Fleas live by consuming the blood of their hosts. They feed on many different animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits, squirrels, ferrets, rats, mice, and birds. Fleas will feed on humans when other hosts are not available or there is a heavy infestation. Their strong claws prevent them from being dislodged. Fleas use their mouthpiece for piercing skin and sucking blood, even though they lack wings they will use their hind legs for jumping up to 50 times their body length in distance. They have the ability to jump vertically up to 7 in. and horizontally up to 13 in., making the flea one of the best jumpers of all known animals.
Ticks have a two year life cycle in which they will have three blood meals. The female tick will latch onto a host and drink its blood from anywhere to four to five days by inserting their mouthpieces into the skin. Even though deer are the preferred host ticks have also been known to feed on rodents and will readily attack humans and pets. Male ticks attach, but do not feed or become engorged, they stay the same adult size. Once a tick reaches the nymph stage it is ready to feed just like the female. The ticks that feed transmit diseases such as Lyme disease, Babesiosis, and Anaplasmosis, the male tick that does not feed will not transmit disease. If the tick is carrying disease agents from its first feeding in the larval stage, it can transmit them during this second feeding.