Every species of common flea will look for a warm-blooded animal host, with cats and dogs being the pick of the lot. Occasionally however, fleas will find themselves separated from your pet and will happily latch onto you over missing a meal. The good news is that these fleas cannot survive – and therefore will not lay eggs – in your hair. The bad news, is that there is a more uncommon species called a human flea which will actively search for human hosts.
What Is The “Human Flea”?
Much as it sounds like a tertiary bad guy from a Marvel spin-off, adult pulex irritans will feed on a range of wild animals as well as human beings. To all practical purposes they look and act the same way as any other species of flea. They can spread from your hair to eyelashes, eyebrows and the pubic region and if discovered, must be dealt with as quickly as possible. If you live with a pet which you regularly pet or allow into your bedroom, there’s a very good chance that ordinary fleas will also use you as a host; the difference is that human fleas can hang around much longer.
What Symptoms Will I Have?
Fleas survive by biting through the skin and sucking blood from its host. After a few minutes, the pest will have had its share and will move away from the feeding area. In return, you will be left with a swollen, itchy red lump. Often these bites will appear in small clusters where feeding has taken place. Once bitten, it can take as long as several weeks for the swelling and redness to disappear.
Your bites may develop into a rash and scratching – which you must avoid as best you can – could lead to a bacterial infection. Fortunately, the risk of contracting any disease is extremely small. If you experience any symptoms which are not outlined here, then contact your doctor.
How To Remove Fleas
Bites are most common in warm areas such as your armpits and groin, behind your knees or around the ankles. They also like hairy areas – hence why so many fleas are attracted to cats and dogs – so they might take up residence in your scalp. Often, a hot shower with shampoo and a good deal of scrubbing with take care of any fleas on your body. You can use a fine-tooth comb to remove dead fleas or eggs from your hair. If you have a bad infestation, shaving your hair can be a practical means of removal. You can visit your pharmacist to discuss antihistamines and soothing creams if the itching becomes severe.
When it comes down to it, removing fleas from the body is fairly straightforward; it’s terminating the household infestation that’s the real problem. If you have a pet, wash and comb them and look into remedies for removing fleas from your home. Once the house is clean and free of pests, your problems with go with them.
The Last Word
Finally, for all the pet owners who love having man’s best friend curl up in bed with them on a Sunday morning; don’t do this. It’s the easiest way to transfer fleas to your mattress and almost guarantees you a few bites. Be careful, be wary and you should be fine.