ll likely find eggs either on your pet, in your carpet, or on objects your pet sits on like a dog bed.

Eggs hatch between 2 days to 2 weeks, depending on the environment.  


After the eggs hatch, the flea moves into the second stage of life, the larvae. The larvae will feed on dead skin, egg shells, feces, and other debris. The larvae need shaded and dark spots in order to survive. You can find the larvae in carpets, baseboards, and other dark and cool spots in your home. Similarly to the eggs, the larvae’s development depends on the temperature and can last between 5 to 20 days


At this stage in life, the flea creates a cocoon to protect itself. During this stage, it waits for a potential host to pass by to latch onto. It can sense a host such as a cat or dog through  vibrations, body heat, and increased carbon dioxide. However, in order for a flea to make it past the pupae state into adulthood, the temperature must exceed 95 degrees and humidity needs to be at least 50 percent. Depending on the species, it can wait up to a year to hatch out the cocoon!      


Even if you get rid of all active adults one year, another infestation can easily occur if not handled properly. Thankfully, adult fleas can only live a few days without a host to feed on

There are lots of ways to handle flea infestations. There are plenty of natural remedies that are safe to use on your pet such as lavender oil, or chemically treated products that are formulated to kill fleas at all stages of life such as fipronil. However, if you want to ensure that fleas at all stages of life are eliminated from your pet and your home, call an exterminator at (833) 431-0401 to see what solutions they recommend.

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