Can humans get fleas? At the end of the day, fleas are blood sucking insects and humans are warm-blooded mammals, just like your dog or cat. Therefore, we are targets. Fleas cause more problems for our pets than for us, but we can still fall victim to their biting ways.
The reason fleas are not a more common problem for humans is due to our lack of body hair. Fleas thrive on dark, moist, and warm environments like our pets’ fur. This also makes these pests difficult to spot on our pets, while on humans, they would be more easily noticeable.
How Can Humans Get Fleas?
Human flea bites do happen and nine times out of ten it is due to our pets being infected. When your dog or cat is the target of a flea infestation, they are essentially acting as a carrier. Not only do you need to battle the live fleas, but you need to protect your home from future pest problems in the form of larvae and unhatched eggs. Similar to pet fur, flea larvae and eggs are often found buried in thick carpeting and furniture, as it is most like their natural habitat.
However, unlike pets, humans do not need, nor can they take, tick and flea prevention medicine. We repeat, do not use pet prevention products on yourself or your family members. The best way to prevent flea bites to yourself is to protect your pet year round. This will ensure your dog and home remain flea-free.
What Fleas Can Humans Get?
At least three types of fleas commonly bite humans: canine fleas, feline fleas, and human fleas. If you start to develop or notice small red bumps or a localized itchy rash, one of these types of fleas may be biting you.
Thankfully, treatment for all types of flea bites is universal and fairly straightforward. Simply wash the affected area gently with antiseptic soap. This will prevent any infections from developing. It will also reduce the “itch-factor,” which is the top complaint among humans with flea bites. To soothe your skin post bathing, simply apply ice or over the counter anti-itch creams, including hydrocortisone, aloe, and calamine lotions. From there, the healing process will begin. Do not scratch! It will only slow your recovery and make your flea bites more susceptible to infection.
Flea-borne Diseases Can Affect Humans
Fleas are more than just a surface nuisance. Most people are not aware of the fact that fleas can spread nasty diseases to both pets and humans. They can cause serious illnesses in humans, including but not limited to murine typhus and mycoplasma haemofelis. Some flea-borne pet diseases such as cat scratch disease can even be passed on to humans by their pets. Thus ignoring a flea infestation can not only compromise your pet’s health but also jeopardize the health of you and your family members.
This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard or delay seeking professional advice due to what you may have read on our website.