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Adult fleas are dark mahogony in colour. They can generally be found in carpets, bedding, under furniture, birds nests and where pets are living. 70% of the complaints to do with fleas are as a result of the cat flea but there are more than 3000 known species.
They feed on blood and after each feed the female will lay 4 to 8 eggs in the fur or the bedding of the host. A typical infested cat bedding could have 8000 eggs and 2000 adult fleas. A single female is capable of producing 1000eggs in her lifespan which can last up to 2 years.
After 1 week the eggs hatch. Then after 2/3 weeks of growing they spin a tiny cocoon. They can then remain dormant for up to 8 months in this state until the vibrations of a host can be felt and cause them to hatch and leap on to the host.
Although fleas are generally known to carry disease there is little evidence to suggest that they transmit any serious illness. Their bites are more likely to cause skin irritation.