There is an entire ecosystem outside your home. In that ecosystem, there are a large variety of creatures that get around in all different ways. Most of these animals get from point A to point B on their own. But a select group use hosts in order to get from one place to another. Those are the pests we’re going to be talking about in this article or, more specifically, fleas!
Though fleas are capable of jumping an impressive distance for their size, they actually don't use that ability to get around. Instead, they jump onto passing mammals and let those mammals transport them around. This creates a symbiotic relationship between them. In the case of fleas, this symbiosis is parasitic in nature meaning the fleas do not provide any benefit to the animals they take as a host. In fact, they do the exact opposite!
Fleas are parasitic pests that need to bite their hosts in order to get the blood meals they need to survive. When they do, they can contract diseases from the animal they feed on. If the disease is zoonotic, meaning it’s able to be spread from animals to humans, it can present a significant threat to homeowners. Therefore, it’s important to understand how this works if you want to protect yourself and the others living in your home from fleas.
When fleas contract a disease, they can spread it directly to you or someone else through their bites. This can happen when fleas are carried into your home on your pet or other invading animal and an infestation takes root. While fleas prefer to feed on the blood of cats and dogs, they'll also bite humans to get the blood meals they need.
If rodents find a way into your home, they can spread flea eggs around and cause an infestation in your home. When flea infestations begin in this way, there is an even greater chance of disease since mice and rats often enter into filthy, bacteria-laden areas in search of food such as dumpsters and sewage culverts.
The diseases linked to fleas are the plague, murine typhus, bartonellosis, tularemia, flea allergy dermatitis, and more. These diseases can affect humans as well as dogs and cats. The effects of these illnesses range from minor to serious, depending on many factors.
If your pet gets bitten by a flea and contracts an illness, your pet can then expose you to that illness as well. Some of these diseases can be spread by touching an area of skin irritation on your pet or inhaling droplets when your pet coughs. Some diseases can transfer when the saliva of your pet touches your eye or an open wound. We know it sounds gross, but these are all real threats and it’s important to be aware of them.
Since fleas bites can cause itching and scratching them can lead to open wounds, increasing the chances of these diseases being spread from pet to human. The likelihood of disease transmission is also increased because your dog or cat may only have a mild reaction to diseases that can make you seriously ill, meaning you may not even realize they have it. For example, cat scratch fever, which is caused by the bacterium Bartonella henselae, will only cause your cat to experience a mild for a few days, but it can make you very sick.
It may seem strange, but the parasites we call "fleas" often carry another parasite inside their bodies. Fleas commonly expose pets to tapeworms. This often happens when pets accidentally swallow a flea while grooming themselves. Fortunately, tapeworms aren't usually a big problem for pets. They generally present only mild discomfort for pets and can be easily treated. But those tapeworms can cause serious issues for humans.
While most flea bites aren't much to worry about, there is a risk involved in having a flea infestation in your New Jersey home. That is why we strongly recommend that homeowners have a pest control professional come deal with the fleas in their home.
If you're in our New Jersey service area, there are a few ways our service professionals here at Arrow Pest Control can help you control your flea problems. For current infestations, we can apply EPA-approved products to stop the cycle of reproduction and create a flea-free environment in your home. After this is done, or before a flea infestation has a chance to take root, we can help you create a barrier around your home that is resistant to fleas and other household pests. We also provide control options for rodents, which can carry fleas inside and increase the potential for flea diseases. And the best part, this flea protection is part of our year-round residential pest control service packages! To find out which one is right for your home, reach out to us today. We’re here to help!
Request Your Free Inspection
Schedule Your No Obligation Inspection Today
Recent Blog Posts
Read the latest articles & news