The chigoe flea or jigger (Tunga penetrans) is a parasitic arthropod found in tropical climates, especially South and Central America and the West Indies. At 1 mm long, the chigoe flea is the smallest known flea. Breeding female chigoes burrow into exposed skin and lay eggs, causing intense irritation. After this point, the skin lesion looks like a 5 to 10 mm white spot with a central black dot, which are the flea's exposed hind legs, respiratory spiracles and reproductive organs.
If the flea is left within the skin, infection and/or other dangerous complications may ensue.
The free-living flea is a poor jumper and can only reach a height of around 20 cm; therefore the use of closed shoes (as opposed to sandals or slippers) is an effective way of preventing infection.