Are Fleas Dangerous To Humans?◀ Back To Blog
May 22, 2016
Fleas are a lot of things. Have you ever swung your legs out of bed only to have fleas appear out of nowhere and land on your ankles? Fleas are definitely sneaky. Have you ever been kept awake half the night because your dog kept scratching and thump, thump, thumping his leg against the wall? Fleas can be very annoying. Have you ever captured one in your hand and it either vanished before your eyes or simply refused to be crushed? Fleas can be hard to kill. Yes. Fleas are a lot of things. But are these tiny little bugs really dangerous to humans? Read on and decide for yourself.
According to the Centers For Disease Control, fleas are still a vector for the plague. Though it certainly is not as dangerous as it once was back in the Middle Ages, the black death, also commonly called the bubonic plague, is still lurking today. Even if you do not have pets, potentially, anyone could contract this disease which causes symptoms like fever, headache, chills, weakness and one or more swollen, tender, painful lymph nodes. The bacteria multiply in the lymph node closest to where the bacteria entered the body. If the person does not receive appropriate antibiotics, the bacteria can spread. While you're not likely to die of the plague with modern advancements in medicine, you may wish you had.
Fleas also spread tungiasis. The burrowing flea, Tunga penetrans, is known to cause lesions, a white patch with a black spot in the center. But you don't have to worry about this flea in our area, so we will gladly move on.
Fleas can carry typhus. Typhus can be spread, not only by fleas but also by mites, lice or ticks. When a person scratches a bite infected with typhus, the skin opens and allows the bacteria to enter the bloodstream. Symptoms include a headache, fever, chills and a rash.
Fleas can carry spotted fever. This disease is also transmitted by ticks and the symptoms include a high fever, chills, severe headache, muscle aches, nausea and vomiting and insomnia. After a few days of the initial onset of the fever, a red, non-itchy rash appears.
In pets, fleas can cause flea allergy dermatitis, tapeworms, hair loss and skin irritations. Also, if a pet has a large number of fleas, this can cause anemia, especially in puppies and kittens.
Fleas cause tapeworms. These usually only appear in pets, but they may appear in small children if fleas, or parts of fleas, are accidentally consumed.
If you came to this article to find out if fleas are dangerous, we hope you found your answer. But just in case you have other questions about fleas, we'd be happy to help you with that as well. People call all the time with pest questions, and some questions we get about fleas include: "What do fleas look like?" "How do we get them out of our home?" and "How soon can you be here?" If you are wondering about these things--or you have any questions at all about pests--reach out to us today. Fleas are a lot of things. But they don't have to be in your home! Get help today when you call the pest experts here at Thomas Pest Services!