Fact: Fleas (Ctenocephalides felis) don’t have wings and will move by jumping using their powerful legs. Fleas can only live up to 4 days when removed from their hosts. So, fleas jump around looking for a blood meal or move from heat.
So, how high can fleas jump? Fleas can jump a maximum of 7 inches (18 cm) vertically and 13 inches (33 cm) horizontally (an average 40 – 99 times of the flea’s body length) – it’s only second to froghopper. Its hind-most pair of legs are significantly adapted in jumping. Here’s how to tell if you have a flea problem.
How High Can Fleas Jump?
The fleas’s legs are long and appropriately build for jumping. The bug provides a forceful and quick jump – it wont depend on power from directly from its muscles but on the energy stored in the resilin elastic protein pad. It releases the store energy fast like bow & arrow.
Before the flea jump, the bug’s muscles will contract to allow the deformation of its resilin pad, this allows storage of energy to be used later. However, the flea uses he “catch mechanism” that’ll hinder premature release of energy and leg movement.
Dog fleas (Ctenocephalides Canis) will jump more compared to cat fleas. Dog fleas will jump about 50 cm (20 inches). The average leap distance or height of 30.4 cm (12 inches) – but the jumps among cat flea and human fleas are similar.
The oriental rat fleas (Xenopsylla Cheopis) tend to jump about 18 cm (7 inches). Further, the Desert Rodent Fleas have a jump of about 7.8 cm – 12.8 cm (3 – 5 inches). On average, the oriental rat fleas have a jump of 10.4 cm (4 inches).
Bird, bat, & mole fleas are some of the fleas species that don’t jump well. These fleas have lost their body parts required to jump. Therefore, these fleas (since they don’t jump) live in hosts occupying the underground nests and high-aerial roosts.
Cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis) – Their flea jump height is about 33 cm (13 inches). Most of the cat fleas tend to jump about 13.2 cm (5.2 inches) about above your ankle. Further, some fleas may jump about 17 cm (6.6 inches) – while others can jump at above 60 times of their body length.
Human Flea (Pulex Irritans) – Human fleas jump at a height and distance similar to cat fleas. Therefore, human fleas jump about 33 cm (13 inches) just like cat fleas.
Flea Anatomy – Jumping Mechanism
It’s important to learn the anatomical build of the fleas’ legs to lean how these bugs jump from one host or area to another. Its legs are segmented into 4 sections – the segments being tarsus, tibia, femur, and coxa from outwards towards the body.
The leg joints – particularly the femur is a thick joint segment of the fleas’ leg and it has a large amount of muscle and it links the trochanter to the bug’s tibia. the fleas’ tibia is sectioned and it links femur to the fleas’ tarsi. In addition, the fleas tarsi stand furthest to the bug’s body.
The flea’s trochanters are noted to touch the ground when the bugs are jumping. But the tarsi of the flea is a critical part of jumping for the fleas. Notably, fleas derive their jumping power from the spectacular jumps. Its resilin contains some protein that is stretchy – to contract and extends allowing the flea to jump over distances.
How Fast Can Fleas Jump?
Considering the shape and size of fleas – these flat and tiny bugs measure about 1/12 – 1/8 inches move of jump quickly and effectively over distances or between the pet’s hairs. The hind legs, from its 6 legs, of these fleas, allow the bugs to jump quickly.
Some fleas species will jump about 150 times its body length. Further, the record jump ever recorded in fleas was a vertical jump of 4 feet. Without a host, fleas can survive for about 100 – 150 days – however, it must remain undisturbed to avoid wasting energy moving around or jumping.
When fleas attain adult ages and body, they’ll be running around looking for a blood meal and later conditions necessary undertake reproduction. Adult fleas lays about 5000+ eggs in its lifetime and the adult will live or about 2-3 months.
As noted above, fleas won’t survive for long without a blood meal or a host – in fact its just a few days. However, with the correct humidity, blood supply, and temperatures, adults fleas will live anywhere from 1-1.5 years. Further, adults fleas will survive for long without feeding if they won’t break off their puparia since this would otherwise make them lose excessive energy.
Can Fleas Jump Onto Beds?
Definitely, its odd to discover fleas occupying your bed – even after washing and treating all the bedding and such stuff. Maybe the bugs did actually hitchhike your lower legs or feet and finally got into you bed? Possibly, the fleas also climbed onto your bed using the loosely hanging sheets near the ground or floor? NB: Fleas can only jump to maximum height that’s around your ankle – fleas have no wings and thus won’t fly.
If the flea problem persists, then you should consider washing all the bedding regularly than you what you do currently. Further, make sure to tuck your sheet into the bed – this makes sure that the fleas moving around he ground won’t get a ladder/ climbing route into your bed. In addition, keenly clean and inspect you feet and socks before you jump into you bed.
The next step will be purchasing a better vacuum – maybe the one you currently have isn’t doing it all right in removing the fleas, flea dirt and their debris. This will be even more helpful if your carpets have fleas as it’ll vacuum the bugs clean. Also, I recommend you get some cat flea treatments such as Revolution – avoid lapse or delays in giving the flea treatments.
Daily cleaning and vacuuming may help kill the flea larvae, eggs,and baby fleas – in addition to washing the bedding, treating the mattress and pillows. A great sign in your war against fleas is if you don’t now notice a lump of flea dirt on the bed rails.
How to Control Fleas
As we’ve noted above, fleas have long legs and the hind pair is highly developed to allow them to jump very high. Vertically, fleas can jump about 18 cm (7 inches) while horizontally it can jump roughly 13 cm (33 inches). Therefore, fleas are only second in jumping height-to body length ratio to froghopper.