Flea adults are small and typically 1/6-1/8 inch in length and are typically a reddish brown. They have a flattened body that allows them to easily pass between the hairs of animals. The larvae are a whitish color, legless and worm-like and can grow up to ΒΌ an inch. One female flea can lay up to 18 eggs in a day and 20 fleas on a dog can produce 360 eggs per day and over 2000 eggs in a week. Mated female fleas lay eggs after consuming host blood. Eggs fall to the ground in the vicinity where the host spends time and rests. Larvae usually take up to 2 to 3 weeks to hatch and up to 9 to 15 days to develop.

Adult mouth parts are modified for piercing and sucking blood, larvae have chewing mouth part and the adults can bite repeatedly. Adults suck blood for survival, egg development and partially digested blood expelled as feces serve as food for larvae. Newly emerged unfed adults can survive up to weeks off of a host. Bites are irritating and can potentially transmit disease; consumption of fleas can also result in the transmission of tape worms; constant scratching of itchy flea bites can result in other skin problems and allergic reactions.

Fleas are difficult to eradicate since the flea pupae are unaffected by treatment until the adult flea emerges from their pupa cocoon. It may take up to two weeks or more before fleas are no longer seen. In any kind of flea population, there are stages of fleas that will be present, including numerous pupae. It will take several weeks for all adult fleas to emerge from the pupae and come in contact with the treatment. Vacuuming as often as possible after the treatment can help speed up the process because it stimulates the adult fleas into emerging from their cocoons.

Some tips for controlling a flea infestation successfully include, treatment of pets, inside and outside flea activity sites. Treating your animal with flea control products (Frontline) and regular grooming also helps to limit fleas on pets. For a flea treatment to be more effective you should remove all items, such as toys, clothes, pet food from all floors, under beds and in the bottom of closets. Wash or replace all pet bedding. Vacuum all rugs carpets and underneath bed areas and upholstered furniture (throw away vacuum bags after each use). Clean all tile, linoleum and wood floors by sweeping and mopping. Clean all concrete floors, garage, basements with soap and water and anywhere else pets rest. Remove all pets from the area including birds and reptiles. Cover fish tanks with a damp towel and turn off any air filters or air pumps before pest control technician arrives.