Fleas are small (1/16" - 1/8"), reddish-brown, hard-shelled with no wings and three pairs of legs. They are a nuisance to both humans and their pets. Flea bites cause allergic reactions and even secondary skin irritations or infections. The flea bite is not felt but the saliva of the pest contains a substance that produces inflammation and itching. If you look closely at the bite area, a single tiny puncture wound marks the spot - ants and spiders leave two puncture wounds when they bite.

The pain usually subsides in a few hours or several days at most, but scratching of the irritated area around the bite can sometimes lead to serious skin infections. Besides the irritation of their bite, fleas can carry diseases such as typhus fever or bubonic plague.

The flea has a life cycle that consists of 4 stages - the egg, larvae, pupae and adult. When fleas are active, they will go through the complete life cycle in two to four weeks. Only the adult fleas bite and they comprise about 5% of the population at any one time. Eggs are 50% of the flea population in your house, or over 10 times as many as adults, which explains why they can be hard to exterminate!