Do fleas have wings?

Fleas don’t have wings. Instead of having wings fleas have the ability to jump tremendous distances making it seem like they can fly.

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Wingless Fleas

Xenopsylla_cheopis_flea_PHIL_2069_loresFleas are member of the order Siphonaptera. Siphon meaning “tube” in latin and aptera meaning “wingless”. Fleas most likely descended from insects with wings. Though they don’t have wings they can still jump incredible distances so keep an eye out!

Jumping

Since they can’t fly they instead propel their bodies great distances. Fleas can jump and average of 8 inches horizontally. They have been recorded to have jumped 20 inches when hungry enough. Vertically though fleas have  been known to jump 13 inches high.

The distance fleas can jump depends on the type of flea. There are various different kinds such as rat fleas, cat fleas, dog fleas, and rabbit fleas.

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Can other parasites fly?

Bed_bug,_Cimex_lectulariusYou may be wondering if there are other parasites that can fly. Below I’m going to list the more common parasites and whether or not they can fly.

Lice – Lice cannot fly or jump. They aren’t able to live longer than 24 hours outside of a host.

Tick – Cannot fly. Since ticks cannot fly they instead sit on leaves or grass waiting for a host to walk by. This is known as questing. When a host walks by they either drop from a tree onto their host or crawl onto their host from grass.

Bed Bugs – Cannot fly or jump. They instead tend to crawl around looking for host. The reason they are called bed bugs though is because they tend to bite while you’re sleeping. This means they don’t really need to fly or jump.