Flea Eggs on Dogs

Flea eggs are a visible indication of a flea infestation in your home and on your dog. Let’s find out how you can identify flea eggs and also how you can safely remove them from your home to break the flea’s life cycle and shorten the length of time your dog has to suffer from the parasites.

The Flea's Life Cycle

The flea has a multi-step life cycle that it must complete before becoming a canine parasite. An adult flea consumes your dog’s blood and lays eggs afterward. The eggs hatch into larvae, which mutate into pupae and then become adult fleas capable of reproducing. The timetable from hatching to maturity is about a week, although the fleas can live in a state of suspended animation while in the pupae phase that can last up to nine months.

How to Identify Flea Eggs

Flea eggs are tiny white ovals that can be found on your dog’s skin or in your dog’s bedding. They are difficult to see without the use of a magnifying glass, and they are not the dark, pepper-like flakes that sometimes appear near the base of a dog’s tail or on his skin. These flakes, which are called flea dirt, are waste the flea produces after it consumes your pet’s blood.

Since flea eggs can easily fall off as your dog moves around your home, they can also be found in cracks and crevices in your home, such as between furniture cushions, in carpeting or near baseboards.  Larger quantities of flea eggs are likely in parts of your home in which your dog spends most of his time.

Depending on the flea species, a female flea can lay between 400 and 1,000 eggs in her lifetime, and the eggs usually hatch within 14 days of being laid. Higher temperatures and humidity levels can speed up the process, which is one reason fleas often cause the most problems for pets during the summer months.

How to Remove Flea Eggs from Your Home

A multi-step approach may be the most successful in removing flea eggs from your home. You should start by carefully vacuuming your dog’s bedding and other areas in your home in which he spends the most time. Pay special attention to locations beneath furniture and beneath the edges of window coverings because these dark, quiet areas are ideal locations in which flea eggs can hatch. Discard the full vacuum bag in your outdoor garbage can after you’re done so that the fleas won’t hatch in the vacuum.

In addition to a regular vacuuming routine, employ a flea comb to remove fleas and flea eggs from your dog’s fur. Dip the comb in a solution of detergent and water to clean the comb and drown the fleas.

Wash your dog’s bedding each week in hot water and dry it thoroughly to remove flea eggs that may lodge in his blankets or bed.

The best thing about mechanical approaches to flea control such as vacuuming, washing and combing is that fleas can never develop an immunity to them, which means they will always be effective as parasite controls. In addition to the mechanical controls, employ chemical methods to control flea populations in your home. Your veterinarian can prescribe topical medications that you apply directly to your dog each month to help control fleas on his body. In cases of particularly heavy infestations, other chemical treatments such as foggers or sprays may be required in your home and yard to fully eradicate the fleas.