How Long Can Fleas Live Without A Host?

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Fleas are a common and troublesome pest. They can be difficult to completely get rid of and can live for a long time without a host. But how long can fleas live without a host?

Flea pupae can lay dormant for up to 6 months without food, which means they can be very difficult to get rid of. In addition, fleas are not picky eaters and will feed on a variety of hosts, including humans.

In this article, we’ll explore all you need to know about fleas, including what they eat, how long they can live without a host, and how to get rid of them.

How long do fleas live?

Fleas are a particularly annoying type of parasite that can live on a variety of hosts, including humans, animals, and birds. They are very hardy creatures and can live for over a year under the right conditions.

how long can fleas without a host

The amount of time they can survive without a host depends on how much food they get, the humidity and temperature in their environment, and other factors.

In general, female fleas can start reproducing once they’ve had their first blood meal. And given that the female sex of this pest can lay up to 50 eggs per day, the population of fleas can grow exponentially in a short period of time.

Fleas go through a life cycle that starts with an egg, hatches into a larva, and turns into a pupa. The larva will feed on the organic matter until it becomes a pupa. From the egg emerges a larva, which will remain in this worm-like stage for around 15 days.

The pupa is inactive and does not eat; it just molts and changes into an adult flea. An adult flea can live on its host for 2-3 months and can lay 50 eggs a day.

In general, the life cycle of the pupae stage of a flea is about three months, but flea pupae usually remain in their cocoon for one to four weeks but can survive in this state for six months if no one applies heat or pressure to them.

All in all, the life span of a flea can be as short as four weeks or as long as one and a half years!

How long can fleas live without a host?

Flea bugs are parasites that live off the blood of other animals. They can only survive for a limited amount of time without a host or food source. In general, they can only live for two weeks without a host.

Fleas in a cat

However, they will not be able to reproduce if they do not feed on blood. That’s because the female flea’s reproductive system will not develop without regular feeding.

That said, there are a few rare cases where fleas have been known to live for up to a month without any host or food. In general, fleas are a very resilient type of organism and can live quite some time without a blood meal.

You should also note that pupae can remain in their cocoons for many months, even without access to food.

How Long Can Fleas Live in Different Situations?

As I said, without a host, fleas can survive a week or maybe two, at best. Their ideal living conditions include the availability of blood meals and a humid and hot living environment. Without these factors, they are unlikely to survive.

However, we also know that these pests are extremely resilient to death. So, let’s have a look at what situations the flea can survive in!

How long can fleas survive on human bodies?

In order for fleas to survive, they need a host animal. They are very specific in their choice and will only latch onto human beings, cats, or dogs. If there are no animals in the household, the fleas will eventually die.

dead flea

Fleas can live for an extremely long time on human blood alone. They can survive up to 185 days, which means they can be a real nuisance and cause a lot of problems for almost half a year!

How long can fleas survive if they can’t eat?

Fleas can survive for a significant amount of time without food, but it is not a guaranteed way to get rid of them. In fact, many people attempt to starve fleas out and end up with a flea infestation that is even harder to get rid of.

In fact, fleas can live up to several months simply deriving sustenance on their bodily fluids. Further, even their eggs and larvae can survive for long periods of time without food.

This means that if you’re trying to get rid of fleas in your home, it’s important to address not just the adult fleas but also the eggs and larvae.

Bear in mind that there can be instances where these bugs die out within a few days without food. But if you look at it from a colony’s perspective, it doesn’t take them long to reproduce.

Therefore, even if a few die because of a lack of food, there will be newborn fleas ready to replace them.

how long can fleas live in an empty house?

Fleas can live for a surprisingly long time if they are not around any living beings. These bugs can survive up to 9 months in an empty house.

This is because of how difficult it is for flea pupae to die. These pupae can stay entirely dormant till they can find a new host animal to feed off.

On the other hand, adult fleas that have had the experience of feeding on a host will typically die within seven days of hatching if they do not have a food source.

If there are no living beings in the house, then the fleas will eventually die due to starvation.

How long can fleas survive under the surface of the water?

Fleas can only survive a few minutes underwater. If they are submerged for too long, they will drown.

However, if you think you can kill these bugs by drawing them, it might be a little trickier than you think. These bugs can jump very high and will be able to jump out of the water too.

This is why soapy water is the most effective way to kill fleas. When fleas are submerged in soapy water, their cell membranes burst, and they lose their ability to jump as high!

Where do fleas generally live?

The long and short of it is that fleas will live anywhere that they can find food and a proper environment to live in.

But to be more specific, these bugs, in the absence of a proper host from which they can extract blood meals, will hide and reside in parts of your house that are protected from the environment.

Areas like the cracks in your walls or inside your cupboards are most suitable in these circumstances. Below, I have talked about the different spots you need to beware of fleas in!

Can fleas live on human beings?

Fleas can live on human beings, but they always prefer animal hosts. Fleas are parasites and need a host in order to survive.

They will typically jump from one host to another, but if there is a lack of available hosts, they can live on humans for a short period of time.

Can fleas live in your hair?

Fleas can live in human hair and other areas of the body where there is an adequate blood supply.

Fleas are not easy to remove from hair, and they tend to hide deep in dense, thick hair. They can live there for a while as they do not need a host to survive.

However, if the flea population is large enough, you may start noticing them more frequently.

Can fleas live on your carpet?

Fleas lay eggs, which hatch into larvae. The larvae live in dark places and feed on organic matter, such as, you guessed it, carpets!

In addition, flea pupae can safely lie dormant in their Chrysalises until a host steps on the carpet again-meaning that even if all the adult fleas are killed, new ones will quickly repopulate the area.

Can fleas live in the furniture in your home?

Fleas can live in furniture for an extended period of time. They lay eggs in fabric and cushions, which can hatch and create new fleas.

In fact, if you have a full-blown infestation of fleas in your home, you’re likely to find their eggs in your furniture.

Fleas will lay eggs on any surface where they can get close to a host, and these eggs will hatch into fleas which can then live on your furniture until they find another host.

Can adult fleas survive in low temperatures without a host?

Fleas are ectoparasites that live on the skin and hair of their hosts. They thrive in warm weather but can also survive in cold weather.

However, they cannot survive in cold weather for an extended period of time and will eventually die.

While these resilient pests can usually survive for a little time in cold weather, they will die eventually. It takes around 2 to 10 days for them to freeze and die, depending on the temperature.

What should you know about the quiescent period in adult fleas?

The quiescent period is a time in the life of an adult flea where its metabolic activity is lowered. This fast development phase is important for the flea because it allows them to survive without a host.


During this time, the flea will feed and mate and then lay eggs that will hatch into new larvae.

Adult fleas have a quiescent period that lasts for five months. This means that the flea will not actively seek out a host during this time, and it will remain dormant until a potential host is nearby. Once it senses a host, it will quickly emerge and take its first blood meal.

Female fleas must feed within 12 hours of emerging from their pupal case in order to lay the first egg cluster.

If these parasites do not find a host within that time, they will enter into a quiescent period where they will not eat or drink and can live up to 2 weeks without a blood meal.

What if a female flea doesn’t find a host to stick to?

If a flea doesn’t find a host to stick to, she will not be able to lay eggs, and the life cycle of the flea will come to an end. Fleas cannot live without a blood meal and will eventually die if they do not find one.

This means that if a flea doesn’t find a host quickly after emerging from its cocoon, there’s a good chance it won’t be able to reproduce.

Does forcibly removing fleas from their host body kill them?

Fleas will only live around four days without their host’s blood. This is because they need the proteins in the blood to survive and reproduce.

If fleas are forcibly removed from their host body, they may die, but if they are able to find another host quickly, they will likely survive.

Dog with flea

These bugs have to feed on blood in order to survive and will die within a few days if they are forcibly removed from their host body.

They usually attach themselves to the host’s head, neck, and groin area, where the blood flow is more consistent.

Fleas, like other parasites, have to feed every 12 hours in order to survive. Fleas usually stay on one host for the duration of their lives.

When do you need to call a professional for flea control?

If you are experiencing a flea infestation in your home, you may be wondering when it is the right time to call a professional for help.

Many people try to treat the problem on their own but eventually reach out for assistance. The second you begin to spot fleas around your house or on your pet, it is the right time!

The fact is that professionals have access to pesticides and other methods that can quickly get rid of fleas. Additionally, they may offer suggestions to help you protect against future infestations.


In conclusion to the query, how long do fleas live without a host? Fleas are creatures that can survive for only a short time without a host. However, that does not mean you will be successful in getting rid of a flea infestation by starving them.

Unfortunately, flea control is a little more complicated than that because of how difficult these pests make it for us to kill them!

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.