If your dog or cat contracts fleas, you automatically worry about how the infestation will affect your pet’s well-being. After all, fleas can cause allergic reactions and skin infections in pets, as well as tapeworms, anemia, and various other parasite-borne diseases.
As you care for your flea-infested pet, you might wonder: will dog and cat fleas bite humans? Unfortunately, the answer is a resounding “yes.” If you think your pet has exposed you and your family to fleas, here’s what you need to know.
Signs of Flea Bites
If dog and cat fleas are dissatisfied with their animal hosts, they can transfer to nearby humans. Flea bites resemble small, bright red spots and often appear on the lower legs and arms. For most people, flea bites result in nothing more than minor itchiness and discomfort. However, people who are allergic to insect bites may experience swelling of the affected areas, unbearable itchiness, and secondary infections.
How to Treat Flea Bites
Here are the top techniques for treating flea bites in humans:
- Refrain from scratching the area as much as possible.
- Apply anesthetic cream or lotion to combat the itchiness.
- Apply ice packs to reduce swelling.
- Take antihistamines to reduce symptoms of an allergic reaction.
- Wash flea bites with antiseptic soap to help reduce the chance of infection.
- Consult a medical professional if you suspect a cat flea bite is infected.
How to Eliminate a Flea Infestation
Whether dog and cat fleas are only biting your pets, or they have progressed to biting the people in your home, you must take action against these invaders. Here’s how to get rid of fleas:
- Treat your pet: Shampoos, sprays, and dips are cost-effective ways to kill fleas living on your pet. Even if only one animal initially shows signs of fleas, make sure you treat all your dogs and cats. Any untreated animal can act as a host for the eggs that hatch in your home.
- Treat your home: The fleas living on you and your pets are one thing, but you also have to worry about parasites hiding in your carpet, bedding, and furniture. In addition to vacuuming thoroughly, you may need to hire an exterminator to spray your home and the outdoor area around it.
How to Prevent Future Infestations
Flea prevention is the best way to protect your pet and prevent an infestation from ever occurring again. At Germantown Vet, we provide flea control for dogs and cats living in Montgomery County. Our recommended methods include:
- Topical treatments, such as Frontline Plus and Revolution. These products are applied monthly to drastically reduce the risk of fleas.
- Oral tablets for full-body protection with a once-a-month pill or chewable tablet. These require a prescription from your veterinarian.
- Collars, a good choice for pets that refuse to take pills. The effects of a flea collar last for about eight months before you must buy a new one.
Start Your Flea Prevention Plan at Germantown Vet
Pets who venture outside are liable to pick up fleas from time to time. With the right flea prevention techniques, these parasites won’t live long enough to invade your home or relocate to a human host.
Visit Germantown Vet or call us at 240-252-7467 today for advice about which flea prevention option is best for your pet.