Why Do I Get Flea Bites?

PET CHECK BLOG - Close up of a Flea

\\\ Pet Fleas

\\\ updated 8 October 2021

Do you have pets?

Are your pets constantly scratching?

Can’t stop itching the spot where they’ve nipped you?

Fleas are so annoying making pets itch non-stop and if you’ve experienced being bitten, you know exactly how they feel.

You can be bitten without owning pets by simply sitting on a park bench and a flea jumping onto your leg, particularly ankles, for example, but fleas desired res-des location ideally is living on your household pets.

They may jump onto your clothing when you’re out and about, hitching a ride home with you, jumping off and taking up residence on your pet.

Fleas can’t bite through clothing, so when wearing long sleeves, trousers and closed shoes there’s less likely hood of them biting you. During winter, pets may suffer less in your household but when the weather starts becoming warmer, sunny Spring days, fleas may be back with vengeance.

Fleas are parasites feeding on other animals, living on their bodies, hidden away in their coats, and when hungry will feed off humans. A flea can live from 14 days to one year and females reproduce up to 50 eggs a day.

The bites are small, raised dark reddish spots and those allergic to fleas’ saliva will find skin becomes swollen and extremely itchy. Scratching the bite actually makes the bacteria get in and may cause infections. Infected fleas may be able to pass on disease or parasites such as tapeworms. Action is needed and spring cleaning around the home is a great way to be rid of any nasty unwanted residents.

\\\ Flea Treatments

Dog continually scratching

Continuously Scratching?

Regular Routine Pet Treatments

The best way and most effective way to be rid of fleas in a pet household is to use flea treatments designed especially for your pet. These generally alleviate acute problems between 24-48 hours from being applied through your pets coats.

Once applied the medication will kill the adult fleas and prevent new ones from hatching. The treatments can help pets between one and two months being flea-free according to the manufacturers guide.

Leaving your pets with flea infestations can seriously harm their health, especially kittens and rabbits who become anaemic very quickly and the condition becomes life threatening.

Image of flea attached to pet skin

Pet Treatments Available

The pet market has a host of differing treatments available. Vets advise using ‘spot on’ products, regularly applying products and to also take the opportunity to worm your dog and cat.

Cat flea collars are less recommended because they can cause skin problems with constant wearing.

More importantly is the growing flea treatments available by companies offering dedicated monthly subscription services with treatments tailored for your pet. This can be an invaluable way to remember every month to regularly flea your pet with their boxes dropping through your letterbox. Try Itchpet.com who offer a range of home treatment subscription services.

Most supermarkets and pet shops offer a range of products to suit your pet pocket. It’s important not to mix products between cats and dogs where they are not designed to be used for that pet.

Spring Cleaning

Fleas will fall around the home from your pet’s coat anytime, but more so after treatment when they are dead. You may find living fleas disguised, hiding in a rug or on wooden flooring that will need sweeping up quickly and disposing off outside.

Regularly cleaning – not just in springtime – is essential.

Hoover up around the home several times in the first 24-48 hours after applying treatment as you will find the dead fleas are dropping off your pets’ coats, and regularly hoover after that.

Clean the floors, skirtings and surfaces that your pet frequents. Clean soft surfaces such as settees, curtains, cushions where they may be living.

A good high-temperature wash of their beds and blankets is highly recommended to kill off any remaining parasites still alive and lurking.

If your home is not cleaned and protected then your pet will not become flea-free.

PET CHECK BLOG - Flea bites close up on a human

Human Flea Bites

Some humans can be allergic to fleas and bites which may cause severe reactions. Medicenet provide online information and tips as to some of the best over-the-counter treatments. (Image close up of flea bites on a human)

Walks In The Country

If your an outdoors person that loves walking off road, fields, camping, hiking with or without your pet, then take precautions when returning to your transport home by brushing and shaking clothing and accessories making sure you haven’t picked up any of these unwanted passengers.

Wearing long sleeves, trousers, boots and hats always help you to stop you being bitten.

New Pet Owners

If you’re unsure about using treatments, then contact your veterinary practice or your vet insurer 24/7 video service that can talk you through the process. It isn’t difficult but treatments are important to exercise.

Most insurance companies do not cover you for routine treatments costs such as flea, worming and dental treatments.

Many insurance companies will not process insurance claims if regular routine treatments have not been maintained by you for your pet and your pets disease could have been prevented if you had maintained treatments.

Pet Rabbits

It’s not just dog and cats in your home that can suffer from fleas but indoor and outdoor pet rabbits can be prone. Fleas will simply jump from pet to pet inside and outside the home.

Domestic dog and cat flea products are not designed for pet rabbits and can actually kill your rabbit. It’s essential to take your pet rabbit to your vet on the first occasion to ensure your pet rabbit receives the correct treatments and you can be best advised as to how to prevent further infestations.

Scents around the home

Ways to prevent you and your dogs getting bitten can include using pure essential oil reed diffusers and quality pure essential oil scented candles. Fleas may not like some quite common scents such as eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree, citronella, and rosemary. Cats do not like these scents either so do take care where you locate your scent vessel, so that cats in particularly cannot smell the fragrance too much, or knock it over.

Take care using candles when you have a pet household, and never leave unattended. Pets near candles can accidentally singe their coats simply by brushing close by.

Infestations

If you have repeatably used treatments for your pets and / or your home which is still infested then it may be time to call local pest control businesses to deal with the problem in a more industrial way. These can be found simply by a local online ‘yell.com’ search.

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