Flea Bites: Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment

A flea bite itches and rarely comes alone. But these are only the symptoms, which are relatively small compared to the risk of disease transmission. You can avoid flea bites by taking preventive action against fleas and treating your pets accordingly.

You can find out everything about flea bites in this article.

The Flea Bite: An Underestimated Risk

With a maximum adult size of three millimeters, a flea is truly tiny. But you should not underestimate it and the danger it poses. Every dog or cat owner has almost certainly been infested by a flea at least once. Fleas on humans are not uncommon.

Flea bites itch and burn, look like eczema due to their placement and curvature, and can become infected if not treated properly. The stimulus to scratch increases immeasurably. But this is exactly what you should not do if you do not want the flea bite to become inflamed and lead to an infection.

What You Should Know About Fleas

From the egg to the larva to the end of life of a flea, 130 days pass. This is a long period of time if you consider that you never actually see the pest itself. At the latest when a flea jumps up in front of your eyes, it is a bigger problem, and usually more than one animal.

After hatching, fleas can live without food for about 14 days. But once they have bitten you, it is over with the rest. Once they have licked blood, fleas now need food every 24 hours or they die.

Good news: You can shorten the life span of fleas by controlling them completely and also taking care of the up to 2,000 eggs per flea.

How Flea Bites Occur

In the beginning, there is the question of whether flea bites or flea stings are involved. Both are true, but considering the chewing tools, flea bite is more accurate. To get to your blood, the adult parasite bites into your skin.

Here it usually looks for a place that is well supplied with blood and particularly thin-skinned. The place where you have a flea bite also depends on where the fleas live in your home. If they have made themselves comfortable on the carpet, you will be bitten mostly on the calves and shins.

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If they live in the upholstered furniture or in a blanket in your bed, flea bites can show up all over your body.

The Symptoms Of A Flea Bite

Flea bites have very distinct and hard to mistake symptoms. The bites are small, very red, and firm. Unlike a bed bug bite, a flea bite does not bleed. There is also practically no danger of confusion with an insect bite.

Flea bites itch, can be seen in a line-to-ring pattern, and can also occur in areas that are actually covered. If one or more of the symptoms look familiar to you, it will be a flea bite and not the bite of an insect or bed bug.

Do you or your baby have diarrhea? This may also indicate a flea bite – if there are small white particles in the feces.

Strong Itching Indicates Flea Bites

There are few bites that itch as much as flea bites. You must know that fleas usually bite at night and that you do not even feel the flea bite itself. But you wake up, which is due to the strong and never-ending itching.

Fleas stun your skin with a substance in their saliva, so they can bite you unhindered and consume your blood. What itches, in the end, is the saliva that penetrates your skin through the bite and causes irritation. Tip: The more you scratch, the more itchy a flea bite will be.

A Flea Bite Rarely Occurs Individually

You will hardly notice a single flea bite. If you have been bitten by a flea, the bites are arranged in a line or in a slight curve. Flea bites are also called flea lines because of their format, and they show exactly where the first and where the last bite occurred. The hungry parasite sucks a larger amount of blood, which also makes the wounds larger.

The Phenomenon Of Flea Street

The term flea street stands for the multiple bites produced by one and only one parasite. So, if you have numerous flea bites all over your lower leg or over your hip area, you don’t have to assume that you have a convolute of fleas.

A single animal can bite ten times or more, so even a large number of visible flea bites does not indicate a worrying vermin infestation.

Fleas Come From Dogs And Cats

It’s a fact. If you share your home with a dog or cat, there is practically nothing you can do about an occasional flea bite. The parasites are found in the fur of your pet, which brings them into your home and provides them with a good “place to go” on the carpet or on a blanket.

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Even indirect contact, for example when cuddling, a flea can jump from your dog to you and plague you with its bites. You can do something against it. You will learn more about this in one of the following paragraphs.

Even Wild Animals Can Bring In Fleas

Even without your own pets, a flea bite is not impossible. Do you have hedgehogs in your garden or are you happy that your neighbor’s cats occasionally visit and make themselves comfortable on your terrace? Attention: Flea bite danger!

Even without animal contact, flea bites can become a problem and spoil your summer. However, the main carriers are our cute and generally very popular hedgehogs. In their spines sit numerous fleas, which are stripped on the nightly tours on blades of grass and dare to jump when you pass by.

Does A Flea Bite Make You Sick?

Unfortunately, the only answer to this question is yes. As small as fleas are, they are dangerous. Especially older people and small children can get seriously ill from flea bites and become infected with worms.

Meningitis and allergies are also not uncommon in connection with flea bites. One myth, however, is that a flea bite brings the risk of plague. The thesis may have been true in the past, but in our industrialized nations, the plague has been eradicated, and thus there is no imminent danger.

Fleas Transmit Worms

The thought of worms in the stool creates disgust and should encourage you to see a doctor immediately. If your child has worms and has previously suffered from a flea bite, the source of transmission is usually certain.

The direct suspicion against your dog or cat is usually inappropriate, so you also do not have to deworm wildly and reduce the household budget by unnecessary veterinary costs. Because the worms can be transmitted by fleas. Did your child have flea bites? Then the question is clarified in most cases.

Meningitis Due To Flea Bite

Do not underestimate the danger of contracting meningitis from a flea bite. You must take the first indications seriously, because meningitis can have permanent consequences and even be fatal.

Flea Bites Are A Risk Of Infection

Basically, you have an increased risk of infection after a flea bite. Even without a scratched bite, germs can enter your body directly through the saliva of the parasites. Particularly at risk are small and old people, as well as people with a weakened immune system.

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If you scratch a flea bite, you increase the risk of infection and can fall ill even with a strong immune system. To relieve the itching, cooling gels and ointments can be used. If there is a clear redness framing the flea bite, disinfectant and anti-inflammatory ointments are advisable.

Skin Irritation And Inflammation Caused By Fleas

Itching is only one of the possible skin irritations. More often than you think, there is a strong inflammation of flea bites. At first glance, the symptom of a white pustule reminds you of a pimple, so you pay little attention to the flea bite.

In the visual area the confusion cannot happen, but on the back or in the hip area the misinterpretation is not uncommon. If dirt gets into a scratched flea bite, the surrounding area becomes inflamed and it is not uncommon for the wound to begin to fester. Now there is a need for action since it can come in the worst case to blood poisoning.

Allergy Sufferers Could Get An Attack From Flea Bites

You are allergic to all kinds of things and start sneezing as soon as the spring sun peeks through the clouds? Then you should be especially attentive to flea bites and interpret your body’s signals correctly. Itching is normal, but a flea bite should neither burn nor hurt.

If you notice such symptoms if you feel generally unwell, or if your skin reddens extensively around flea bites, you should immediately consult an allergist or a dermatologist. An allergy flare-up can occur as a result of flea bites and can be problematic for sensitive people with severe accompanying symptoms.

Preventing Flea Bites: Tips For A Vermin-free Home

The best protection against a flea bite is protection from the flea. Do you have dogs or cats that like to lie on the sofa with you and … even sleep in bed with you? Then the flea collar or a spot must be a matter of the heart for you.

Because you want to cuddle with your pet, but not with the stowaways that hide in the thick fur of your dog. The daily inspection of the coat (especially on the belly) is one of the tasks that every pet owner should perform meticulously and with the utmost thoroughness in the summer.

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Even if you don’t see a flea, but only black particles: this is flea excrement and your pet needs a refresher course of prophylaxis.

Thorough Cleaning Of Carpets And Upholstery

The smallest discovery of flea droppings prompts you to clean carpets and upholstery with a mixture of vinegar and lukewarm water. If you repeat this at regular intervals even without a specific reason during the warm season, flea bites are nothing to worry about.

Keep an eye on the textiles your pets use and where the dog likes to lie, for example. To prevent the spread of fleas in your home, you need to either wash any home textiles or freeze them in the freezer to ensure the death of all fleas and their eggs.

Wash Pet Blankets And Dog Baskets Regularly

Dogs that prefer to lie in their basket (preferably made of foam or equipped with a thick cuddly blanket) usually leave the bugs in their own place. But the dog or cat also suffers when flea bites itch and cause discomfort.

Thorough cleaning of pet blankets and dog baskets is necessary. If you do the work preventively, you can protect yourself from fleas and will most likely experience a summer without flea bites and the associated itching.

Can Flea Bites Hurt?

Actually, a flea bite only itches. But if it is in a very inconvenient part of the body, if the bites are inflamed or very close together, it can cause pain and a general feeling of discomfort.

If this is the case, however, you should consider whether you would rather have the areas examined by a doctor and an infection ruled out. A “normal” flea bite does not hurt. If you experience pain or even fever, there is a reason to be concerned – because the parasite may have infected you with meningitis or another infection.

Why A Flea Bite Can Become Infected

There are many different reasons for this. The most common cause is flea bites that you scratch on consciously or unconsciously. Especially when you are asleep, you cannot restrain yourself and just want to stop the intense itching.

Different germs and bacteria can penetrate a scratched flea bite. For example, if your dog licks you, an infection can occur. But not only by mechanical influence but also with a weakened immune system or with very sensitive skin flea bites can become infected. Be attentive and react immediately if a flea bite feels different than described or already experienced.

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