flea on skin
Fleas Icon


Order: Siphonaptera
Family: Pulicidae

Fleas are small, laterally flattened, wingless insects measuring 1/8-inch in length. Key physical characteristics of these common blood-sucking ectoparasites include piercing/sucking mouthparts and powerful legs that allow them to jump up to 6 inches in the air. Generally black to reddish brown in color, the flea’s body is covered with backward-projecting spines that assist them in moving between the hairs of the host animal. The dirty-white larvae are slender and resemble maggots. They are about twice the size of adults (1/4-inch).