Can You Get Fleas From Your Pet?

Can You Get Fleas From Your Pet?When faced with a flea infestation in your home, you might be wondering whether they will pounce on you too. Fleas will prefer your pet as a host, but that’s not to say that they will necessarily leave you well alone.

While they are unlikely to use you as a host, they can and probably will bite you anyway.

Many households who experience a flea infestation will also notice at least a few fleas bites into the bargain.

Why Fleas Won’t Use You As A Host

Most of the fleas that will be attracted to your pet are “cat fleas”. Don’t be fooled by the name – they will happily feed off both dogs and cats. These fleas prefer their hosts to have fur. There is another type of flea which can live on humans, but these are not usually found in homes and are more commonly associated with wildlife.

“Cat” fleas are designed to bury themselves in animal fur and cling onto this while your pet moves around. With humans having less hair in comparison, this is a trickier job if they jump over to you. Human skin is not warm, dark or moist enough to provide an ideal environment for fleas, and this is a big factor in their preference for using our pets as their hosts.

However, fleas regularly jump around and can easily find their way over to you. While they won’t be all that keen on using you as a host, it is likely that you will be bitten regardless.

Treating Flea Bites 

If you are bitten, it will typically be on the ankles, lower legs, waist, armpits and inside elbow areas. Flea bites usually itch a lot – even more so if you are allergic. You’ll usually notice flea bites as a cluster of small red bumps. Because you are not being used as a host, there’s no need to take anti-flea medication – indeed, it would actually be dangerous to do this.

Instead, focus on treating the bites themselves and eradicating the flea infestation from your home. This involves continuous year-round treatment to protect your pet against fleas.

Treat flea bites with a mild antiseptic soap to guard against infection. Follow this by using ice or an over-the-counter itch relief medication to soothe itching and irritation. Products containing hydrocortisone, aloe or calamine ingredients can all reduce the intensity of the itching and curb the urge to scratch the bites. This is crucial as scratching will hinder the healing process and increase the chances of developing an infection.

Take advice from your doctor or pharmacist before using products on yourself.

[Photo Credits: cyborgsuzy]