Flea Bites – Infestation, Pictures, Larvae, Allergy and Symptoms
Of all the things that cause human beings severe health issues, would you believe me if I told you that there are a certain category of insects that can cause you serious physical ailments and might take a considerable amount of your time and money to get things back in shape. Yes, you heard me right. There are indeed a category of insects which are referred to in the most common terminology as “fleas” which irrespective of their minuscule body and avoidable existence might cause a tremendous havoc in your life by their infestation.
What are fleas actually?
Fleas are extremely tiny, wingless bug like creatures and are incidentally the most atrocious form of external parasites feeding on the blood of their hosts. Ranging from slightly brown to blackish in color, their thin and flat bodies are covered with hard shells and equipped with mouthparts that supports suction. It is their color that makes them extremely difficult to spot, whereas the shells act as a severe protection mechanism, causing them to die only when pressed incredibly hard along solid surfaces.
Where can they be found?
One of the major reasons that the flea population manages to thrive and cause damages in hosts or vectors is because people consider them to be really harmless and innocuous creatures not capable of having any form of infestation in their houses. But here is the eye opener, fleas thrive mostly on animals, hence it might be that pet cat or dog of yours that might carry in a bunch of flea into your drawing room after their street walk time or it could be you having a flea sticking to your arm or leg from that time when you patted that stray animal on your way back home out of sheer love. And here is the thing, these parasites multiply rapidly, and thus what was initially one flea may result into an army of fleas within a couple of days and have your family members, pets or you running all around the house itching yourselves. Besides these, fleas can also find the most convenient infestations in your yard, bedding or carpets. Hence you can never be too sure of a flea free life.
Fleas are not really a concern until they start biting and that is inevitably what all fleas do. They would start off by biting their hosts, which actually is their mechanism of sucking blood from the bodies of their prey. This would consequently lead to a variety of abrasions, infections, rashes in the body of those in which the parasite thrives and can result in anything from tiny, itchy, red blotches or marks to fatal forms of bacterial/ viral or protozoan diseases. Humans though can realize the discomfort from flea bites and can take the appropriate actions immediately, the worst affected are animals who helplessly keep on biting or licking the infested portions of their body waiting for their owners to redress the issue.
Identifying Flea Bites
Most of the times, we end up scratching or itching a small red lump on our skin without as much as realizing that the same might be a flea bite and not a form of regular skin inflammation. Some of the distinguishing features of flea bites are that they remain constant in sizes and are usually small in dimension, usually red in color, they have a tendency to spread and would most ideally not be a single bite, but a series of lumps in a straight line. Some of the common places where flea bites are mostly reported would be ankles, feet, arms and elbows. That being said some of the most common symptoms of flea bites include itchiness that in extreme cases may result into infection or even cause excessive sore and pain around the infected area.
Consequences of Flea Bites
One of the most evitable instances of flea bites as discussed above would be tiny, red, swollen, itchy and painful lumps over the infected area. To make things worse, though the lumps may disappear but their ugly remnant marks would definitely cost you a couple of trips to the clinic of fancy dermatologists. That being said depending on the degree of irritation and itching, these bites can transform into severe infections that might require proper medical attention. And that is not all, flea bites can also act as a vector for causing a multitude of disease in its hosts that can range anything from nausea to general sickness, and in the most fatal instances may result into a case of endemic typhus or bubonic plague among many other form of bacterial or protozoan disease. Hence if you are not quite sure as to whether a particular lump on your skin is a flea bite or otherwise, or have been suffering from any form of unexplainable nausea or vomiting tendencies, we would definitely recommend a medical check-up as soon as possible.
How to Treat Flea Bites
Some of the most common and convenient ways to get rid of flea bite, is to dab the infected area with ice bag or wash over the part gently to soothe the irritations and inflammations. Scratching of the lumps should be strictly avoided in all cases. One could also use aloe-vera gel, green tea dips or coconut oil over the affected area to witness visible results. Any form of medication be it an anti-septic cream or an anti-itch cream should only be used with proper medical prescription. Further any form of uneasiness apart from the lumps should be reported to a medical practitioner at the earliest to avoid the spread of any flea epidemic disease. With reference to animals infected with fleas, the owner could either treat the pet himself to a medical bath comprising of non-toxic natural substances or can do the same under the supervision of a vet.
Flea Control- Because Prevention is Better than Cure
Now that we have educated you on how harmful these tiny insects could be for you as well as your pets, it’s time we give you some handy tips to save yourself from any form of flea infestations. For starters, make it a regular habit to comb and bathe your pets once they are back from hours of daily strolls before indulging into any form of playful activity with them. In the event of a casual pleasantry with a stray animal or what could be a neighbor’s pet, do not forget to use a hand sanitizer immediately afterwards. One of the common tricks to avoid flea infestations on your pet, would be to feed them garlic or any form of citrus fruits, since the same have been reported to keep fleas at bay. Treat any sign of skin inflammation or rash by fleas, with utmost care and visit a medical professional if and when the situation demands professional care. Were in doubts with regards to the presence of fleas, take clue from the behavior of your pets, or your own reactions after visiting the yard or rolling over the drawing room carpet (excessive itching on any body part could be an easy sign of flea infestations). Last but not the least, in the event of a major flea intrusion in your home, always opt for a professional pest control service, rather than ignoring the problem. Given by the rapid rate of multiplicity of these obnoxious insects, the situation could get far worse if ignored or worse wrongly attempted to solve.
Last but not the least, remember that although fleas might seem really less of a worry when compared to other pests and rodents, they are nonetheless extremely despicable creatures and can cause serious health and monetary damages if not checked at the right time or minus the right precautions.