Do Fleas Always Jump? Here Are the 3 Ways How They Move

Do fleas always jump? As an insect, fleas are well known for their ability to jump higher multiple times that their height. It has been said in numerous studies that fleas can jump about 150-200 times its height. So, it is like you can jump from the basement to the 3rd-4th floor. It is very impressive, isn’t it?

However, there are more than one species of fleas. So, each of them adapts to their host (environment). It means that fleas will not always jump to move from one spot to another spot. But, still, each of them has the ability to jump high.

For example, have you ever notice fleas in your cat? There, cat fleas do not always jump. They can run while the host is grooming its dense fur. It makes the situation becomes harder for the cat to clean them from their fur because they can run away quickly.

Well, how can fleas run in a dense fur? It needs more than just crawling the ability to do that. So, that fact means that it is proof that fleas do not always jump, but running instead. They can run fast to avoid the host.

Well, now, let us discuss more this topic.


do fleas always jump
Do fleas always jump?

If we think that fleas will always jump to move, surely it is not right. Fleas will not always jump to move. They only jump for at least three particular reasons.

So, why do fleas jump? Let us discuss it.

Looking for A New Host

Well, fleas will jump when they search for a new host. In its life cycle, fleas need to pass the process from the eggs, larvae, and cocoons. Well, the newly hatched cocoons need more foods as they are the fleas in the adult form now.

Those newly hatched cocoons are hungry fleas that need something to fulfill their needs. While on the other side, cocoons are usually placed near the host. In the case of pets, you can find them near the cat or dog bedding. Well, it is not easy to see the cocoons with bare eyes.

So, it is a perfect condition for those new fleas to jump in finding the host. That is also the reason why grooming your pets is not a perfect solution to eliminate fleas. You also need to clean the bedding and other spots where your pets usually stay or even sleep.

Now, let us move to another reason why fleas do jump.

Running Away from People

If you are a pet owner who sometimes grooms your cat or dog, you will find it is quite hard to catch fleas without any help by special combs. Based on my experiences as a cat owner, I need more than just my fingers to catch them. It is a specially designed comb that we need right?

And, of course, in terms of another experience, I find that crushing them with fingers sometimes is not a good thing to do. Why? It is because they will jump. On the other side, fleas are a well-designed creature with a hard shell in around their body. So, they will either use their hard skin to protect themselves or just simply just jump to go away.

That is why some people will use their nails to crush fleas, instead of just snapping them. But, still, it is not easy to catch jumping fleas that can run away from you.

Therefore, it can be concluded that fleas will jump when they are disturbed.

Abandoning The Dead Host

Since the beginning of the fleas life cycle, they only look for blood. That is the source of their main nutrients. In this case, fleas larvae even eat the adult fleas poop which is actually the digested blood.

It is well known that fleas spend their life on a host once they are in the adult stage. So, they need a healthy and alive host as their food source. It means that the dead host is not what they look for.

The adult fleas need to survive and a dead host doesn’t provide them good nutrients. That’s why fleas will jump to leave the dead host. Well, it sounds normal as it is the way of living creatures to survive.

In short, based on the explanation above, it can be concluded that fleas will jump in at least three particular reasons such as; to find a new host, to run away, and to abandon the dead host. Now, let us see the other ways of fleas to move.


As has been stated before, adult fleas spend their life on the host. So, they do not jump there but just simply walking, or maybe precisely crawling. Well, walking requires less energy than jumping. That is why they will just walk once they attach to your pets.

Do you need some proof?

Now, you can observe it on your pets. Get a comb and start grooming. You may find some fleas. In this case, try to catch them with your fingers. Surely, they will run away from you and suddenly disappear, hiding deeper and deeper in the dense fur.

Catching fleas with your bare hands is not a recommended thing to do. It will waste your time because they are surely the fast runners. They can easily move and hide in the dense fur. Here, you do need a special tool to make you easier in catching them.

What is it?

Surely, it is a special comb. In another case, as a pet owner, you will find that regular comb is not enough to catch them. You need a more specialized comb to catch fleas. It is because they can escape the bigger space in regular comb due to their small and compressed body.

Also, pets have dense fur. Have you ever seen any fleas jumping instead of walking while you are grooming your pets? It means that the fleas must have the ability to run fast in order to avoid your comb.

Therefore, it can be concluded that the other way of fleas to move is by walking. It also means that fleas do not always jump.

Now, let us check the other way of fleas to move.


Another way of fleas to move is by climbing. It may sound so surprising because we are used to thinking that fleas live in pets and do not need to climb. Unfortunately, they can climb for any purpose.

In this case, there are at least two reasons why fleas climb such as to reach the host easily and to escape from pesticides or insecticides. Let us discuss it in the following passages.

Reaching Out The Host

While jumping requires much effort, climbing seems requires less. If you observe carefully, fleas will climb to reach the place where they are able to get closer to the host. Here, they will usually climb from the ground where the cocoons are spread to the top of the carpet.

Also, if you observe it carefully, you will notice that fleas can stick to your pets. Your pets surely move their body and are active like running, hunting, and even swimming. How can fleas stay attach to them if they cannot climb? Well, in the addition of the shape of their feet, it must be their ability to climb.

In the other case, some fleas such as chigoe fleas (sand fleas) and Pulex irritans (human fleas) are well known to their problems for human health. Chigoe fleas are likely to attack human food and cause some infections. While, on the other side, Pulex irritans is well known to hide in human hair. So, if you are wondering, can fleas live in human hair? The answer is that it is possible under certain conditions.

Escaping from Pesticides or Insecticides

From observation, it is shown that fleas can climb the wall when there is an application of pesticides or insecticides. They spread and run away to escape. Climbing is an efficient way than jumping that needs more effort and energy. So, it is not that surprising to see fleas climbing.

While on the other environment, it is found that fleas are climbing on the grass. Don’t be surprised. Actually, fleas are also found on the wild animals. So, it is normal to see their cocoons on the ground and watch how they climb a grass, waiting for the right animals to jump and then attach.

So, do fleas always jump? Well, based on the discussion above, we can conclude that fleas do not always jump. Instead of jumping, fleas actually spend much more time by walking and sometimes climbing. Any comments? Feel free to share 🙂