Parasitic insects with laterally compressed, reddish-brown body; skin-piercing and blood-sucking mouthparts; and long legs used for jumping.
Relative to its body size, the flea is one of the best jumpers of all known animals. With similar features, humans would jump as long as 90 m. Fleas can withstand great pressure, surviving the host’s attempts to crush or scratch them off.
Adults feed on the blood their host. Larvae feed mostly on the feces of mature fleas.
Fleas live between the hairs and feathers of mammals and birds. They are mostly associated with rodents.