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Do Fleas Have Wings? How Fleas Get Around (+7 Bugs That Look Like Fleas)

Fleas are one of the worst pests for pet owners. Do fleas have wings? Let’s see how these tiny parasites get around. Plus some flying bugs that look like fleas. Let’s start with: Do fleas fly?

Fleas do not have wings. But it might appear that they fly because of how far they can jump. Fleas can jump 13 in (33 cm), more than 200 times their height. Put in human terms, it would be the same as a 6-foot tall person (1.83 m) jumping 1,200 feet (366 meters).

do fleas have wings

Do Fleas Have Wings?

Fleas jump so high and move so quickly that you might assume they have wings, but fleas do not have wings.

They can easily jump from one pet to another and jump off a piece of furniture or the floor to attack your dog or cat.

Fleas also attack humans. This usually only occurs when the problem is out of your control and can result in red and itchy bites around your ankles and calves.

How High Do Fleas Jump?

Fleas can jump as far as 13 inches. (Source: Michigan State, PDF)

A flea can live in your carpet and easily jump onto the back of an animal walking by.

They can jump distances of more than 200 times their overall height.

How Do Fleas Get Around?

All fleas have a life cycle that consists of four stages. Adults lay eggs that become larva, which then becomes pupa before becoming an adult.

  • During the larva phase, the flea will crawl to move around. It will often seek out a spot that is moist and shady as well as safe.
  • Adult fleas jump to get around. This helps them find spots that are safe and provides them with a constant food source.
fleas have 6 legs

More reading: Are bugs and insects the same?

7 Bugs That Look Like Fleas

If you looked at do fleas have wings because you found a few winged bugs in your home, keep in mind that those insects are not fleas.

Gnats and Fruit Flies

You may have a gnat or fruit fly problem on your hands. Both of these bugs are so tiny that they look like small specks of dust or dirt and fly through the air.

Gnats and fruit flies are attracted to food sources and may live in your home because you let food rot in your kitchen or forgot to take out the trash for a few days. Though they make look similar to fleas, these are different types of bugs.

bugs that look like fleas
Biting gnat – a small bug with wings that is commonly mistaken as a flea

Bat Bugs

Bat bugs also look like fleas because they are the same dark brown color and have six legs as well as long antennae. They usually live in caves and feed off bats.

If you live in the country, you may bring these bugs home with you or find that they seek out your home when they need a new food source. Bat bugs often feed off animals such as cats and dogs.

Bed Bugs

Some people confuse bed bugs with fleas. While the old nursery rhyme tells you not to let the bed bugs bite, those dealing with an infestation of these critters find that this is nearly impossible.

Not only do bed bugs live in upholstered furniture and beds, but they can also hide inside light switches and outlets. They usually only feed at night and are so efficient that you may not notice their bites.

Many people wake to find their bodies covered in red and pink welts caused by these bugs. Like fleas, bed bugs have six legs. They can appear light brown and turn to dark brown or red after they feed.

Carpet Beetles

There are also black carpet beetles or carpet beetles. Though they are darker than fleas in color, some confuse the two because they have the same number of legs and the same general body type.

They get their name because they often live in and feed on your carpets. These beetles can also live in your pantry and survive off any dry goods you keep there. Carpet beetles prefer dark spaces and do not eat animals.

Flour Beetles

If you have pale brown bugs that look like fleas but are a little longer, you might have a flour beetle infestation. These bugs can survive for months on the dry goods that you keep in your kitchen or pantry.

You may bring them into your home when you purchase dry goods. It’s even possible to bring home flour beetles when you buy dry dog or cat food. Crickets and ticks are some of the other bugs that can look like fleas.

Mites (Chiggers)

Chiggers are small, parasitic insects that are found in forests and homes. They are red and their bites will cause small bumps or welts. Here’s how to get rid of chiggers from your home.

More reading: Chiggers vs Jiggers (9 Key Differences)

do fleas fly

Learn more about little black bugs that bite.

Keep Your Pets Safe

Fleas can wreak havoc on your pets and home. If you use the internet to find out do fleas have wings, you should compare the bugs you see to photos of fleas. Though fleas can jump across long distances, they do not have wings and do not fly.