The three different species of fleas that mostly attack humans are cat fleas, dog fleas and human fleas. These are tiny, wingless insects which are parasitic in nature. They feed themselves on the blood of humans and animals for survival. To obtain the food, they pierce their sharp jaws into the skin and suck blood from the body. Fleas are harmful to humans because they live on a number of hosts, and as a result, they can transmit diseases from one host to another.
Fleas mainly bite in the areas like waist, armpits, ankles, elbow joint and knee joint. They may also attack human hair and get stuck to the scalp. In adults, the symptoms associated with flea bites usually show up immediately within an hour or so. However, the first signs of this insect bite are often observed in children after a few days. Flea bites on humans can be easily identified with the itchy hives. There are some people who are highly sensitive towards flea bites and tend to get skin allergies. The symptoms in them is more severe and the itching sensation is not just confined to the skin rashes only but they feel it all over the body. In a day or two, the hives may change into itching blisters with a red halo surrounding them. When these bumps are scratched, they start bleeding. Later on, the skin in and around these injury sites swell up and secondary skin infections may also develop in them because of excessive scratching.
Treatment and Prevention
At the initial stage, the main aim of treatment is to bring down the intensity of constant itching sensation. Therefore, the first step is thorough washing of the flea bite area using antiseptic soap and cold water in order to disinfect it. Never use warm water over the hives as it may cause more itching. Then apply ice pack on the bite spots by wrapping up ice in a piece of cloth. This is done to reduce the skin inflammation.
You may get a strong urge to scratch the hives but you have to control that in order to reduce the risk of some bad infections. Calamine lotion or hydrocortisone creams can be used to get relief from the annoying skin irritation. To kill fleas on human hair, you can use white vinegar. Mix about one tablespoon of vinegar into a cup of shampoo and massage this mixture well into the scalp and hair. Wait for ten minutes and then rinse off thoroughly.
If the itchiness continue to bother you too much or pus discharge take place from the blisters, then consult a doctor. They prescribe antihistamine medicines for controlling the swelling and itching. Any bacterial skin infection is eliminated with the help of antibiotics. In some people, tapeworm infection is found which is spread by the fleas and hence, necessary treatment is required.
Fleas enter the house through a pet. Therefore, a crucial part of preventing further infestation is getting rid of the fleas from the pets and the house. Take your pet to the veterinarian for treatment. They will be given medicines for oral administration as well as lotions for topical application on their fur. While cleaning the house, give special attention to all those areas of the house which are used by your pet. Fleas mostly lay eggs on the carpet, upholstery, and furniture, etc. Vacuum clean these areas properly. You can use a flea killing spray or 'flea bomb' to make your house free from fleas. The outdoor areas need to be treated with insecticides.
You have to continue with this kind of house cleaning regime persistently after every couple of weeks to prevent any further flea infestation inside the house. Moreover, check your pet's fur from time to time to make sure they are not attacked by fleas all over again. If your house is badly infested by fleas or it recurs after regular intervals of time, then seek the help of professionals for the purpose of flea control.