Cat fleas are the most common fleas and reach about 1/6 inch in size.
Cat fleas are wingless insects with flattened bodies and long hind legs for jumping. They are black to reddish black in color.
The flat body of the flea allows it to pass easily between an animalís hairs and it infests both cats and dogs. Pets typically pick up fleas outdoors and carry them indoors where they rapidly reproduce. Fleas are usually most abundant in areas where the pet sleeps.
The cat flea is a blood feeder and adults will remain on an animal until forced off.
The female lays smooth, oval eggs on the host animal which are dry and easily slide off the animal's body to the surface below. The white eggs are virtually impossible to see against a lawn, carpet or bedding, so they rest on these surfaces until the wormlike larvae emerge. Females produce between 18 and 25 eggs every day at the rate of about one per hour. If a dog has just 10 fleas, they can produce over 1,200 eggs per week.
Flea pupae are immune to any kind of insecticide and it can take several weeks for the adult to emerge from the pupae and be killed by the treatment.
The first line of defense is to properly treat the infested pet. Once that is done, it is important to vacuum both before and after treatment is done, and then discard the bag. Then you're ready for treatment.