Do Fleas Fly and Are You at Risk?

Summary: Do fleas fly? Do all fleas jump? These questions has been asked by many throughout the world and its hard to find a satisfying answer. While it may seem that do, the truth is that fleas cannot fly! Fleas find their way around your home by launching themselves into the air with their strong and powerful legs. Learn a couple ways to protect your exposed skin from these insects and keep yourself safe from these pests.

Fleas can be very frustrating for anyone to deal with, especially if there is a fairly large infestation in your home or on your pets. These stubborn pests seem to find their way into many places that seem impossible to reach without flight! Sometimes they can even get up onto tables, chairs, beds and other horrible places. How is this possible? Lets take a moment to look at the facts!

While fleas cannot fly, they have an amazing ability to jump large distances with relative ease. In fact, fleas can jump approximately 4-5 feet upwards! Many wonder how it’s possible for such a small pest to be able to accomplish such an amazing feat of acrobatics. Their secret lies in their strong legs and another very important element. Fleas are equipped with something called Resilin. This protein has very similar properties as rubber and it gives the flea a sort of springboard (once its compressed) that launches it forward (or upwards) when it wants to reach certain places. During its airborne assault, it can land on your pets or you, looking for fresh blood (yikes).

Do Fleas Fly on Humans and Are You at Risk?

Do Fleas fly on humans Fleas can pose a serious health risk to your pets. However, contrary to popular belief, people can get fleas as well! In fact, while your pets may be responsible for bringing fleas into your home, either from other animals or from your garden, their owners are often the ones that suffer. A few days ago my cat had a flea problem and after I got rid of them, I thought I had won the war.

However, upon waking up the next morning, I found a few fleas in the bedroom and after careful inspection, those damn fleas had jumped onto my husband! While it was simple enough to kill them, I thought it was interesting that people can get fleas just as easily as pets! In fact, to answer the question in the previous paragraph, humans are a favorite when it comes to personal transport for fleas. Just think of yourself as a personal driver for the flea, only you just don’t know about it!

Flea Control on Pets – Are Your Dogs and Cats Safe?

Unfortunately, one of the frustrating things that most pet owners have to deal with is fleas. Fleas have the ability to multiply very quickly and can be very hard to get rid of. In my personal experience, dogs seem to be the most vulnerable to flea infestations so if you see one of them scratching, take immediate action to ensure that they are not brought into your home. Just like humans, fleas use dogs and other pets as their own personal transport to get to other areas in your home and garden. If you are thinking of using a insecticide collar for your pets, please keep in mind that although they work, flea collars are toxic and should be used with care.

Do You or Your Pets Have Fleas? Solutions That Work!

Since people can get fleas from their pets, its in your best interests to get rid of the flea problem as soon as possible. The good news is that there are a few methods that really work! However, before you go about trying to kill them, you need to know how to identify a flea. Many have asked “are fleas black or brown” and based on experience, they are usually a combination of yellow, black and brown. They are about 2mm in size in your pets fur. You may find that they try and hop away when inspecting your pet so preferably do this outside. Since they are so small, you may also need a strong torch and someone to help you investigate this properly. Don’t forget to check your furniture! Once you have confirmed that its fleas and not ticks, simply follow the steps below:

  1. Mix a small amount of rosemary oil and warm water and give your pet a daily bath for about a week.
  2. Another good method is to use standard yeast and rub it onto your pets skin a couple times a day for a week.
  3. Lastly, if you have had limited success with those natural methods (I recommend you try them first), use a flea spot treatment from Advantage or Frontline. If you have young cats or dogs, make sure you get the correct one for their age group otherwise the results can be fairly disastrous. Also try and purchase something that has IGR (insect growth regulator) compounds as this kills the flea larvae, eggs and other underdeveloped fleas that often escape the regular cleansing of your home. Do dog fleas fly? Nope, as mentioned, even pet fleas are flightless bugs.

Frequently Asked Questions by Our Readers

Q: Do fleas die in winter?
A: While fleas can die from extreme cold. Unless you live in subzero temperatures, fleas will not die! To be honest, if you do live in these conditions, your pets wouldn’t have fleas in the first place! πŸ˜‰

Q: Is prescription medication required for flea bite hypersensitivity?
A: In most cases, this is not needed unless you have a severe reaction (such as a flea bite rash). If in doubt, ask a registered health practitioner for advice or search The Bug Squad for more facts about fleas that will be of use to your specific condition.

Q: Do Fleas Fly Or Crawl?
A: Neither really, they are land based and get around by jumping onto their next target.

Q: If fleas cannot fly, can ticks fly?
A: No, these insects are also unable to fly to their feeding grounds.

Q: I notice a number of small insects fly around by home that look like fleas flying, are you 100% sure they cant?
A: Yes, I am sure! You may have a fruit fly problem. If this is the case, you can learn how to get rid of fruit flies fast by reading my guide. πŸ™‚

In conclusion, fleas do not fly but they are known to use other forms of transport such as pets and humans to get around. Additionally, despite various opinions, humans can get fleas and they can often leave rather nasty red marks on your skin. However, the good news is that these pests can be removed and while I always recommend natural methods, using a flea poison can also yield effective results. If you have a severe flea problem in your carpets, bedding, couches, etc. you can also call in an exterminator. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comment section below and I will get back to you! πŸ™‚


  1. Avatar Cheryl says:

    Hi, I have a 5 year old Yorker and since I got her never have I had any problems with finding bugs on her until this summer. We also have a Doberman and past dogs and never had any problems there either.
    So I’ve been finding these small fast crawling black bugs on my Yorkie and it’s only like two every couple of days. I’ve googled what fleas look like and not sure if they are or not. Our groomer said they are but I’m not to sure! Any ideas???

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Cheryl, if you send me a picture via email, I will be happy to identify them for you. Either way, just give the dog a bath in warm water and a little dawn soap, kills almost all insects instantly. Hope that helps πŸ™‚

  2. Avatar Carolyn says:

    Hi! Our indoor cats managed to get fleas. We treated them with Frontline Plus as well as Dawn/water baths. They seem to be clean now but we are about 3 weeks into trying to get the house under control. We bombed, used boric acid and my husband vaccuums thoroughly every other day. We have been putting out small trays of water/Dawn and find 2-3 dead ones a day. My question is this: if we are not getting all the eggs before they hatch, will they be able to feed off out Frontline treated cats and continue reproducing? Do we need to keep the cats out of the basement and laundry room that seem to the the issues right now? This has been an absolute nightmare…once we think we have it almost under control we keep finding more dead ones. Ugh!!!

    Thank you!

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Carolyn, it depends, I have found that in some areas, fleas have grown rather resistant to various spot on treatments (not saying Frontline is bad though). Yes, I recommend you keep them out while you treat those areas, and I recommend that you try DE instead of boric acid. Let me know how that goes!

  3. Avatar laura says:

    Hi-when I brush my shepard mix dog. I saw little bugs flying around him. The first time it was hot and muggy and I just thought they were around him for some reason. the next day I went to hose him off and also saw them so yesterday I purposely brushed him and though I couldn’t see them on his body sure enough they started appearing again. They are very fast. I caught 2 in a bottle. I think they are smaller then fruit flies. and they are definitely coming from him. What could they be and how do i get rid of them?
    Thank You.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Laura! Interesting! It is a little hard to say without seeing a photo of them, can you send me one?

  4. Avatar Fanie says:

    We have an infestation of flying fleas at work. Inside the offices and outside on the grass. Why I call them flying fleas is because they are. The fly like tiny flies but more wrekless as they will land in your eye or ear. Once they land, they move very fast like fleas with erattic movements. They crawl up your trousers, in your hair and bite. If you get a good spray at it with insecticide it forgets it can fly and starts jumping like a flea with its two ling hind legs before it dies. When you open your lunch to eat they jump right in your food in swarms.
    We are so frustrated as nothing including fumigation has helped so far.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Fanie! Goodness! Well they are not fleas, but nevertheless, they might look similar hehe. I am afraid I cannot help unless I know the type of insect but I am a little surprised the fumigation didnt help, was it done by a professional or did you just buy a insect bomb from the shop?

  5. Avatar Whit says:

    Got frontline for my dog a little more than a month ago and he still has fleas! Also bombed house and did the yard and can’t get rid of them. Now What? Any ideas what to do next?

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Whit! I suggest you try out the flea trap and DE. I have articles on both topics, check them out for all the juicy details πŸ™‚

  6. Avatar Karen says:

    Hi! I do not have pets but I am staying at a hotel that allows pets. I have been here for a while and never had an issue. But this past week I saw a few black looking spots on the white comforter – and upon closer inspection there were tiny insect thingy’s. I killed the first 4-5 of them. But the next day there were two more. I requested my room to be thoroughly cleaned will all linen removed and fresh linens. I found 4 more of these critters which I put into a small plastic bowl with a lid. They have been in this bowl with the lid tightly snapped on for two days and are still alive. I tried taking zoom pics but having difficulty. Also tried video – and while doing so, one of them pushed wings out to the side and either jumped or flew. Everyone that has seen them say they are fleas. Not being a pet person -I have no idea what they are. They are very tiny and look like tiny blackish brown spots on the white comforter. They did not jump or fly when I caught them and put them in the plastic bowl. Any help would be appreciated

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Karen, sounds like fleas but honestly, there are lots of little insects that could be mistaken for them hehe. Try get me a pic and I will have a look

  7. Avatar vanessa says:

    What natural repellents can you put on humans to repel and kill fleas? I know alcohol is one of them it kills them on contact. Thanks.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Vanessa, I have been told that lavender works pretty well, just use in moderation though.

  8. Avatar a031890 says:

    Hi there! Quick question… My dog was outsidefor a bit this morning ( it is raining and muggy…not sure if that changes things) and when iI went into my room she was on our bed which is normal, I went to go pet her and saw a tiny brown bug next to her butt but it was on our sheets. Our sheets are white so I could easily see it. I picked it up with my finger and held it in my hand, looked at it (for some reason Ithought if iIlooked at it iIcould determine what it was lol) I flipped it on its back and it did jump a little but still stayed in my hand so Iwent to the toilet and threw it in there. I checked my dog and didn’t find anymore, brushed her with one of those fleas combs and nothing came out. I checked my sheets again and didn’tsee anymore but idk if they burry tthemselves or anything. Should I wash my sheets? Do you think that was a flea? The bug was about the size of a small sesame seed.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Heya! It might have been, bit difficult to diagnose without seeing it hehe. Just wash in case but it is unlikely you have an infestation or anything.

  9. Avatar Bbmcgee says:

    We just had a scare found a tny black bug looked like a tick picked it out of our dogs hair and it was moving pretty quick and knows how to dig in fur. Then when i had it in my dfingers i couldnt squish it and then it leaped about 2ft off my fingure and now we cant find it do you think its a concern

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Bbm, very unlikely that it is a tick honestly, if you find it, I will try help you identify it πŸ™‚

  10. Avatar Rosanna piccolo says:

    Hi . Can a cat get fleas if it’s an indoor cat? Thanks

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Rosanna! Yes, definitely possible.

  11. Avatar Jennifer P says:

    We have some indoor-only cats for which we’re planning to build an enclosed catwalk around the outside of our house. It will be open to the air (wire enclosure) only at the second story level. Thus, it will be at least 7 feet above ground and will only touch the house. Is there still a way for fleas to reach it? (Such as jumping or climbing that high?) It sounds like they would have to jump from the ground to a tall fence and then to the catwalk…which would be difficult. I’m just trying to get an idea of whether we need to be concerned about fleas if we do this project and let our cats outdoors. Thanks for any advice!

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Jennifer, I doubt fleas are going to make it up there, maybe use a little DE in the area just to keep them away though.

    • Avatar Mommaofcats says:

      Check your area for squirrels, raccoons and flying squirrels. All of these animals can reach that height, and they are known for carrying fleas.

      • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

        Heya! Thanks for helping Jennifer, much appreciated!

  12. Avatar Amber Gardner says:

    So we have fleas. And carpet upstairs and down. We did bug bomb, but still find them. Now i know that bomb didn’t kill the eggs. We have two young ones and need this resolved. What steps should we do? Vaccum, find IGR to kill eggs, then bug bomb again to get adult fleas? How do iget closets And what about clothes and stuffed animals and toys? ?? This is stressing me daughter has bits on her.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Amber! A bug bomb can stop them from hatching, if it contains an IGR. You could try that yes, sounds like a plan. Your best bet is to hot wash them or use a steam cleaner. Good luck!

    • Avatar Sun~Rose says:

      Diatomaceous earth, the edible kind so dogs won’t be hurt. Amazon has it in 50 ob. bags. You can get it in smaller quantities. Read about it.

      • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

        Hi Sun-Rose, thanks for helping Amber, really appreciate it.

  13. Avatar Tricia says:

    Hi, I rented a home from a person who had a cat. In the master carpet and in my bed under the sheets something bites me on my feet and legs but it appears invisible. I know what bedbugs look like and I have difficulty sleeping due to something biting me. When I wash my sheets every week in hot water it stops for a couple of days. Help!

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Tricia! I suggest that you look for evidence of bed bugs or fleas before jumping to conclusions. Try using my flea trap to find them.

  14. Avatar Jasmine says:

    Hi, loved this article! Can humans get fleas in their hair?

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Jasmine! Thanks πŸ™‚ Yes they could but it’s unusual. Either way, a quick shower will remove them.

    • Avatar Jo says:

      What can i use on skin

      • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

        Hi Jo, presuming that it’s just a little bite, you can use a little lemon juice, which should take away the itching.

  15. Avatar Nancy says:

    Do fleas have wings?

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Nancy! No they don’t, thanks for leaving a comment!

  16. Avatar dorothy says:

    a lady next door have a dog i want to know can flea travel from here house mine
    something be biteing me all the time we live in apt

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Dorothy! Usually fleas travel on a human or on pets. They are not going to fly between houses if that is what you are asking hehe.

  17. Avatar mary says:

    Our dogs have fleas but have been giving them ftontline. Two days ago applied frontline plus but her stomach is still crawling with them. I found one on my arm otting in the chair. How do I kill them in the house and where do they exist outside?

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Mary! I recommending giving your dogs a wash with dawn and warm water. It really works well and I have had a ton of my readers raving about it, despite their initial disbelief. Plus its really cheap πŸ™‚ When fleas are outside, they usually are found in dark and damp areas, especially in long grass. Trimming back these areas and using a outdoor flea spray will definitely help if you find out where they are hiding.

  18. Avatar Jerry says:

    I have these tiny bugs that look just like fleas, but fly and do not bite. They are only outside, in the grass, on the patio, pretty much everywhere outside. Unlike fleas, you can easily smash them with a finger. They make it very uncomfortable to enjoy the outside areas. Any suggestions?

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Jerry! From your description, it sounds a lot like “midge” bugs. I recommend doing a bit of Googling on the subject as they need to be treated differently than fruit flies. Sorry I cant be of further assistance. However, its a good idea for an article and I will see if I can put one together in the next couple weeks. Cheers!

    • Avatar Sun~Rose says:

      I do too — have biting ‘fliers’ unless the tiny things can sling themselves sideways too? And from wall sideways to another wall? My littlest dog is gnawing herself even thought she’s now got a flea collar on; I don’t like the toxic things either. And one of the bigger dogs appears to hate EATEN not one but two flea collars! He seems okay as it was quite a while ago. Yuk! Any info or suggestions welcomed. And P.S. Confortis which the vet gave me, (well, sold me) nearly killed my largest dog. Without prayer and my constant attention he would have died; he was that sick. When I called the company which made it, they weren’t surprised and refunded the money for all the dogs to the vet. I don’t think I got any back :*(; however with constant prayer and attention from me, Charlie, the sweetest most beautiful dog, would not have survived. And he’s a big dog.

      • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

        Hey! Fleas can jump, but not far, perhaps that is what happened? Sorry to hear about your dog, but glad that with your care he got better. Flea collars are terrible, I actually have written an article on the topic (on this blog) that advises against using them, would love to hear what you think of it. Have a good one!

  19. Avatar bry says:

    Natasha can I ask a question? Is there a chance that my dogs can get fleas from my neighbor’s pup even though they’re like….50 feet away? Great article though :3 I have cleaned my dog of fleas but I’m scared to let it go and play outside because the fleas might jump over to my dog from my friend’s dog! :3

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Bry! Not in a single jump from that distance no, but there is nothing stopping them from making their way over and jumping onto your puppy. My recommendation is to point your neighbor towards some of the free flea removal tips on this blog so that the fleas wont bother his dog or yours. Good luck!

  20. Avatar Wetpaws says:

    I got marks on my face that look like pimples and my skin is so itchy especially mt face and head. I cannot stand it. my cats sleep with me on my spare pillow and was wondering if these marks on my face are flea bites? they are itchy and when i sdratch them they start to bleed and then turn into a nasty looking scab. I cannot stop scratching my face and head expecially in the day time. I thought I had an allergy to one of my meds but after reading this info I think I have flea bites. i checked my cats out and really cannot see any fleas so not sure. is there any way to tell if i got flea bites? they do not look like the pic posted here of the severe case.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Wetpaws! Since you sleep with your cats, its very possible. While it could be bed bugs, I recommend taking a few moments to double check your cats for adult fleas. If you cannot find any, spend some time looking for flea dirt as its often a slight of fleas. You can find my article on flea dirt by browsing the flea category on this blog.

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