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Pests/Fleas after the pet has moved

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Question
Hi,
How long can fleas live without eating blood?  We have a cottage that had a pet.  The little doggie occasionally had a flea or two or three.  Of course we can treat the cottage, but just out of curiosity, what would happen if we just left it vacant for a few weeks or whatever?
Thanks,

Answer
Art,

It depends a lot on temperature but most insects, including fleas, can survive for long periods without feeding. Your best option might be to just thoroughly vacuum the cottage as this will likely remove any adult fleas that might still be around. You could also treat with an insect growth regulator to prevent immature fleas from developing into adults (see http://www.livingwithbugs.com/fleas.html for details).

Jack DeAngelis  

Pests

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Jack DeAngelis

Expertise

I can answer questions in any area of entomology (study of insects, spiders, mites, ticks, and other terrestrial arthropods). Contact me about home and garden insects such as aphids and spider mites, insects that bite and sting such as ticks and wasps, and insects that damage homes such as carpenter ants and termites.

Experience

20 years as university extension entomologist, now retired; currently publish a website about home and garden insects.

Organizations
see www.livingwithbugs.com/resume.html

Publications
see www.livingwithbugs.com/resume.html Fine Gardening magazine

Education/Credentials
Ph.D. in Entomology (the study of insects)

Awards and Honors
see www.livingwithbugs.com/resume.html

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