Do Fleas Pose a Danger to My Health?
Fleas can make life a misery for our poor pets, but it turns out they’re not so great for our health either. While these pests prefer to feed on animals hosts, they’ll feed on humans if there’s no other option. Through their bites, fleas can both spread diseases and give you a nasty allergic reaction.
What Kind of Diseases Do Fleas Carry?
According to the CDC, fleas carry some nasty pathogens that can cause serious disease in humans including the plague, typhus, and parasites such as tapeworms.
Flea Bites and Allergic Reactions
As well as transmitting diseases, the bites themselves can cause an allergic reaction. If you have red spots surrounded by ‘halos’ on your lower legs and feet, they could be flea bites. Especially if you’ve seen other signs of fleas in your home.
When you are bitten by a flea, the flea’s saliva causes your body to release a chemical called histamine which is part of the immune response to an allergen. This can cause an allergic reaction.
If you have an allergic reaction to a flea bite, you’ll notice:
In mild cases
Swelling around the bite
In severe cases
A person can have a severe reaction to a flea bite. This happens when the immune system overreacts to the bite which causes anaphylactic shock. If someone goes into anaphylactic shock, they’ll notice:
A rash or hives on the body
Shortness of breath or wheezing
Swelling of the face, hands, mouth, or lips.
Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening, so get emergency medical treatment immediately, or use an EpiPen if you have one.
How Did I Get Fleas in My Home?
If you have pets, it’s a pretty safe bet that they hitched a ride in to your home on their fur. But if you don’t have pets, don’t think you’re safe. Fleas could be hiding out in that long grass where you’ve been walking and get in on your clothing. Or you could bring them into your home on second-hand furniture.
How Can I Get Rid of Fleas?
See your doctor for advice on how to treat flea bites with creams, lotions, and ointments to soothe itching and help the skin heal.
Treat your pets
If you have pets, visit your vet for advice on the best treatments.
Treat Your Home
• Wash pet bedding as well as any affected soft furnishings like cushion covers on the hottest possible wash. This will kill any flea larvae.
• Thoroughly vacuum your home, making sure not to forget sofas and curtains. Remove the hoover bag, seal it, and take it to your outside bin. If you have a bagless vacuum, empty the hoover in to a bin bag and secure it. Dispose of it in your outside bin.
• Keep your garden tidy. Fleas can hide and thrive in long grass and garden debris.
What If It Doesn’t Work?
Flea infestations can be hard to get rid of. While you can buy products to kill visible fleas, eggs and larvae could be lurking between your floorboards just waiting to start the cycle of infestation all over again. The only real way to get peace of mind and eliminate an infestation is to call in professional pest control.
Contego’s expert technicians know flea behaviour and they’ve got the professional products to get the job done.
Don’t wait and let yourself and your pets suffer.
Call Contego for help with fleas in your home.
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