Fleas are tiny, irritating insects. Their bites are itchy and sometimes painful, and getting rid of them is hard. Sometimes professional pest control treatment may be required.
Fleas reproduce quickly, especially if you have pets in the household. But even if you don’t have pets, your yard can potentially play host to fleas, and you may end up with a bunch of mysterious bites.
What are fleas?
Fleas are tiny bugs. They don’t grow much larger than the tip of a pen, and they range from light brown to almost black in color.
They don’t have wings so they get around by jumping from place to place.
Their thin, flat bodies and hard shells mean you often need to squeeze them between fingernails or two hard surfaces to kill them. Even then, where there is one, many often follow.
They’re also almost impossible to get rid of without a pesticide treatment.
What do fleabites look like?
Fleabites are pretty distinctive. They remain small, unlike mosquito bites. If a flea bites you, you may see one or more of 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
Fleabites are also common around the waist, armpits, breasts, groin, or in the folds of the elbows and knees.
What are the symptoms of a fleabite?
Fleabites exhibit several common symptoms. They are very itchy, and the skin around each bite may become sore or painful. And you may experience hives or develop a rash near the site of a bite.
Additionally, excessive scratching can further damage the skin and a secondary bacterial infection can develop.
Avoid scratching if you can, and monitor your bite areas for signs of an infection, including white-topped blisters or a rash.
Can fleabites cause other problems?
For humans, the risk of contracting another disease from the flea is very, very small. That’s not true for your pets, however.
It’s important to take them to a vet if they have fleas.
If I have fleas in my house, how will I know?
If you have a four-legged furry animal in your home, you probably know exactly where fleas are found.
Fleas prefer to live on your pet dog or cat, but they can also take up residence on another animal, or even you. If the population grows, fleas can branch out and begin living in carpets, bedding, or your yard.
A bad flea infestation can be very obvious. Try walking on your carpet wearing white socks. Look at your socks afterward. If you see tiny black bugs, those are likely fleas.
I don’t have pets. Could I still have fleabites?
Yes, fleas will bite petless humans, too. If you don’t have a pet, your fleabites could be coming from your yard or another person’s animal.
Fleas prefer tall grass and shaded areas near decks, woodpiles, or storage buildings.
Just as pet owners have to treat their homes if they become infested, getting rid of an outdoor flea infestation may require you to treat your yard.
If you find yourself battling tiny red bites after a day in your yard consult a pest control expert.
How are fleabites treated?
Fleabites will go away without treatment. However, in order to stop being bitten you have to stop the fleas.
Your pet and your home will need to be treated with pesticides to kill the fleas. Professional pest control experts should administer these treatments.
In most cases, you will need to leave your home for several hours after the treatment has been deployed.
Do-it-yourself home treatments are available for fleas, but if they do not work, you may need to seek professional help.
Avoid scratching the area. If you notice signs of an infection at the bite site, such as a white pocket or rash, make an appointment to see your doctor.
Get rid of fleas for good!
To find out if you have a flea problem, check your pet. Move back their fur to look for fleas or fleabites on the skin.
Also, if they have been scratching more frequently, this may be a sign they’ve got fleas.
Take your pet to the vet, and then have your home treated professionally by a pest control expert. Only then can you control your fleabites and prevent further itchy, scratchy bumps. To prevent your dog from being reinfested, try a flea collar.