Many people are surprised to learn that fleas are not naturally found in North America. These tiny pests hitched a ride over on early explorers’ ships and have been here ever since. For the most part, fleas live out their entire lives on a single host, be it a cat, dog, or human. But what happens when a flea falls off its host? Can it survive and eventually find its way back? Let’s take a closer look.

How Far Can Fleas Travel Without a Host?

A flea can jump up to 200 times its body length, which is equivalent to a human jumping the length of two football fields. That might sound like a lot, but it’s actually not that far in the grand scheme of things. A single flea can only travel a few miles in its lifetime, and most will only travel a few feet from where they first fell off their host.

However, there are some instances where fleas will travel much farther. For instance, if a house catches fire and the fleas manage to escape, they might end up in a neighboring town or even another state. The same is true for floods; if fleas get swept away in the water, they could end up miles from where they started. In these cases, it’s usually only the adult fleas that survive; the eggs and larvae are much more likely to perish.

What Happens When Fleas Fall Off Their Host?

For the most part, adult fleas will die within two days if they’re not able to find another host. They need blood to survive and will quickly dehydrate without it. However, eggs can survive for weeks without a host, and larvae can last for months. This is why it’s so important to get rid of all the fleas in your home; if you don’t kill the eggs and larvae as well as the adults, you’ll never fully get rid of them.

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Fleas are hitchhikers; they arrived in North America aboard early explorers’ ships and have been here ever since. For the most part, these tiny pests live out their entire lives on a single host. But what happens when a flea falls off its host? Can it survive and eventually find its way back? While adult fleas will die within two days without a blood meal, eggs can survive for weeks and larvae for months. This is why it’s so important to get rid of all thefleas in your home; if you don’t kill the eggs and larvae as well as the adults, you’ll never fully get rid of them.

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