Fleas are small and wingless insects. Adult fleas have piercing sucking mouthparts and feed on the blood of warm blooded animals. They have complete a metamorphosis. Usually the eggs get dropped while the female is on the host, and can take two days to several weeks to hatch. Larvae are slender, straw-colored, wormlike creatures. They are also legless and have chewing mouthparts. They feed on all types of organic debris including the feces of adult fleas that contain partially digested blood.

When they are mature, the larvae spin cocoons which are covered with sand and organic debris to then change into pupae. This process normally lasts from a week to a month. Adults can fight starvation for prolonged periods both before and after feeding. However, in order to produce eggs, a blood meal is required. Hot and dry conditions can reduce flea development. However, humid and rainy periods favor population buildups. There are numerous different species of fleas that can attack both animals and people. Two of the most common fleas that are found around homes are cat and dog fleas. While they attack dogs and cats, they both will bite humans.