What is Flea Infestation?
Fleas are reddish-brown insects that mostly feed on the blood of animals, but can also feed on the blood of humans. They travel by jumping from one person to another or from animal to human.(1)
Home can get infested with fleas if your pet brings in these parasites. You may not even be aware of their presence until a large infestation has occurred.
Fleas are small and can easily hide in the upholstery. Their body is armored and it is impossible to crush, and they can easily thrive on the carpet.
Although it may be difficult to detect flea infestation, if it has occurred you would find your pet scratching more or multiple fleas hopping on your furniture or curtains.
Causes of Flea Infestation
Pets can bring fleas into the house. They get flea from another pet, infested dirt or grass outside. The fleas reproduce and more fleas can infest the house. They can hide in the furniture, bedding, and floor cracks.
Fleas breed in warm and moist places. This is why infestation worsens in summers and slows down in winters.(2)
The warmth in the house provides an ideal environment for the flea to reproduce and grow.
How To Know That Your House Is Infested With Fleas?
There are a few signs that you may notice when your house is infested with fleas.(3)
- Fleas hopping on the carpet, furniture, and drapery
- Numerous dot-like insects seen on pet’s fur
- YOUR pet biting or licking their fur excessively
- You experience flea bites
- Brown or black debris throughout the fur coat of the pet, which could be pets dirt
- Scabs on the pets or loss of fur from the infested area
- There may be pale gums due to blood loss
Also, animals infested with flea are susceptible to tapeworms, as tapeworms use flea as their host. If your pet’s stools have a tapeworm, be sure of the pet having flea infestation.
How To Know If You Have Been Bitten By A Flea?
The fleas present on your pet may jump from their body onto yours to feed on blood. When a flea bites, the body releases histamine as a reaction to their saliva.
Histamine leads to red, itchy bumps at the location, which may get bigger along with the itching worsening.
Fleabites in humans are mostly located in the lower legs and feet and are characterized by red spots surrounded by a red halo. Other symptoms of flea bite include:
- swelling around the bite
A flea bite is mostly diagnosed on the basis of physical examination. Symptoms begin as soon as the flea bites. A veterinarian may be needed to check and treat flea bites.
Allergic Reaction After A Flea Bite
A few people may notice an allergic reaction to a flea bite. This happens due to the overreaction of the immune system to the flea bite, which may lead to the release of histamine. There could also be a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.
The symptoms of anaphylaxis include:
- Intense itching
- Shortness of breath or wheezing
- Swelling on face, hand, mouth, and lips
- Rash and hives on the body
Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and need to be treated immediately. Call for emergency care right away, if you get an allergic reaction to the flea bite.
How To Get Rid Of Flea Infestation
To get rid of a flea infestation, it is important to treat yourself, your pets, and your home.
Fleabites can be treated with over the counter ointments and lotions.
Pets can be treated by washing their fur with anti-flea shampoo and anti-flea powder. You can make them wear an anti-flea collar or put medication on them thereafter.
It is important to clean the area of the home where the pets spend maximum time. You can clean the carpets with a vacuum cleaner and a disposable bag.
The furniture can also be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner. Make sure after vacuuming, take the vacuum out of the house and dispose of the bag outside only.
Flea-killing sprays and powders are also available that can be used to eliminate flea infestation from the house.
How To Prevent Flea Infestation?
A flea infestation can be very frustrating and very challenging to eliminate.
To prevent it from happening it is important to take the following steps:
- Vacuuming frequently can help remove flea and debris, which are used by the flea to camouflage
- Mow your lawns regularly and keep the yard free from weeds and grasses
If you frequently experience flea infestation, keeping anti-flea products at home is important. They can be applied to the carpets and floors directly to destroy eggs and larvae.