Every year, more and more pet owners find themselves fighting the good fight. What fight is that? The fight against fleas. Cats, dogs, rabbits, and even some other pets like gerbils can get fleas. The truth is, even humans can get fleas, sort of. There is a special kind of flea that can regularly feed off of humans that’s not normally found in the United States. Will fleas live in human hair? The cat flea, the flea found most often in the United States on dogs and cats, can use human hair to travel, but does not inhabit human hair.
Many insects will use humans or other animals as a way to hitch a ride to a new habitat. Fleas can do the same. If you have fleas in your home, one could theoretically hide on your person, presumably in your hair, and then jump off when you arrive at a relatives house. This is a way that fleas, and other insects, can spread infestations over larger areas. But the fleas that we have here that infect your dog or cat are blood feeders, and they prefer the blood of your pets.
KINDS OF FLEAS
There are over 2,000 different kinds of fleas in the world. But here in North America, there are far fewer that actually interact with humans. The cat flea is the most prominent. Contrary to its name, it actually prefers to feed off of multiple animals, including cats and dogs. If your pet has fleas, it probably has cat fleas. There are also dog fleas, but these are rare in North America. They are much like the cat flea, but are found predominantly in North America. Your Broken Arrow exterminator can get you more details.
Many rodents have fleas. There are two kinds of fleas that infect rats. These fleas are responsible many diseases including bubonic plague. Rabbits also have a specific kind of flea that attack them. Outside of this, there are few other fleas that exist in North America that can be found commonly in our households. There is a human flea that does attack humans, but it is not found in the United States.
THE HUMAN FLEA
The human flea, or house flea as it has been called, actually will feed on a number of animals including people. It is found predominantly in South America, but has been showing up more in the midwest of the United States. This flea does live its adult stages of life anywhere on the body where there is hair. This can be the eyelashes, eyebrows, armpits or pubic areas.
The biggest difference between a cat flea and human flea is the area behind its head. The cat flea has a comb, or group of spines or hairs, to help it grip when feeding. The human flea doesn’t have these. This is a differentiation that an entomologist could make, but if you are concerned, a medical doctor should be able to identify any issues that you are having. Get help from your local Tulsa pest control company.
FLEAS AND DISEASE
There are many diseases associated with fleas. These insects feed on the blood of their hosts. Because of the way in which they feed, this makes them vectors or many dangerous diseases in dogs, cats and humans. One of these diseases is the bubonic plague. Many people falsely assume that this disease died out in the middle ages, but it is still around. Today, with a better understanding of it, we have antibiotics that can combat it, but if left untreated, it can still be lethal. We still have outbreaks in the south and midwest of the United States.
Flea bites can cause skin irritation and loss of hair from excessive scratching at the bite location. In extreme cases, a large number of flea bites can cause anemia. This is when so much blood has been consumed, that the animal or person has a dangerously low blood count. This normally only happens will small puppies or kittens, or elderly animals. Murine typhus, cat scratch fever and tapeworms also can be transmitted to you or your pet by fleas. Protect these loved ones with a service from your Tulsa exterminator.
Like most other fleas, the common cat flea undergoes a full metamorphosis. This means that they begin in an egg, and then a worm like larva hatches, then enters the cocoon like pupa state, and finally emerges as a sexually mature adult. The eggs are loosely attached to the hosts skin, where they will fall off, usually where the animal sleeps. Once the eggs hatch, the larva will feed off of dead skin from the host and droppings from other adult fleas.
The droppings of the other adult fleas contain undigested particles of blood that the larva will use as a food source. After they have sufficiently grown, they will cocoon into a pupa state. They can stay in this state for quite a long time until they sense the warmth and vibration of a host animal. At this point, they will emerge and attach to the animal as an adult flea. They will bite and feed on the blood of the animal, mate and being the reproductive process all over again.
GETTING RID OF FLEAS
Removal of fleas from your home requires a two pronged attack. Firstly, your veterinarian will need to prescribe the appropriate flea treatment for your animal. This may be a collar, dip, pill or some other method of administering flea repellant. Once this is done, it will be important that you contact a Broken Arrow pest control company to complete a flea treatment as soon as possible. Coordinating these two treatments will best eliminate fleas from your pet and your home.
TermMax Pest Control is the best company for the job. We are the best exterminator in Oklahoma. We service the greater Tulsa area including Owasso, Jenks, Bixby, Broken Arrow, Coweta, Sand Springs, Catoosa, Sapulpa, Claremore, Pratville, Turley, and much more. Call us today for a free estimate. We are here to help!