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How long do Fleas Live Without a Host, Empty House & after Frontline

Fleas are pests that are so annoying and dangerous to both you and your pets. They are easily spread from one place to another. It is advisable to take precaution and eliminate fleas at an early stage. This is because fleas can survive without a host in their dormant state.

At pupae stage a flea can live for a maximum of 2 years. An adult flea live for a maximum of 100 days. Factors that make it live longer include Low temperatures and high humidity and availability of a source of food. An adult flea without a host dies within 2 to 14 days or an average of 4 days. Pre emerged adults live for 155 days without a host. Fleas live in an empty house in a dormant state. After frontline a flea dies within maximum of 24 hours.

How long do Fleas live (Lifespan)

Fleas life span varies based on several conditions which include the right temperature, humidity and food supply.  The life span of the flea starts from the life cycle of the egg, larvae, pupa and adult. Most of the fleas, about 95%, live as eggs, larvae or pupa. The number of days may vary depending on the availability of required conditions.

The first stage the flea will hatch the egg between 2 to 12 days. The second stage the egg develops into larvae stage in 7 days to several months. The third step the larvae develop into the pupae stage between 4 to 14 days. The eggs hatch between 2 to 12 days and an adult can remain in the cocoon up to 1 year.

The pupae stage can take a single day or a maximum of 2 year or more depending on several factors which include carbon dioxide and humidity.  Adult Fleas can live to a maximum of 100 days if it has ample food supply. Without a host an adult flea can manage to live for two to three months.

Conditions that Lengthen or Shorten a Flea Lifespan

There are several factors that determine the life span of a flea. At the pupa stage a flea leaves long when there is availability of carbon dioxide. A flea can remain in pupa stage until they sense any vibration from a source of food nearby. They are parasites and their source of food is warm blooded animals which include cats, dogs or even human beings.

Fleas can have a short life span of 100 days if they live without feeding on blood. A flea can have a shorter life span when there is no blood. Humidity is the main factor that influence the life cycle of a flea. Humidity level should be 45 to 90 for it to survive. Low temperatures and high humidity increase the life span of a flea.

When a flea is still in its cocoon, vibrations, heat and CO2 will trigger it out of its cocoon. A flea can have a shorter life span due to high temperature, low humidity and lack of food from the host. Without a host it can live for two to three months if it’s an adult, but if it is in pupae stage it can live as long as  100 days as it waits for the hosts to trigger it to come out of its cocoon.

Alternatively it can have a longer life span if it had low temperature, high humidity and availability of food or the host. It also has a longer life span if it is not eliminated by the human beings using pesticides. The entire life cycle of a flea takes duration of two to three months when all conditions are met.

How long do Fleas Live without a Host?

Fleas survive for several weeks or months without a host as they stay in soft and dark places of the home waiting for any meal host to come around. The cat and dog fleas cannot breed without their preferred host but they can survive on human blood for several months.

 If an adult flea is separated from its host when it has been there for more than 24hours, it automatically dies within 2 to 14 days or an average of 4 days. This occurs due to lack of continued dependency on their host for food. When a flea is in the egg and larva stage it survives without a host because it does not need it. The larva dies when temperature is 95 degrees high.

Before getting the first meal a flea can stay without a host in the cocoon for 6 months to 1year as they wait for their host to emerge. Immediately a flea leaves its cocoon it can only last for a week without a host or without feeding. Where the environment is cool and saturated with water a flea can live longer like a month without a host before it dies.

If a flea is undisturbed and without a blood meal from the host it can live for more than 100 days. Young fleas that have not fed can live slightly longer for 7 days without a blood meal from the host. Adult fleas in cocoon can remain in a dormant state for 155 days without feeding from the host.

How can they live in an Empty House?

Unlike other parasites fleas live in an empty house which includes; vacant homes, cottages and vacation homes. This is mainly because they have the ability of remaining in a dormant state for a number of  days before emerging as adults from their cocoon. In this state they can stay in an empty house without a host because they can stay without food.

The conditions of an empty house also enable the flea to stay in an empty house. If the house is cold and has no heat it provides a favorable environment for fleas in a dormant state.

Fleas also left in the house can survive for several months without feeding as they remain in their cocoons. When animals or people occupy the house, vibrations, heat and Carbon (IV) Oxide triggers fleas to come out of their cocoons.

How long do fleas live after frontline?

Frontline Spot on, Frontline Plus and Frontline household spray eliminates all fleas within a minimum of 4 hours and a maximum of 24hours. This occurs after applying Frontline Plus on your pet’s body.

Flea can survive with or without a host including in an empty house.  It is important to inspect and eliminate them at an early stage to protect your pets and yourself.


  1. https://www.loc.gov/everyday-mysteries/item/how-long-is-the-life-span-of-a-flea/
  2. https://projects.ncsu.edu/cals/course/ent425/library/compendium/siphonaptera.html
  3. https://www.lbhf.gov.uk/environment/pest-control/fleas
  4. https://frontline.com/plus/Pages/Faq.aspx
  5. http://www.cambridgevetcare.com/FrontlinePlus.html

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