Cats and dogs are flea magnets. With over 2,000 species of fleas in the world, your pets are bound to pick up a few of these pesky parasites. Before you know it, the fleas have moved in the house. Once they’re inside, can dog fleas live on humans? For that matter, can cat fleas live on humans, too?
Lucky for us, no. But they can use humans to survive until a cat or dog comes along. If fleas have trespassed into your home, there are commercial fixes and useful home remedies for cat fleas and dog fleas that will eliminate them. Once your pet has no fleas, neither will you.
Flea lifestyle – It’s a vicious cycle
A flea is a tiny parasite that survives off the blood of warm-blooded mammals. They feed on blood to survive, mate, lay eggs, and die. A female can lay 5,000 or more eggs within her lifetime which lasts two to three months. Depending on the species, eggs can hatch within two days to two weeks.
A flea’s home is where the host is
Humans have much less hair than dogs and cats, making us an unattractive food source for cat and dog fleas. But in a pinch, they’ll gladly cop a squat on a human arm for a quick snack.
Once they establish a home on an animal, they seldom leave unless evicted (usually by grooming, baths, etc.). Fleas have been known to happily live on their chosen animal for up to 50 days. If their host dies or is dying, fleas jump ship as soon as the animals body temperature starts to drop.
Adult fleas live on their host, but their eggs and larvae don’t. Eggs are usually concentrated where the animal host rests, like a pet bed or carpet. Once they hatch, they climb to the surface of the carpet fibers and wait to jump on a new host.
Dog fleas vs. cat fleas
It’s all about location. Prime real estate for cat fleas is the neck area while dog fleas enjoy the back and belly areas. Blood supply is ample in these areas compared to legs and tails.
Can cat fleas live on humans?
While human blood is not their preferred choice, cat fleas can temporarily survive on human blood. Humans are usually a temporary host to tide them over until they can take up permanent residence on a cat. Once they establish residency, they have continuous access to feline blood which sustains them during reproduction and laying eggs.
Can dog fleas live on humans?
Dog fleas will feed on anything including cats and humans. Like cat fleas, they’ll bite but can’t live on the blood of humans indefinitely. They’re more apt to hitch a ride than suck your blood.
Can humans get fleas?
People can carry fleas just like pets do. The Black Plague was transmitted via fleas living on rats and mice. Fleas can also transmit tapeworms to humans. The Pulex Irritans species of fleas can find, feed on, and live on humans for their entire life cycle. They transmit the murine typhus disease from one human to another. Chicago fleas burrow into human skin and enjoy a cozy life. Bites from these little guys are extremely painful and result in itching, swelling, burning, bleeding, and inflammation.
Fleas enjoy warm areas of the body, so if they’re going to bite you, it will probably be on your upper back or armpits. Most bites from dog or cat fleas will heal on their own with a bit of aloe vera or calamine lotion. Keep watch of your bites and if they seem to worsen after a few hours, see your doctor.
Recommended Commercial flea treatments
Killing adult fleas that are feasting on your pet is only a temporary solution. Once the eggs hatch, the cycle continues. To kill them all, you’ll need to rid your pet and home of fleas, eggs, and larvae at one time.
- Flea control – small dogs and cats under 25 lbs
- Dog fleas die in 4 hours
- Cat fleas die in 6 hours
- Box of 6 tablets
- Kills adult fleas
- Single dose
- Kills fleas and their eggs
- Kills ticks by contact
- Natural essential oils and plant based extracts such as peppermint oil and Eugenol found in clove
- Mosquito repellent
- Indoor and outdoor use
- Can be used on domestic surfaces, pet bedding, upholstery, pillows, carpets and even in your yard
- Can be used on dogs over 12 weeks
- Version for cats available
- Available in packs 1 to 5
- Kills fleas and their hatchings
- Protection for 4 months
- Wide angle spray
- Suitable for carpets, upholstery and pet bedding
- Finely divided spray reaches inaccessible areas
- Double can pack
What are the best ways to kill fleas and their young?
Treating your pet with flea medicine will prevent a new infestation. Pills and drops kill live fleas over a 30-day period. But they can have undesirable side effects like vomiting and diarrhea because they are made with high concentrations of pesticides.
Flea shampoos wash adult fleas away, but since cats usually hate water, this may be a hassle. Flea powder can do the trick as long as it’s not licked off or inhaled. Organic flea collars repel fleas without killing them, but they’re much safer and non-toxic for your pet.
Flea sprays kill the eggs and larvae by using an insect growth regulator to stop re-infestation. Flea bombs permeate the cracks and crevices of everything, but you’ll have to wash it all afterwards to remove the chemical residue left behind.
Home remedies for cat fleas and dog fleas
Mix apple cider vinegar with water (2:1) and spray your cat. It won’t kill the fleas, but they’ll jump off. Use every 3-4 days. Adding white vinegar to his bath works just as well.
Dip your cat’s collar in organic essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, cedar wood, or citronella to repel fleas. Boil a sliced lemon and wipe your cat down is another way to kill fleas. Cats are sensitive to lemon smells, so use it sparingly.
Use hot salt water to clean the floors. Fleas hate salt and will bail out immediately. Or add four finely chopped lemons to a half gallon hot water and mop everything.
Dawn dish soap washes fleas off dogs and cats in a warm bath. Dawn kills fleas but can irritate pet skin if used more than twice a week.
Mix organic oils of peppermint, rosemary, citronella, tea tree, and eucalyptus (seven drops each) in one cup water. Spray on carpet, bedding, furniture, and even the dog. Don’t use this mixture on cats since tea tree is lethal to felines.
Does borax or salt work on cat and dog fleas?
It sure does. Borax makes tiny slices in a flea’s exoskeleton and penetrates to dehydrate them. It kills adults and larvae, but not eggs. It’s fine to use around dogs but is fatal for cats. Don’t apply directly to pets, children, or plants because it can be lethal.
Salt works just like Borax but is safer. Sprinkle everywhere (carpet, pet beds, furniture) and rub it in deep. Let sit for 12 – 48 hours, and vacuum. For extreme cases, Borax and salt can be mixed for periodic deep treatment.
One of the best organic home remedies for cat fleas and dog fleas is using food-grade diatomaceous earth. It’s a natural algae that’s harmless to humans and animals. Rub it into the cat or dog coat, and it kills the fleas. Sprinkle on carpets, under furniture, and anywhere else fleas and eggs may be lurking. It’s easy to vacuum later and doesn’t stain.
Kill them all – you’ll be happy you did
Having fleas isn’t the end of the world, but it isn’t fun, either. Organic home remedies for cat fleas and dog fleas work well with no harmful side effects. Removal of these tiny terrorists may take some time and effort, but your pet and your family will thank you for it.
So can a flea live on a human ?
You bet your life it can but not for long if you can evict them permanently! No one likes fleas and the thought of having these tiny creatures crawling over you and dining on your blood is enough to make a zombie shiver. With the right treatment you will never have the problem again…for long!
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