Flea is a small external parasite that lives by sucking the blood of the host. They attack mostly mammals, but they can also be found on birds. Fleas can’t fly because they don’t have wings, instead of that they have hind legs to jump, a firm mouth that can pierce human skin. The size of the flea is 3 millimeters, that is approximately 0.12 inches. This small parasite can actually jump a distance that is 50 times larger than they self. Because of that ability fleas are capable of changing host very fast. And it is worth to mention that there are 2500 different species of fleas and each of them is unique in their own form.
Life Cycle of Fleas
Fleas go through 4 stages in their life.
The first stage is egg stage. Fleas lay eggs, and it depends on the species how much eggs will be laid. Some species lay more eggs than others. Eggs need from two days to up to four weeks to hatch; hatching also depends on the flea species.
The second stage is the larva. The larva is born from hatching the egg, and the larva feeds on any organic matter that finds. The larva eats dead tissue, egg parts, feces and vegetable materials found around. The larva is blind and does not like the sun because of that is found in dark places, under rocks, bed, carpet and other areas near organic material that is providing a cover from the light.
The third stage is pupa. If the larva got adequate food, it would grow into a cocoon. In pupa stage, it goes through metamorphosis and transforms into a grown adult. The metamorphosis process last from four days to up to several weeks, it all depends on the conditions and if the host is nearby.
Last, the fourth stage is an adult stage. The adult flea primary job is to find blood and reproduce. Adult fleas can live from 2 to 3 months generally. But if there is no host around to provide blood, an adult flea can live just a few days. And if you put fleas in ideal conditions with a good host, temperature and humidity fleas life can expand to up to a year and even more.
Like already mentioned fleas are parasites that look for the host to suck blood. The perfect hosts for fleas are humans. But they can bite dogs or even cats as well as other animals. In modern time human flea bites are not that common because we are living in a clean environment that is just not ideal for fleas to grow. But if you live in the village and if you work with animals you may get bites from fleas. More fleas bite dogs and cats than humans, so most of the time human flea bites are inflicted by dogs or cats fleas. In other words, your pets may be the reason for flea bites.
What do flea bites look like?
The most crucial question is if you are really bitten by a flea or something else. Many insects bite us and you can’t be sure that it is flea that did the bites. But if you have a red itchy dot on the skin and there are more of them in the same area, then you can be quite sure that the bites are made by a flea. Bellow, you can see some examples of human flea bites in the picture.
How Long do Flea Bites Last
Not everyone is same, and some people may have flea bites for a longer time than others. Some flea bites may be gone in just of a couple of hours while if you scratch the healing process may be delayed and can take up to several weeks. There are unusual states when the flea bites last for several years. This prolonged healing process is very rare, but few people may have such flea bites if they are too sensitive to fleas.
Allergic Reaction to Flea Bites
Allergic reactions are also rare, but some people may be allergic to flea bites. You will know if the allergic reaction is happening if the place around the flea bite is swollen and if the big red circle is forming. If that is the case, you should seek immediate treatment, and the first thing you should do is talk to your doctor.
Flea Bites on Humans
Like already mentioned humans are rarely infected by flea bugs because the modern living makes the place we live very clean and not friendly environment for fleas. But still human do get bites from flea because most of the people have dogs or cats and fleas just love sucking blood from them.
How to Treat Flea Bites on Humans
Flea bites are most of the time not hazard to your health, they may make you a little bit nervous and itchy, but that is about all. In very rare circumstances things get complicated. The first thing you should do is to stop scratching. Never scratch and flea bite will be gone in just a few hours. If you can’t help yourself and the area of the bite is just too itchy, you may use some lotion or cream to help you with the itching. Cold water or even ice is also good treatment because with a cold you will prevent swelling and in that way reduce itching part. If nothing helps and the bites are just too itchy, you can talk to your doctor, and he may prescribe antihistamine cream or lotion which will for sure prevent any itching and help with inflammation prevention.
Flea Bites on Dogs
Dogs are well known by fleas. The only dog that is free from fleas is the one that never leaves the leash. But dogs need to be free, and you need to let them run and go in places that are most probably infected by fleas. Because of that, there are many products to treat fleas on your dog.
How to Treat Flea Bites on Dogs
Dogs can treat them self; they will use teeth and bite the fleas off and even probably eat them. Dogs are like that. But if you like to help your dog with flea bites, you can give a nice warm bath to your dog with anti-flea shampoo. Make sure the anti-flea shampoo is made for dogs because each animal have different skin type and you don’t want to add more fire to the problem by using a wrong shampoo. If you don’t like shampoos, you can use a homemade a mixture of baking soda and water. Just bath your dog in water and then add baking soda on the dog’s fur, after that just wash the soda from the dog. This process will not only clean the dog from all other parasites and dirt, but it will also help with flea bites that itch.
Flea Bites on Cats
Cats are much cleaner pets than dogs, but still, they may get infested by fleas. Just like dogs, cats need to go out, and you never know through what places they go and if the place is free of fleas. Most probably fleas are on your cats, but cats are very hygiene oriented pets and most of the fleas they clean on their own, but still if you have concerns about fleas on your cats you can buy some products to get rid of fleas on the cats.
How to Treat Flea Bites on Cats
Cats are different animals than dogs, and you will have a problem with bathing the cat. Cats just don’t like water. One good solution for cats that don’t like to bath is making an anti-flea bite spray. You can make such a spray at home or buy in a store. There are various recipes online, and some of them work better than others.
How to Prevent Flea Bites
The main goal for every pet owner should be to prevent flea bites, or we can even say to remove fleas from the pet’s environment. There are many anti-flea products on the market, and some of them are very easy to apply. For example, anti-flea collar is just put around the neck of the dog or cat. This is very easy prevention, and every pet owner should do this. Another easy solution is to use a flea comb. Just get outdoors and comb your pet. Your pet will love this because it will remove itching and will also remove all fleas. Other than this method you should keep the pets place clean and make sure that you clean your rooms regularly. There are also many anti-flea products that help in flea bites prevention, and we will talk about them in other topics in more details.
I hope this website will help you get rid of fleas in your home and help you keep your pets free from it. Getting rid of fleas is not hard but it requires some job, and my job is to help you with all the information I can.