Fleas: Facts, Symptoms, Treatments And Diseases Transmitted By Fleas

Fleas infestations are not only bad for pets but also dangerous to humans. They can create lots of problems like they cause itching and are a discomfort to skin and infections. Also, the problem of anemia may occur because of fleas as they live on animal blood.

Moreover, fleas can transmit tapeworms and lots of diseases to pets. And fleas bite on the human body develop itching which causes rashes with small bumps that may bleed.

fleas
Photo by Foad Roshan on Unsplash

Facts About Fleas

The Scientific name of Fleas is Ctenocephalides canis. Fleas are small insects found in domesticated animals like dogs, cats, donkeys, buffalos, cows, goats, etc. They are about a quarter of an inch in length. They do not have wings to fly, but their long hind legs are specially designed for jumping. They are known to jump as far as 13 inches, about 200 times their own body length.

They reproduce quickly. Mostly they live in clothes, carpets, floors cracks. You can find fleas outside the house like in weeds, grass, or many other places. There are four stages in the life cycle of a flea: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. and the more interesting thing is that it has a 2-3 month lifespan.

Symptoms of Fleas in Pets and Human Body

Now we will discuss some signs and symptoms of fleas bite that can be are very dangerous to humans as well as pets:

  • It can cause the problem of anemia when they bite on the human body.
  • When your pet dogs or cats scratch their neck, head, and around the tail it may be due to fleas bite because they normally concentrate on such areas.
  • When you feel itching and small bumps on your body it may be due to fleas bite on your body.
  • Flea saliva can cause skin dermatitis in humans, which usually appears in the patches of skin, itchy bumps, or a rash.
  • When you see your dog loses its furs it may be due to a flea reaction on its body.
  • Fleas also cause some breathing problems when humans inhale the breath. It also causes various diseases that are very dangerous for the human body and pets.    

Some Diseases Transmitted by the Fleas

Mainly there are four kinds of diseases that are transmitted by the fleas to the human body and pets which are as under:-

Bubonic Plague

The most well-known flea transmitted disease is the Bubonic plague. It is also called by the name “black death”. Twenty-five million Europeans lost their lives due to this disease also known as Plague.

Around fifty percent of the European population got affected by this disease in the fourteenth century. That’s why it is named the black death.

In today’s world this plague is worldwide, with only a handful of cases, each year reported in the southwestern U.S. Fleas get plague through rats and transmit it to humans. So, they act as a carrier for the plague.

Tularemia

Tularemia is an infectious disease and also called Rabbit Fever, that causes the bacterium Francisella tularensis. Ticks and deer flies are the carriers of their pathogen. Contaminated water and the air are also one of the reasons for this disease.

It may also be spread by drinking contaminated water or breathing in contaminated dust. The United States is mostly affected by these kinds of fleas between 1970 and 2015 around 200 cases are being reported in the US.

Murine Typhus

Murine Typhus is a rare disease that especially occurs in North America. It is caused by the “bacterium rickettsia typhi” and it is transmitted by fleas.

Every year there are so many cases of Murine Typhus reported mostly from the southwestern states of the US. This disease is mostly found in rats and fleas get this infection from rats. In The United States of America, murine typhus is one of the most common diseases that especially affects southern California, Texas, and Hawaii.

Tungiasis

Tungiasis is a dangerous disease, occurs by a female flea on the human body and pets. Primarily, it affects the skin. It has a scientific name called  “ectoparasitic tunga penetrans” it is also known as (chigoe flea, jigger, nigua sand flea).

In 2009 Tungiasis has affected more than 88 countries. Especially tropical parts of Africa and Nigerians, Trinidad, Tobago, and Brazil peoples. For removing the fleas from around us you need to follow some prevention like make your house with cement floors with no cracks instead of sand floors. 

Preventions & Diagnosis for Fleas Bite

When flea bites, humans’ and pets’ bodies get affected. You should always take some precautions to prevent your body away from fleas bites which are written below:

  • When the fleas bite on your body firstly you need to wash that area where fleas bites then apply an antiseptic cream on the wounds.
  • Take some ice pack to remove itching and prevent scratching.
  • Then go to the skin specialist and take some advice and more treatment options such as lotions and antihistamines.
  • If your pets were affected by the flea bites then you need to consult your veterinarian to take some treatments.
  • If fleas bite your pets then you have to apply some cold water and some formulated shampoos once a week.
  • To prevent your pets and yourself from the fleas bites you need to keep clean your carpets of your home.
  • If any cracks are available on your house floor then you need to fill it with cement to prevent your body and your pets from the flea bites.
  • To prevent your body from the fleas bites you need to wash your bedding and your pet’s bedding. 

What can I do to stop the itching caused by flea bites?

It is always advisable that you do not scratch the area where flea bites. There is a risk of skin breaking and infections. If unintentionally you scratch or damage your skin, ensure that the affected area is clean by washing it off with soap and water and cover the fleas bites with the bandage. Consult your physician when you’ve got the bite. There are various non-prescription products or home remedies that can help prevent the itching of flea bites.

Home remedies can be safe and effective for any insect bite. However, it is still recommended to consult with your physician prior to using any of the following methods to eliminate flea bites. There’s a possibility of having an allergic reaction to your skin if your skin is so sensitive.

  • Antihistamines: Antihistamines is one of the most popular flea bite treatment. Histamine is a kind of chemical that is produced in the body’s immune system. The body releases histamine when it is exposed to an allergen. Histamine is the reason why the bites of fleas are itchy. Taking antihistamine pills with water or applying it directly on the flea bite with an ointment or cream is possible.
  • Hydrocortisone: Hydrocortisone is a corticosteroid that is combined along with an anesthetic pain killer. It helps to reduce swelling and itching. It is possible to apply it directly to the skin in the form of a cream or an ointment.
  • Ice: Ice is a method of slowing down the quantity of blood flowing into an area. It helps reduce pain, inflammation, swelling, and itching. Apply an ice pack wrapped with a soft towel on the affected area for at minimum 10 minutes to ease the pain of a flea bite.
  • Aloe vera: Aloe vera is an herbaceous plant and is effective for many diseases as well. The gel found in its leaves is salicylic acid that helps get relief from itching and discomfort. It is possible to apply Aloe vera gel to your body.
  • Chamomile: Chamomile tea is made up of dried flowers of chamomile. The dried flowers of chamomile are a source of flavonoids and terpenoids. These are natural chemicals with antihistamine and antioxidant properties. To prepare tea, you can add a chamomile tea bag directly to the water. Allow the teabag in water for a minimum of twenty minutes to ensure that the water is a deep gold-brown shade. Take the teabag out of the water and squeeze the tea bag to get rid of the extra water. Apply the tea bag on your bites by rubbing it for at least 10 minutes, and then gently clean your edges with a soft towel. The wet tea bag should be placed in a container inside your refrigerator so that you can use it again on bitings all day long.
  • Honey: Honey is a natural product with numerous properties that ease itching and discomfort. Honey is a source of an enzyme known as catalase, which can relax from minor irritation. Apply enough honey that is unprocessed to cover your bites from fleas lightly. To avoid making a sticky mess, you could also apply a bandage over the honey-covered bites.
  • Oatmeal: Oatmeal has gluten in it, which can help calm itchy flea bites. The best method of using oatmeal for treating flea bites is to crush and mix with warm water and make a thick paste. Spread this mixture gently over your flea bites. After 10 minutes, remove the paste using a dry towel.

Winding up!

We hope that all the above mention information about the effects of the flea is found useful for you. If you found any query related to the problem then you can contact our expert. They will definitely help you to solve your queries regarding fleas bites.  

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