Fleas are parasites, feeding directly on man or other warm blooded animals. Usually you or your pet serve as these "hosts". A flea can jump 7-8 inches vertically and 14-16 inches horizontally. A skin reaction to a flea bite would be a slightly raised, red, itching spot. Sometimes bleeding does occur. Fleas usually require warm and humid conditions to develop. Due to the flea cycle and weather conditions many people don't realize they have a flea problem until they return home from vacation or a move to new premises and are confronted by "hungry fleas". There are several types of fleas but the most common is the cat flea even on dogs. Fleas are attracted to body heat, movement, and carbon dioxide exhaled.
The average size ranges from 1/12-1/6 inch long, being very small and without wings. Their bodies are narrow if you view it from the sides allowing them for movement in narrow areas. Because their bodies are covered with spines projecting backward, they are difficult to remove by shaking or scratching.
Adults feed on blood, the larvae (looks like a caterpillar)eat "flea diet" consisting of dried blood.The flea bite caused from this feeding by the adults can become inflamed. After the feeding the flea will begin mating..starting the vicious cycle all over again..
HABITS AND BIOLOGY:
Fleas go through a complete metamorphosis. There are four distinct stages: eggs,larvae,pupae,and adult.Flea eggs are laid on the host or are deposited on the floor or ground surface.They also are often found in upholstery or pet's bedding.A female flea will continue to lay a few eggs every day until she has reached up to 200-400 eggs. These eggs will develop into flea larvae from 2 days to several weeks,depending on the temperature and humidity. Flea larvae are active and look like maggots. The larvae will feed on organic debris, but particularly like to feed on feces of the adult fleas. This "flea diet" contains undigested blood. The flea larvae are hard to spot and are found deep into the carpets or the cracks and crevices of floors and upholstery.