Fleas are a pest that no one wants in their home or on their pets. It makes life difficult and itchy. The flea is a small insect that can grow to three millimeters in length with a brownish color However, many people do not realize that there are many different types of fleas not just one. The most common type of flea is the cat flea. This flea is commonly found on cats, hence the name. The type of flea that would be found on dogs or humans would be the rat flea. This flea type is less popular but still very active and widespread. Many people also do not realize that fleas do host on all mammals and even some birds if they get the chance.
Fleas host on whoever/whatever they can get closest to. To catch fleas, you have to come into contact with something or someone who already has fleas since they do not fly. Fleas can only jump making their hosts limited. If you come within four feet of something or someone infected with fleas you are likely to get them as well.
Do Fleas Fly
Fleas are an interesting insect that cause trouble when they find a host. However, one question that is frequently asked is do fleas fly? The answer is simple, no. Fleas do not have wings and therefore, cannot fly. So, what makes fleas so able to get from one host to another without flying? Simple answer, fleas have very strong back legs that allows them to jump from host to host. The flea has such a strong jump that it could jump almost 4 feet, that is 100 times its body size!
What do Fleas Eat
Fleas are interesting creatures because as young they eat organic debris around them from their host but as they grow larger into an adult the fleas tend to suck blood. A female flea can consume fifteen times her body weight a day in blood. Fleas feed on the blood of their host and it allows them to reproduce and thrive in the area if not caught. Fleas will feed on the blood of cats most commonly but sometimes dogs will become a host for the fleas.
How Long do Fleas Live Without a Host
Fleas live quite a long time without a host. Fleas can live at least 100 days without a host if not longer. On average a flea will live two to three months without a host. If a flea does not come into contact with a food source/host it will not be able to reproduce either. A female flea cannot reproduce without a blood meal. So, if a female flea has no host or blood meals it will not be able to reproduce until she finds a host.
How to Tell if you Have Fleas
To find out if you have a flea infestation you first would like to check your pet. Your pet will be the most likely host for a flea. To check your pet, you will want to move their fur back and look for black specks or fleabites on the skin. If you notice they have been scratching more frequently, this may also be a sign of a flea infestation on your animal.
If you do not have pets but notice bugs around your house and in your furniture, especially the bed, you may have a flea infestation. Although uncommon it may happen to homes without pets. Fleas can host on humans and are commonly mistaken for bed bugs or ticks since they look pretty similar to both those bugs.
It is important that you are able to identify a flea if you suspect an infestation. You will want to look on your pet first of all. If you have a cat the head and neck region will be the most common place for the flea to host. If you own a dog you may find it easier to locate a flea on the back-hind quarters of a dog. Fleas are about 2.5-3 mm long and have a round shape. They have six legs and their color is brownish.
Can Fleas Live on Humans
As mentioned above, fleas can host on humans and live on them. However, a female flea would need to feed fifteen minutes a day every ten minutes to be able to reproduce. Cat fleas are the most common fleas found on humans that can live for an extended period of time. Cat fleas can live on human blood alone for over three months in a laboratory setting. However, in a natural setting most fleas do not get the chance to feed because they are meant for furry critters and not hairless humans. Most of the time a flea cannot find a good enough spot to feed and are often killed. Even though cat fleas can live on humans, most of the time the environment is not as suitable for reproduction as a flea would like. Most of the time a flea will feed and then leave a human host. However, in some cases, a cat flea will reproduce causing trouble for the human host. This would involve scratching and itching. It is more common for a human to get fleas if they have a pet dog or cat that has them. It is uncommon for a person to attract fleas if there is no pet host as well.
How to Prevent Flea Bites
To prevent flea bites, you must first understand that the only reason you may be experiencing these bites is because your pet has come into contact with them. When fleas are introduced to a warm indoor climate they reproduce, fast. Before you are aware there are hundreds of thousands of fleas feeding on you and your pets. To prevent flea bites is very difficult. First you must make sure that the fleas are not coming into contact with your pet. This is difficult because fleas are easy to catch and can be caught by many different reasons. Gardens and lawns may be holding fleas and your dog goes outside and bam, your dog now has fleas. So first of all, you want to keep your dog/cat away from other animals that may potentially have fleas. Secondly, make sure your lawn is kept short and always mowed. Lastly, you may want to plant Eucalyptus trees in your garden because this is a natural flee repellent.
How to Get Rid of Fleas on the Human Body
Fleas are very annoying critters, especially if you are allergic to their bites, which some humans are. If you are noticing red bites or extreme itching on your head, do not itch it. If you itch a flea bite it could become a puss filled blister which is harder to treat than the fleas themselves. Fleas often hide in the hair of humans making them hard to detect unless they start feeding on you.
To rid yourself of fleas you may want to try lice shampoo, this will help aid you in killing off the fleas in your hair. Tea tree oil-based shampoos are an excellent choice when it comes to killing off fleas. Fleas are very sensitive to tea tree oil and it will kill them and their larvae. Using dish soap with lemon scent is very useful as well. Many people report this method as a great way to rid yourself of fleas. Lastly, if you are not having any luck with these methods and can stand the smell of apple cider vinegar, you should use this. Apple cider vinegar has been proven very useful in the aid of removing fleas from the human body.
Natural Flea Repellent for Humans
Fleas are a nuisance for humans and their pets, however, there is some ways that may help prevent you from getting them. Note this method does not kill fleas but simply keeps them away. Rosemary essential oils are a very productive measure when it comes to repelling fleas. The essential oil makes it difficult for the flea to function because the smell bothers the fleas. If you sprinkle this around your home such as carpets, furniture, and on yourself you will help prevent fleas.
Another way to repel fleas is a natural remedy spray. This spray contains vinegar, water, and lemon juice. Once in the spray bottle make sure your house is swept and vacuumed before using this product. Once you are ready use on carpets, furniture, windows, and on anything a flea might be interested in. This spray is all natural and will help repel the fleas away from you and your home.
Natural Ways to Get Rid of Fleas
Baking soda is a very useful thing in the kitchen but it can also help rid yourself of fleas and prevent them. By sprinkling baking soda onto your carpets and furniture it makes it easier to keep fleas away. Simply use a hard brush to rub it into the fabric or carpet then let it sit for a few minutes. After this has sat you simply vacuum it up and throw away the contents of the vacuum immediately.
Like baking soda, salt is a very useful way to help repel and rid yourself of fleas. Salt acts as a dehydrator to the fleas. It will kill adult fleas if you sprinkle and let sit like the baking soda. You will want to use finely ground salt in your home and make sure to let it sit in your carpets for about 2 days. When time is up vacuum and rid yourself of the contents immediately.
Lemon spray is very useful in your time of need to rid yourself of fleas. By boiling a lemon that has been thinly sliced then letting sit overnight in the fridge, you will be able to spray this all over to kill fleas. This you will be able to use on furniture, pet beds, and carpets. Lemon spray is a very useful tool when it comes to fleas. Remember when spraying to dampen not soak what you are spraying, a little goes a long way.
There are certain plants that act as a natural flea repellent and will help purify your home of fleas forever. Lavender, spearmint, and chrysanthemums are a very useful plant to have in or around your home. These plants act as a repellent to protect your home. If you already have fleas and place this around and in your home, it may help them to leave.
Does Baking Soda Kill Fleas
Baking soda alone does not kill fleas. However, if you are looking to kill fleas all you will need is baking soda and salt. This combination of these will target the larvae and the adults. To ensure that this method works it is best to keep your pet outdoors while you are doing this process. Simply sprinkle baking soda on the carpet or furniture then add fine salt on top. Let this sit for a day or two and you should be able to vacuum up all the dead fleas.
How to Get Rid of Fleas in Your Bed
To rid yourself of fleas located in your bed you must wash the sheets and blankets. It may be necessary to wash them more than once if you do not use hot water. If you use hot water and the hottest cycle on your dryer they should be gone the first time. So, once they are cleaned look them over to make sure all fleas and larvae are off of the blankets.
You will also want to vacuum. Vacuum the bed and the carpets. Carpets should be vacuumed frequently. This will prevent larvae from hatching and adults from reproducing. Vacuuming disturbs their cycle. Once you are finished vacuuming dispose of the bag immediately.
How to Get Rid of Fleas in Your Carpet
As mentioned above, first, put your dog/cat outside if possible. Then, create a mixture of salt and baking soda. Once this mixture is made then you will want to sprinkle it generously onto the carpet area. Using a wire or metal comb/brush, brush it into the carpet. If you feel the need and the infestation is large put another generous amount over the first layer that has been brushed into the carpet. Leave this mixture on the carpet for one or two days then vacuum. Make sure you dispose of the vacuum bag immediately after cleaning this mixture up.
How to Get Rid of Fleas on Cats
Before you do anything to get rid of fleas on your cat, make sure they have fleas and not an underlying issue. To check use a comb with close teeth, run this through your cat’s fur. If your cat has fleas the comb should pick up a few adults. Once you know your cat has fleas, you can move on to treating your cat.
To treat your cat there are many ways to do so. You may go to the store and buy flea shampoo which will work. Another option is coconut oil that will kill off fleas as well as be non-toxic and healthy for your animal. The final option is using dish soap. Dish soap kills fleas quite effectively if you use a lemon scented soap. Put the soap on your cat and then run a comb through several times. Rinse, lather, repeat. Do this step a few times and your cat should be good as new.
Fleas are pests and can cause a world of itchiness for you and your pet. So, take precautions such as cleaning and planting plants that repel fleas. Keep your pets outside exposure to a minimum and keep them away from already infected pets. Always be sure to treat yourself and your animals at the first sight of fleas. If you do not the fleas will multiply, and fast.