How long does it take for a flea to suffocate?
This will kill them eventually, but the process could take months. It's possible for pupae to stay in a dormant (quiescent) state for 5 months. Insects are notoriously difficult to suffocate. Even when submerged in water fleas don't drown for 24 hours.
Fleas have this ability to survive underwater. By dissolving the grease bubble you allow water to get to the flea and they drown. Fleas are also very soft bodied. They DO have an exoskeleton that allows them protection, but soaps dissolve this and then they cannot breathe.
- Homemade flea traps commonly consist of a container of water placed beneath a lamp. The light attracts the fleas, causing them to jump and land in the water. Adult fleas are positively phototactic, meaning they're attracted to sources of light. Adding a few drops of dish soap to the water reduces the surface tension.
- A flea submerged for up to 12 hours will appear to dead, but can revive in about 60 minutes after being removed from the water.
A flea submerged for 18 - 20 hours will appear to dead, but can revive in 4- 5 hours after being removed from the water.
It takes 24 hours of full submersion to fatally drown a flea.
- Fleas can't live in salt water, so periodic dips in the ocean (or a salt water rinse) can also help keep fleas under control.
Flea infestations in the home are incredibly difficult to eradicate, but washing household items on the hot cycle, followed by a spin in the dryer is an effective method of control. Fleas will not survive a trip through the washing machine; they're survivors, but they're not that strong.
- Adult fleas generally live on blood meals which they obtain from animals. Pet owners also have to deal with flea eggs and larvae in their carpets and rugs. The flea larvae, in turn, feed on dandruff, discarded skin and other organic animal/human waste that is readily found in pet fur and human clothing.
- Fleas removed from their host will die of starvation within four days. Young fleas that haven't fed can live slightly longer without a blood meal, around one week. Pre-emerged adults, remaining inside their cocoons, can enter into a dormant-like state. They can survive for up to 155 days without feeding.
- Undisturbed and without a blood meal, a flea can live more than 100 days. On average, they live two to three months. Female fleas cannot lay eggs until after their first blood meal and begin to lay eggs within 36-48 hours after that meal.
Updated: 27th September 2018