It often begins with a scratch. You look at a furry family member and dread strikes your heart. Is that scratch a sign of a flea problem? It might be. Soon, you have the flea comb out and you're doing an inspection. To your horror, you find flea dirt! Yup. It's a flea problem. Now what?
The next step is to do something about it. But how quickly you take drastic action will depend on how seriously you consider a flea infestation to be. Let's take an honest look at how concerned you should be about a flea infestation in your McAllen home and discuss the best way to get rid of fleas when they invade.
You know that fleas bite your pets and that they can also bite you. What you might not know are some of the consequences of being bitten by fleas.
- Flea bites are itchy. If you scratch them too much, they can become open wounds. An open wound can become infected.
- Flea bite allergies. Some people have an allergic reaction to the saliva of fleas. This allergy can develop later in life. If you experience hives, rash, shortness of breath, or some other unexpected symptom, seek medical attention quickly.
- If untreated, continued flea bites can lead to a condition called anemia. Some of the symptoms of anemia may be fatigue, tiredness, jaundice, shortness of breath, chest pain, lightheadedness, and coldness in the extremities.
Not only can fleas bite you, they can transmit diseases to you. The most common flea diseases spread to humans are:
- Murine typhus: In most cases, this disease will result in flu-like symptoms, but there is a possibility of severe symptoms such as damage to internal organs.
- Bartonellosis: There are 22 species of Bartonella bacterium that have names. One that is commonly associated with fleas is cat scratch disease. This can be spread from fleas to humans by way of the saliva of a dog or cat. If your cat licks you (or scratches you) it is possible to have this disease transfer. More than 500 U.S. citizens are hospitalized due to cat scratch disease each year.
- Tapeworms: In most cases, tapeworms are passed through the digestive system of humans, but it is possible for there to be a build-up that requires medical attention or even surgery.
- Plague: Yes. This is still a thing. It is possible to get the plague from an infected flea. This disease is associated with fleas and rodents. While treatable, it can be extremely unpleasant.
All of these diseases can have severe or unexpected symptoms and are worthy of deeper study. For the sake of brevity, we're not going to get into detail. What you need to know most is that fleas can make you sick and that in rare cases the sickness caused by fleas can result in hospitalization.
The Bottom Line About Flea Borne Disease
Not every flea that bites you is going to have a disease. In fact, few will. You can get hundreds of flea bites and never get sick. This is why many people don't realize that fleas can be dangerous. While we don't want you to live in fear of flea-borne diseases, we hope that you'll consider them when determining what you should do about a flea infestation in your home. It is unwise to allow fleas to go untreated.
How To Quickly Stop Fleas
If you want fleas gone as quickly as possible, the best way to get rid of fleas is to hire a licensed professional and invest in a flea treatment. A professional will apply residual product to your home in key places to break the cycle of infestation. Typically, one of the most difficult aspects of a flea infestation is that fleas are protected in their eggs or cocoons. Residual products remain active long enough to get fleas when they emerge from eggs or cocoons.
Do You Need Assistance?
If you live in McAllen, you're in our service area. Connect with Bugworks Termite & Pest Control to schedule a flea treatment. Our technicians use the most advanced flea control methods and products to make sure no fleas remain in your home. This is definitely the best way to go.
I highly recommend BugWorks for any of your pest control needs. They are very professional and thorough with their work.