The name fleas refers to many species including dog fleas and cat fleas (Ctenocephalides canis). They are parasites that feed off of blood, both human and animal, by piercing the skin from the outside and sucking blood. Fleas are wingless, dark colored bugs that range in size from 1/16 to 1/8 inch. Because they do not have wings, fleas travel from hosts by hopping. They can hop up to 7 inches in the air.
Fleas are a pest that many pet owners have had to deal with at some point in time. Because many species of fleas prefer to feed off of animals, pets are the most common method for fleas to infest a household. Although fleas prefer animals, once inside a home they will often bite and feed off of humans as well.
An adult flea is a small reddish-brown bug that is laterally compressed. This means that the bug is not very wide in order for it to move more easily between the hairs of animals. Fleas also have small spines on their body's that prevent them from being brushed off of the host. Additionally, a flea has a hard outer body that prevents it from being smashed. Because of these adaptations, it can be difficult to kill them.
There are more than 2,000 species of parasitic fleas but the most common ones feed off the blood of mammals, including dogs, cats, and humans. Fleas are flat, very small (1/16 to 1/8 inch), wingless, dark-colored parasites. They travel from host to host by jumping and can jump up to 7 inches in the air! Pets living in warm, humid climates and those living outdoors are most vulnerable to infestation. Although fleas prefer animals, once inside a home they will often bite and feed off humans.