Pet owners know all about fleas. They see their pets scratching and getting itches from them all the time. What many people don't realize is that fleas also bite humans. Just as fleas use pets as hosts, humans are also considered targets
Fleas are hardy pests that have proven difficult to get rid of simply due to their numbers and ease of mobility. When getting rid of a large amount of fleas, it's important to do thorough cleanings so that they don't have a chance to reproduce, as they are prone to do rapidly.
Not sure if you've been bitten by fleas? Here's how to tell:
Reactions from flea bites can range from mild to severe. Usually it starts off with a small, red welt over the bitten area. After 24- to 48 hours, it may start becoming itchy and start to spread to other areas.
On humans, fleas typically bite around the feet and ankles because of their proximity to the ground. You could also end up with hives and rashes that may bleed.
Itchiness from flea bites can be treated with hydrocortisone cream for relief. Antihistamines can help with severe inflammation.
While most people have no reaction to flea bites other than itchiness, some may possess allergic reactions. If this is the case, make an appointment with a doctor so they can recommend solutions for relief.
You can also take soothing baths with oatmeal to help calm the itching and relieve irritated skin. Lotions and bath powders can be found at health food stores and organic markets. Avoid products that contain perfumes and dyes, as these can further irritate the skin.
The best way to treat flea bites is to treat the home with insecticides and other solutions that stop fleas from making their way into the home.
Pets are often the culprit for harboring fleas and bringing them into the home. Inspect the fur regularly for flea droppings and wash your pets with flea-killing shampoo. This is especially important to do after pets have been outside for long periods of time.
You should also wash any bedding they sleep on, including your own. Use a high-powered vacuum across carpeting and rugs to extract any eggs and larvae the fleas may have produced.
Keeping the grass on your lawn is another way to stop fleas from latching onto the legs of humans and pets.
Lawn Care as Prevention
Most homeowners discount how important lawn care is in keeping pests away from the home. Fleas can easily hide between tall grass blades and adeptly latch onto people and pets as they come in contact with the grass.
Mow every few days during the high season to keep grass low; minimize the amount of fertilizer to detract fleas from being attracted.
You should also treat the lawn with a mild pesticide to discourage fleas even further. Most lawns are already treated with some form of liquid or powder pesticide that should help keep fleas off your lawn.
Good Home Maintenance Does the Trick
In the end, keeping the home clean and well-maintained is the best way to keep yourself from getting bitten by fleas. Unlike ants or cockroaches, fleas don't go after pantry food or seek shelter where there is moisture; they want to feed on the blood of hosts, whether that's you or your pets.
Practicing the above methods and knowing how to recognize and remedy flea bites on humans can help you avoid the irritating effects of these annoying pests.