If you have a beloved pet, you likely are aware of the pesky little critters known as fleas. Fleas can be a nuisance for pets and people alike. They are parasites and feed off mammals without caring if it is a dog, cat, or human. Yes, fleas bite humans. No one wants fleas in their Northwest Ohio or Southeast Michigan home or business, so you need to protect yourself from fleas.
What are fleas?
Fleas are tiny, reddish brown insects. They are external parasites and feed off the blood of birds and mammals. They normally consume the blood of animals, but they can also find a meal from the blood of humans.
Fleas travel by jumping from one host to another. Fleas can jump long distances with their strong legs. They don’t have wings, so they don’t fly. Fleas have tough armored bodies that make them almost impossible to crush and get rid of, which allows them to survive in homes and businesses for long periods of time, undetected.
You need to protect yourself from fleas, because once you have an infestation, fleas can be hard to get rid of. Fleas live and breed in warm, moist places, so infestations are typically worse in the warmer months; however, fleas can still make their way into your home and business in the colder months while seeking warmth.
Do fleas carry disease?
Fleas can carry an abundance of diseases. Amongst those are: plague, flea-borne typhus, cat scratch disease, and tapeworms.
If bitten by a flea, your body will naturally react and release histamine to try to fight against the saliva from the flea. Histamine causes a red, itchy bump to form at the location of the bite. Fleabites on humans are usually found on the lower legs and feet, due to the fleas living in your carpet. When a human is bitten by a flea the signs include red spots with red halos, possibly hives, a rash, and there can be swelling around the bite. Unlike other pests, the symptoms from the bite of a flea begin almost immediately.
Some people have an allergic reaction to fleabites which can cause anaphylaxis.
How can you protect yourself from fleas?
According to the CDC, the best way to prevent fleas on people is to keep your pets free of fleas. Most fleas prefer to feed on animals; however, people are sometimes bitten out of convenience when they share space or encounter a flea-infested animal.
Below are some ways to protect yourself from fleas:
- Use flea treatment for your pets all year. Most people only treat their pets for fleas in the warmer months, and that could lead your pet and you to having fleas.
- Rid your home or business of fleas. Fleas don’t typically live on animals, they live in carpets, bedding, and other surfaces in your home and business, and they jump onto animals and humans to eat. Soap and water can kill fleas, so thoroughly bath your pet.
- If you suspect your pet has fleas, wash your bedding, your pet’s bedding, and your throw rugs. Vacuum your carpets and larger rugs, as well as cushions on chairs and sofas.
- Cover yourself and protect your body. Fleas don’t bite through clothing, so wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks to help prevent flea bites.
- Utilize proper insect repellent if outdoors in the warmer months. The CDC advises to use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone. Always follow product instructions.
Flea bites can be painful for both you and your pets and can spread disease. You should protect yourself, your home, and your business from a flea infestation.
If you have flea infestation or need to get rid of another pest or rodent, we are here to help. Contact us today for a free estimate.