For homes infested with fleas, flea bites can be painful annoyances that also carry the risk of disease. The flea, a small insect that preys on humans, cats, dogs and other mammals, feed from blood by tearing into the skin. These bites cause small, round marks on the skin that may bleed freely. Due to the tears in the skin, the bites itch, which encourage scratching and further damage to the skin. This can cause a chain reaction, resulting in the flea bites lingering for up to several weeks.
For those who are allergic to flea bites, the small round, red marks turn into rashes, which can swell and itch even more than a standard bite.
There are several things that you can do to combat flea bites. First, make certain you treat any pets you own with flea control medicines, such as Advantage, Advantix, and Frontline and Frontline PLUS. These medications, when applied properly to a pet, allow the pet to become walking flea killers, as the fleas die upon exposure to an animal treated with one of these medications.
As fleas require humidity to hatch from their larva state, purchasing and using a dehumidifier can assist in controlling flea bites. As you severely cut down the amount of fleas that live in the area by crippling their breeding abilities, you will cut down on the number of bites suffered.
Vacuuming is another good way to help control flea populations. However, if you do use vacuuming to help control fleas, you need to make certain that you discard the bag immediately, as the larvae will hatch inside the bag, then escape into your home.
Flea bites can have dire consequences outside of the pain associated with just the bite. As fleas tend to prey upon many hosts, they can draw the diseases from the blood of other victims and pass it onto you. The most notable example of this occurring was in the medieval ages and the black plague. Fleas would prey upon rats which had the bubonic plague, and the the fleas would bite a human. The place where the flea bit and transmitted the disease would bear a mark looking like a ring around the bite. While the bubonic plague is no longer a significant threat to modern nations, illnesses like West Nile can be transmitted through flea and mosquito bites.
If you suffer from flea bites, you should take action immediately by treating your pets and working to eliminate the pests from your home.