A firm view that fleas in cats are transmitted to humans is completely true. Human blood is suitable for feeding these small parasites as well as the blood of most domestic animals. That's just constantly eating human blood is not very convenient for them. But not because his blood is different, but because it is easier for the insect to hide in the fur of a cat or dog.
On humans, other flea species also parasitize successfully, for which animals are the main hosts. Some peculiarities of flea transmission to humans depend on the species to which the fleas belong, and the specific situation.
How fleas go to humans: the process in detail
In the overwhelming majority of cases, fleas parasitizing pets are attacking humans. For example, fleas in dogs are transmitted to humans directly in the house or the aviary in which the pet lives.
It is not entirely correct to say that a dog or cat flea is transmitted to a person directly (in other words, a flea cannot live on a person, such as a cat, for example).
As a rule, parasites bite an animal, get drunk with blood and jump off its body to find a secluded place for egg laying. Before the appearance of hunger, insects will remain in the litter, in the corners of the room, in heaps of garbage, where their larvae usually develop. And just hungry, they again begin to look for a source of food. If at this time there is a person nearby, they will first attack him.
For the same reason, almost immediately after it hits the human body, the insect bites it - usually the parasite urgently needs to be fed at this moment.
On a note
In general, the term "transmitted" is not very appropriate in relation to fleas. These insects are temporary parasites, while the word “transmitted” is more commonly used to describe bacterial or viral infections. However, the phrase "fleas are transmitted to humans" is well-established and is used in the scientific literature as well.
Only in rare cases do fleas jump directly from a cat or dog to a person. Often these are the so-called human fleas (Pulex irritans), for which just the person is the optimal host. However, there are cases when just when a person comes in contact with a pet and other species move between them without having any obstacles.
On a note
Dog fleas are transmitted to humans much less frequently than cats. The latter are more common in all domestic animals, and are generally more widespread. It is believed that even a human flea is less likely to bite a person than a cat.
In search of a host fleas are guided mainly by smell. Of course, the stronger the smell of a living being, the sooner it feels like parasites and the sooner they will attack.
In places where there are a lot of insects, the number of hungry individuals will be large. Accordingly, it is worth only about such a place to be, as the parasites instantly jump on a new food source. For example, this often happens with hunters near fox holes.
Risk factors: where, when and how can you be bitten by fleas
A person can meet with fleas almost anywhere. This may be his own house, a picnic in nature, going hunting or working with any farm animals.
Most often, fleas go to people from cats and dogs that live in the house itself. But not necessarily it will be pets: fleas can be transmitted from rats, mice or street cats, found in the parade.
However, according to statistics, every three out of four homely pet pets regularly carry fleas on themselves. This means that a domestic cat, a dog, and even rodents with birds can be sources of parasites.
“I somehow do not usually pay special attention to my dogs. But when I was regularly bitten by some insects, and right in the house, I tried to catch them and caught ... fleas. This is not surprising - both watchdogs never poisoned with any chemistry from parasites and did not wear collars. And then another and the vet said that this is not a dog flea, but a cat. I did not know before whether cat fleas were transmitted to humans, but it turned out that they could easily: bite, and even not particularly choose, bite animals, or people. I had to poison them, first on the dogs, then in the whole house. ”
The greatest number of insects and almost all the larvae are in those places where the animal rests regularly: in a special arena, crib or booth. For parasites, litter in such places is the best place for rest, shelter and breeding.
For example, dog fleas are transmitted to humans almost always near the booth: it is here that the female insects lay eggs, after which they quickly become hungry. Even a person just passing by the booth attracts them and becomes the next source of food.
Other frequent flea attacks are:
- natural animal shelters: burrows, nests, hollows. Hunters (biologists and lumberjacks) are very much at risk of being infected and bitten by hunters (especially when hunting foxes and badgers in burrows).
- Farms and livestock farms. Fur farms and rabbit farms literally teem with parasites. Even despite the ongoing struggle in these enterprises, there are usually a lot of fleas of different species, and their workers are often subjected to bites.
- Typical habitats of small rodents: fields, meadows, glades in the forest, ravines. The holes themselves are often a man and does not notice. And spreading out a blanket for a picnic over them, most likely attracts blood-suckers to their place of rest.
- Fleas heavily infected rooms.
“I don’t let my hunt go home at all until he changes clothes in a car and doesn’t take things to dry-cleaning. Already got these parasites: no matter how he enters the field in the house, they just pour rain from it. And then they gnaw all night. Fleas are very easily transmitted to humans! At one time I constantly hunted them with all sorts of cans. As it turned out, their husband catches them near fox holes - there are always a lot of them there, and they jump on clothes and bags. ”
The main complaints to the disinsection services come from the residents of rather dirty and old apartments and houses, in which the parasites live normally and reproduce successfully for years. It is these citizens who most often ask whether fleas are transmitted to humans, and they are wondering why someone constantly bites them in an apartment.
So, it is useful to remember: fleas in cats, dogs, mice and other living creatures are easily transmitted to humans, as they are able to drink the blood of various warm-blooded organisms, which include humans.
On a note
Very often fleas are transferred on clothes, furniture or household appliances to a new room. In this case, the bites will be a one-time, but still unpleasant. It is important to destroy all the "random guests" as soon as possible in order to prevent them from multiplying.
How fleas are dangerous for humans: infections and parasites that these insects carry
The transfer of fleas from cat to man and their subsequent bites, although quite painful, are not the biggest problem. Diseases borne by these parasites are terrible.
For example, when cat fleas are transmitted to humans, they can infect it with typhoid, anthrax, brucellosis, encephalitis, and eggs of numerous types of helminths. And rat fleas tolerate the plague wand.
It is interesting
It was the rat flea that caused the worst epidemic in human history — the epidemic of bubonic plague in Europe, which wiped out a third of its population. A significant role in the spread of rats, fleas and the disease itself was then played by unsanitary conditions, in general, characteristic of medieval Europe.
Today, the plague still exists in nature: its pathogen is present in the body of fleas living in the holes of wild rodents: gerbils, jerboas, hamsters, mice. And flea bite in nature is a kind of lottery: will it be harmless or will reward a person with a deadly microorganism ...
How to protect against flea attacks
Owners of pets who regularly go outside with their pet need to be constantly alert. After each walk, a dog or cat can bring on the wool one or two parasites, which will be able to quickly multiply in the house and be transmitted to a person (in other words, they will actively bite him).
Therefore, to protect the home from parasites is necessary:
- observe measures to prevent animal fleas from infecting: do not allow cats and dogs to communicate with street relatives, regularly check their coat, pay attention to any signs of unusual behavior for the pet.
- Immediately deal with parasites if they are found on the pets themselves.
- Maintain cleanliness in the room and get rid of those insects that are already present in it. A good means of prevention in the room are branches of wormwood or ammonia added to water for washing floors.
Such measures will allow not to worry that fleas will be transferred to the person from street animals.
Separately, it should be said about the protection against fleas for those who, willy-nilly, happens in the places of their presence: livestock workers, hunters, employees of zoos and field employees, tourists and travelers. In any conditions, a repellent against insects containing a substance called DEET is a reliable remedy for fleas.
Mosquito repellents work well in the form of aerosols: on hikes, on excursions or fieldwork, spray a sufficiently continuous layer with such a means below the knee to ensure protection not only against fleas, but also against other blood-sucking parasites.
In addition, given that fleas primarily get on their feet, it is enough to have tight pants tucked into shoes to provide protection against fleas for the time spent in nature. And tourists, who often find themselves in unknown settlements, should especially carefully choose a hotel and not save on their own health.