How Far Can Fleas Jump? And How to Get Rid of Them?

We explain the way fleas jump, how high and far, and whether they can fly or not
Phyllis McMahon
Phyllis McMahon
Research Writer
Phyllis teaches English Literature at a local college and loves writing in her free time. She’s also a great cook – her British beef Wellington is something the best res read more
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Chas Kempf
Chas Kempf
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Chas works in a professional pest control company and knows all the nuances of this job. Also, he’s a fantastic tennis player and loves to organize BBQ parties for his fam read more
Last updated: August 15, 2023
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In this article, we will be discussing everything you need to know about how far fleas can jump and how to prevent them from jumping on you.

When it comes to jumping, fleas are part of the superheroes of the animal kingdom. This is amusing because they don’t have wings, but still, they jump very high. This jumping characteristic can be traced to the anatomical structure of their legs.

Fleas’ capacity to jump is critical to their survival, as they must feed and procreate on an animal with fur. As a result of their ability to propel themselves, finding a host becomes easy.

However, the question that needs to be answered is how far can fleas jump? When you know how far they can go in the air, you will be able to effectively put them down when they come near your dog or your dwelling.

Stay glued to this page as we’ll be shedding light on everything you need to know about how fleas jump.

How Do Fleas Jump?

You must be left to wonder how fleas jump with no wings to shoot them up. This was one thought many people were troubled with until Henry-Clark Trusted Source Mystery of how fleas jump resolved | University of Cambridge In 1967, a scientist by the name of Henry Bennet-Clark discovered that fleas store the energy needed to catapult themselves into the air in a pad made of the , a scientist, was successful with his research on it.

Well, it all comes down to the anatomy of fleas and their capacity to lift themselves off the ground with incredible energy. Fleas have three pairs of legs that play an important role in their jumping, but the major propeller in their jumping rate is resilin Trusted Source BJNANO - Functional diversity of resilin in Arthropoda Functional diversity of resilin in Arthropoda which gives them 100 times more power than they could get from the muscles of their legs.

Fleas’ legs are made up of four parts – coxa, femur, tibia, and tarsus. The coxa is the legs’ initial part; it connects fleas’ legs to their body. The femur is the thickest part of a flea’s leg; it is composed of a lot of muscle, and it is linked to the tibia. The tibia, on the other hand, links the femur to the tarsi. The last part being the tarsi, looks just like the feet; it is the farthest from the fleas’ body.

Fleas produce roughly 100 times the power that their leg muscles can produce on their own, and they always spring their legs at the same time. To achieve their remarkable jumps, they rely on their resilin. The resilin embedded in fleas’ legs is an elastic protein pad that expands and shrinks, allowing them to fly long distances. The resilin is so stretchy that it withstands the power of a flea’s snapping movement when jumping, and after the jump is completed, it returns to its former shape.

Do Fleas Fly?

How Far Can Fleas Jump? And How to Get Rid of Them?

A question that many people have been unable to answer is: do fleas fly or jump?

It might often appear as if fleas are flying to the uninformed eye, but come to think of it, they don’t have wings, so they are limited. However, they jump very high and fast, and this is why a lot of people think that they can fly, but this is only due to the resilin that propels such extraordinary movement.

They cannot fly in the usual sense because they don’t have wings, but they can be said to fly with their legs due to their quick movement obtained from the elastic structure of their legs. This justifies the reason why some people believe that they can fly even if they cannot.

How High and Far Can Fleas Jump?

Having known that fleas can jump and move quickly, let’s look at how high and far they can go.

The oriental rat flea jumps on an average of 4 inches. Some flea species such as birds and bats do not jump well because they don’t have the necessary body parts. As a result of their inability to jump, they dwell in hosts that stay in underground nets.

The usual horizontal jump distance of cat fleas is 8 inches; even though these fleas are only around 1 inch long at their longest, their movement is incredible. Given their average mass is between 1.5 and 3.5 ounces, they can jump to a height of 5.2 inches. Whereas some extraordinary cat fleas can jump horizontally up to 19 inches, and have a height of 7.9 inches.

Human fleas are just like cat fleas – they jump and cover the same distance as cat fleas.

On the other hand, how far can dog fleas jump?

Fleas are usually attracted to dogs. In fact, they are like magnets to each other. Dog fleas jump higher than other fleas. They cover a maximum distance of 20 inches and a height of 12 inches, implying that dogs can easily pick up fleas if they come in contact with an infected pet.

How to Prevent Fleas from Jumping on You?

Fleas are commonly known for attacking pets and human beings. They practically go for anything that has fur as they get more comfortable and feed well under its atmosphere. They reside in the hairy parts of animals and human beings. Yes, fleas live in human hair. They are one kind of pest that you wouldn’t want near your dog, your body, or your house.

When it comes to flea prevention, vigilance is the best trick. If you have pets, you should inspect them for fleas on a regular basis as pets are their major target. The earlier fleas are detected, the easier it is to put a stop to them. This consistent action will save you the stress of having to deal with a full-blown infestation.

If fleas are allowed to remain on pets, they reproduce on their bodies, and in a matter of time, they’ll lay eggs which will fall off later on. This is because the host body cannot keep them together. However, if the environment is conducive for its growth, it will grow and might lead to an infestation. One way to curb this is by using IGR for fleas such as flea traps that will disrupt their development and growth. One kind of flea trap that a lot of users have testified of is BioCare Flea Trap – it controls the worst flea infestation without using pesticides.

How Far Can Fleas Jump? And How to Get Rid of Them?

Stray animals and birds are another source of fleas. Because strays are frequently outside for long periods of time, it’s nearly hard for them to avoid picking up fleas. To safeguard yourself from being infected, inspect them before taking them in.

Another way to prevent fleas from jumping on you is to check and get rid of them from your children’s bodies after they have gone to play. Fleas reside in the dirt, grass, and other children playgrounds.

Also, if you recently moved into a new home, inspect for fleas before settling in. While you may not have brought in fleas, the former occupant might have allowed them. Fleas don’t mind remaining at a spot until they are disturbed by vibrations. They will hatch if they are permitted to stay, and if they eventually get a host to feed on, they start to jump on other occupants of the house.

In addition, a pesticide can come handy in fighting off any flea that might be troubling you, and according to most reviews, Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Spray have proven super-effective.

Final Thought

Fleas can jump very high, and it leaves you to wonder how come they can jump as high as that when they don’t have wings. This article has dealt with that, and it has also discussed how far fleas can jump.

For a recap, fleas can jump very high because of their anatomical structure and their resilin – an elastic feature that they possess.

They can be really harmful if they are not taken care of. This article discussed everything you can do to make sure that they don’t have a stay such as checking for fleas on your pets regularly, cleaning your environment regularly, using flea traps and sprays, etc.


Mystery of how fleas jump resolved | University of Cambridge
In 1967, a scientist by the name of Henry Bennet-Clark discovered that fleas store the energy needed to catapult themselves into the air in a pad made of the
BJNANO - Functional diversity of resilin in Arthropoda
Functional diversity of resilin in Arthropoda
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