How Long do Fleas Live on Humans?
How long do dog fleas live on humans? The good news is that dog/cat fleas do not live on humans. The bad news is that they will feed on humans!
Most flea bites tend to be around the ankles, this is because the fleas can fall off the animal when it scratches and lives in your soft furnishings, like your carpet or sofa.
When you have a dog or a cat, there are many things you have to take into consideration, like fleas! It is really important to regularly treat your pet to prevent things like fleas. Some people are happy to get flea treatment from the vet, and other people prefer to use more natural remedies. Whichever option you choose, the important thing is to treat your animal regularly to prevent a flea infestation.
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Are Dog/Cat Fleas Harmful to Humans?
In most cases, fleas are just a nuisance that causes itchy or inflamed skin irritations. However, there are a few serious diseases that pet fleas can transmit to humans through their bites.
- Murine Typhus
Murine Typhus is mainly carried by fleas on rats, but it is always possible that your pet can come into contact with this flea when they are outside. Texas Department of State Health Services says that humans tend to get Typhus from flea bites. Symptoms include headache, fever, nausea, and body aches. Five to six days after the symptoms begin a rash that starts on the trunk of your body and spreads to your arms and legs may be noticeable. Medical assistance should be sought if you think you have contracted Typhus as it can be treated by antibiotics when caught early enough.
- Mycoplasma Haemofelis
Mycoplasma haemofelis can infect cats bitten by infected fleas, ticks, or mosquitoes. This parasitic bacterial disease infects the red blood cells and can cause fever and anemia in cats. Because fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes will bite a human as well as an animal, Mycoplasma Haemofelis can also be passed onto humans. If you have a compromised immune system, you are more likely to be affected by this disease.
Pets and humans can get tapeworms by ingesting infected adult fleas. Pets can ingest the infected fleas when grooming themselves or other animals. Tapeworm is more common in children as they may accidentally swallow an infected flea playing outdoors, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But it can also happen to adults.
How Long Can Fleas Live In the House?
It is quite disturbing to know that even without feeding if a flea is left undisturbed in can stay alive for more than 100 days! Female fleas lay up to 50 eggs a day!
The fleas on your pet are only 5% of the fleas that are in your home! The other 95% are in your soft furnishings and dark parts of your home, ie. Under your furniture.
When the eggs release larvae they move deeper into carpets and under furniture before turning into pupae. The larvae feed on organic debris and can ingest tapeworm eggs which they then develop into hosts for the development of tapeworms.
When the pupae become adult fleas they jump onto your pets, feed, lay eggs, and the cycle begins again.
Picture sourced from Wikimedia Commons.
How Can I Get Rid of Fleas in My Home?
The first thing you need to do is to treat your pet with a flea treatment! Then you need to vacuum your whole house. Floors, carpets, rugs, and furniture. The vacuum bag needs to be immediately removed from your house, dispose of it outside your house!
If you have wood or tile flooring, this needs to be vacuumed too and then thoroughly wash the floors.
You will also need to wash your pet’s bedding and soft toys as the flees will nest in the bedding and soft toys. If any of these are unable to be washed in your washing machine, it is best to throw it away.
Your clothes, bedding, etc will have to be washed in hot water to kill the fleas and their eggs.
You can buy carpet and upholstery flea sprays and use this on all your carpets, rugs, and soft furnishing.
Some people choose to ‘fog’ their house. This fogger is used against flea and tick infestations and can break the life cycle of the flea and can provide continuous protection against fleas and ticks for up to 7 months.
The most important thing is to regularly treat your pet to prevent another flea infestation.