They are pesky little critters which can cause a serious case of the itches for your poor pet. While they can seriously plague you furry friend, can they hop over the species barrier and annoy us too?
Can humans get fleas from their dogs?
Fleas are known as ectoparasites, which are parasites that live on the outside of their hosts and are thankfully much more obvious than internal parasites. So if you’ve noticed a dark speck on your white socks that suddenly appears and then disappears you may be in the presence of fleas.
There are many, many species of fleas and the type of flea that like canine and feline hosts don’t tend to enjoy being on a human. While they can hop over and bite us, they cannot actually survive without the blood of your pet’s species. Furthermore, humans are not “furry” enough to provide the fleas the security, coverage and warmth that they need.
A flea bite looks smaller than a mosquito bite and looks like the following:
- bites that appear as small, red bumps
- a red “halo” around the bite center
- bites in groups of three or four, or in a straight line
- bites that appear around the ankles or legs
Most fleas move on pretty quickly to find your pet or a safer spot in the home, which is why flea infestations need to be treated on both your pet and around the home.
Flea bites on a human do not require treatment. Simply cleanse the area and apply an anti-itch cream to speed up healing.
It is very unusual for a flea to remain on a human for more than one or two bites, but it is important that if you notice fleas on you, your pet or in your home that you provide treatment as it can quickly escalate into a very uncomfortable situation for everyone.
How do I provide prevention for my pet?
Dogs and cats can share the same fleas, so it is important that all your pets have a preventative. Popular choices are Frontline Plus, Seresto, Bravecto and Nexgard.
How do I protect my home?
It’s important to remember that most products for home treatment are effective against only the adult flea. Before applying any environmental product vacuum all the floors to stimulate the pre-adult fleas to emerge from their protective cocoons. Make sure that the vacuum cleaner is emptied and cleaned well after use.
The best way to deal with fleas is to keep your pet on year-round prevention to stop infestation from ever occurring. Ask a Pet Doctors team member for the best recommendations.