Fleas are impossible to live with. Their bites can cause severe irritation and their role in disease transmission is well documented. Historically the bubonic plague has claimed millions of lives and is transferred from rats to humans by the oriental rat flea. They are also likely to play some part in the transmission of dog tape worm. When conditions favour flea development, ie warm humid weather, flea numbers can reach 'plague' proportions and inhabit all areas of a dwelling including interior floors and carpet, subfloor areas, pet bedding, back yard soil and lawn areas, concrete areas such as the garage. Adult fleas lay their eggs on the host animal which in domestic situations is generally the cat or dog. These then usually fall off and hatch within 2-14 days as larvae which then pupate and hatch as an adult in 7-14 days. In less favourable conditions the pupal stage may last for up to a year and hatch only when the presence of a host animal is detected. This is most evident when a house is vacant for a period of time and fleas start appearing soon after it is occupied. The management of fleas involves both the home owner and the professional pest manager. The best long term protection methods are with the use of systemic insecticides, which are available from the vet and are usually ingested or applied topically on the back of the neck. When treatment is required the thorough application of an insecticide and insect growth regulator mixture needs to applied. Areas treated would include interior flooring, subfloor and garden soil areas, lawn areas, garage and pet bedding areas. The thorough vacuuming of the premises prior to treatment can be advantageous as well as the application of a 'wetting agent' to the insecticide mixture. It is also important that all pet mammals are treated by the home owner or the local vet at the same time as treatment to the premises.