Adult fleas are normally 1-4mm long, brownish in colour, without wings but with powerful legs adapted for jumping and piercing, sucking mouthparts. Cat and dog fleas are usually found together and are similar in appearance. Female fleas can live for up to two years, during which time they can lay up to 1000 eggs each.

Where do they live?

Adult fleas live exclusively as parasites on warm-blooded animals. The females lay their eggs close to or on the infested animal. Carpeting and soft furnishings also provide an environment for fleas to develop. They can also live in cracks and crevices in bare floors.

Adult fleas feed solely on blood; cat and dog fleas prefer feeding on cats and dogs, but also feed on humans.

What problems can they cause?

Fleas are not thought to transmit any serious illness to humans, but their bites can cause severe irritation to humans.

How can you control them?

Regular cleaning, particularly with a vacuum cleaner, will help prevent the build-up of an infestation by removing eggs and larvae from floors, furniture and where pets sleep.