What Are Fleas?
Fleas are tiny, blood-sucking parasites that live on the skin of animals and feed on their blood. They are wingless insects with flattened bodies, making moving between fur or feathers on a host easy. Fleas are known to be one of the most common household pests, and they can be found worldwide. There are dog fleas, cat fleas, and human fleas; fleas feed only on specific species of birds, rats, and other animals.
Fleas are 1/6 to 1/8 of an inch long and can have a vertical leap of seven inches and more than a foot of distance. This would be the equivalent of a jump 160 feet high and 295 feet long for a six-foot human.
Flea legs are highly developed and don't rely on muscle power independently to jump.
Fleas: An Irritating Fact of Life
Fleas are a fact of life for many pet owners. Dogs and cats are the most common hosts for fleas, but they can also live on other animals, including rodents, birds, and even humans. Fleas can cause a range of problems for pets, including itching, skin irritation, hair loss, and even anemia in severe cases.
Internal Infections from Fleas
Fleas can also transmit infectious diseases, both to pets and humans. For example, fleas can carry and transmit tapeworms, which can cause gastrointestinal problems in pets. In humans, fleas can spread diseases such as murine typhus, which causes fever, headaches, muscle aches, and bubonic plague. This rare but serious bacterial infection can be fatal if not treated promptly.
The tapeworm is inside the flea and grows inside your pet. They are parasites that can be very small as 1/2 inch and look like larvae, but they can also be extended to 12 inches. They can cause an itchy back end as well as weight loss. Your vet can treat them easily.
Seasons Influence Fleas
Fleas are more prevalent during the warm months but can survive indoors throughout the year. During the summer, fleas can be especially problematic, as they can quickly infest a home and spread to pets and humans. In addition to pets, fleas can be brought inside on clothing or other items, such as backpacks or bedding.
Fleas Can be Dangerous To Humans too.
Fleas are more than just a nuisance for pets. They can also pose health risks to humans. As mentioned, fleas can transmit diseases such as bubonic plague and murine typhus. In addition, some people may develop an allergic reaction to flea bites, which can cause redness, swelling, and itching.
Getting Rid of Fleas – You May Need a Professional
Getting rid of fleas can be challenging, especially if you have a severe infestation. While many products are available for controlling fleas, such as flea collars, sprays, and powders, these may only be effective in some cases. A professional pest control service may be necessary to eliminate fleas from your home.
In conclusion, fleas can be a significant problem for pets and humans. They can cause skin irritation and hair loss and even transmit infectious diseases. Therefore, it is essential to take preventive measures, such as regular flea treatments for pets and maintaining a clean home, to reduce the risk of flea infestations. Furthermore, if you suspect a flea problem, it is important to address it promptly to prevent the spread of diseases and discomfort caused by flea bites.
Preventing flea infestations and addressing them promptly when they occur is crucial for the health and well-being of both pets and humans. By understanding the risks associated with fleas and taking steps to control them, you can keep your home and family safe and healthy. Remember, if you have a severe flea problem, don't hesitate to call a professional pest control service for assistance.