No matter how small the fleas are, they bite very painfully. Even relatively large in comparison with them insatiable bugs, and they do not cause such sensations, which are able to deliver small jumping bloodsuckers.
Scientists have long figured out why the flea bites are so painful and noticeable on the human body: it turns out that these parasites do not inject an anesthetic into the wound with a bite. It is thanks to this natural analgesic that bites of ticks and bedbugs are felt only after some time, during which the parasite already has time to be saturated with blood and run away. But fleas do not disguise at all: they do not seem to worry at all about not being noticed.
As it turned out, the reason for this is the high invulnerability of fleas for their victims. Indeed, neither a dog, nor a cat, nor any other animal can catch a tiny parasite in the wool (although try).
Yes, and a man, even catching a flea, only thanks to nails can crush it - fleas have a very durable chitinous cover that protects the insect from mechanical squeezing. That's not worried about these bloodsuckers about how to stay unnoticed, and therefore their bites are painful - nature has not laid a mechanism for masking the bite process as unnecessary.
Flea bites on a man have characteristic symptoms, due to which you can determine their cause, even without finding the parasites themselves.
Appearance and symptoms of flea bites
The bite of a flea looks like the majority of insect bites: a slight reddening with a tight swelling. The very place of puncture of the skin on it is usually not visible due to the very small size of the opening and elasticity of the skin.
But there is a small hemorrhage here. It is for this reason that insect bites on excursions to nature or on hikes are often confused with irritations from various stabbing plants.
The next photo shows characteristic fresh traces of flea bites, and even lower - photos of bites in a few hours:
How to look flea bites , you can look at a few more photos:
From the often biting species of fleas, the least marked traces of bites are left by cat fleas. Bites of feline fleas in a man cease to itch usually within an hour, and redness in their place disappears in a day or two.
The most prominent symptoms of flea bites on a person are the following symptoms:
- sharp stitching pain at the very bite - it creates a feeling that the sting is injected with an ordinary medical syringe;
- quite strong itching after a bite, more pronounced than itching after a mosquito bite;
- dislocation of bites: insects bite mainly for the legs to the knee, and only attacking the sleeping person, get to the underarms;
- characteristic series of bites - often one insect bites in succession in several places located at a distance of 1-2 cm one from the other.
The photo below shows a typical series of flea bites:
By the last sign, the bites of fleas and bedbugs are similar to each other, and many tourists for this reason confuse the bites of these insects with each other. However, fleas are characterized by a couple of bites, and even then they can be seen only after the night attack of parasites: few of the travelers in consciousness will suffer two bites in a row. For bed bugs are more characteristic of long paths of numerous bites on the body.
"I would never know that I was bitten by fleas, if I did not see the photos of the guys from another marching group. I thought it struck me with nettles, and only then I noticed a few bites in a line. Indeed, both bites or fleas or bugs are biting. But we went on a camping trip only in tents, and in them there was nowhere to take bugs. I never thought before what kind of bites from fleas are painful. They really heal more than the nettle burns. "
It is interesting
Depending on the type of insect, flea bites look different. Cat and rat parasites are very small and their bites resemble a small rash, often confused with allergies to plants. But the bite of fleas parasitizing ungulates cause painful swelling, comparable to those from bee stings.
The most common human bite is a human flea . It leaves a red swelling the size of a cigarette burn at the site of the bite.
On a note
There are no such species as a house flea or a bed flea , science does not know. Under such collective name in the people usually understand any representatives of the family, which may be in the home of a person - an apartment, house or time. And the symptoms of the bites of these parasites will be those that are characteristic of a particular biological species.
Numerous bites of human fleas often lead to a generalized reaction of the body, considered by doctors as a separate skin disease.
Pathogenesis of the body's reaction to bites
The main consequences of flea bites for humans are associated with the toxic effects of enzymes introduced by the parasite into the wound with saliva. The main task of these enzymes is to prevent blood clotting. As a result, after injecting saliva into the wound, the blood is filled with a thin trickle, almost gravitationally, in the insect's stomach.
Thanks to the elasticity of the human skin after the flea detaches itself from the place of the bite, the walls of the hole made by it are pressed against each other, and the blood does not flow from the place of the bite. However, under the skin there may be a pinpoint hemorrhage, and a small hemorrhage forms at the site of the bite.
On a note
If there are too many flea bites on a small area of the skin, abundant small hemorrhages can cause the development of purpura with all the expiring consequences.
The first few hours on the site of the bite is a noticeable blister that dissolves quickly enough. Microcirculation under the skin persists for a long time, and for several days a bitten person can walk with bite marks.
Different people have different sensitivity to flea bites. Some people have itching and swelling at the site of bites for half an hour, while others may develop skin changes at the site of the bite: tightening, hardening, prolonged redness.
The totality of such symptoms is called a pulicosis - a dermatological disease caused exclusively by flea bites. A characteristic type of bulimic stimulation can be seen in the following photograph:
"I have a strange reaction to fleas. Their bites do not even blush - only small dots remain where the insect bites. But it is only necessary to scratch this place a little, as a huge spot of centimeters appears sharply at 20 in diameter, very dense and red. Also it is scratched, an infection. Five minutes if you do not touch it, it passes ... "
It is characteristic that the reason for the Pulicosis is almost always a human flea. But the bites of feline fleas most often even in children pass quickly and without a trace.
On a note
Fleas have no preference for what kind of person to bite. As a rule, they attack the first person. And the belief that biting the insects of those who have thinner skin is not right. It's just that people with more dense and hard skin often do not notice their bites at all. There is a theory that fleas are more likely to attack people whose skin is thinner and the smell of blood in the blood vessels is felt better by insects. But there is no experimental evidence for such an assumption.
Sometimes, the pule may grow into complex dermatitis. However, this development of events is extremely rare and is typical only for cases of permanent and profuse lesions. In rare cases and usually only with very many bites insects in young children may develop anemia and a change in blood composition.
Even more serious and usually requiring treatment is the allergic reaction of the body to flea bites. But it's worth talking about separately.
Allergy to flea bites
An allergic reaction is caused by the saliva of an insect, rich in special enzymes. Such a reaction develops with an increased sensitivity of a person to flea or insect bites in general.
On a note
The most common allergy to flea bites are children under the age of 12 years. They can become the signaling devices that there are these insects in the house: adults can regularly be bitten in a dream, but not feel them. The photo shows a patch of skin on the foot of a child bitten by fleas:
The most common symptoms of allergy to flea bites are:
- increase in body temperature up to + 40 ° С
- breathing complications
In the case of human hypersensitivity to insect bites, anaphylactic shock can develop.
When allergy symptoms appear, you should immediately see a doctor. Usually in these cases prescribed antihistamines and soothing drugs, and with acute itching give analgesics and soothing.
Possible complications after flea bites
But even allergies and pukulosis are not the most serious consequences of flea bites. The most dangerous are those diseases, the causative agents of which are transferred by these parasites.
For example, the most massive epidemic in human history, which mowed a third of the population of Europe in the Middle Ages - the epidemic of bubonic plague - arose precisely because of the fleas that sailed to Italian ports on ships in wool of rats.
Today, the natural populations of rodents - gerbils, gophers and jerboas - are the main natural reservoirs of the causative agent of the plague, and it is parasites that parasitize these animals that can transmit a terrible infection from animals to humans.
In the photo - a small jerboa, the main carrier of the plague in Central Asia:
No less dangerous are other infectious agents that are carried by fleas:
- pathogens of salmonella and tularemia
- rickettsia - pathogens of typhus
- encephalitis virus
- anthrax spores.
In total, up to 200 pathogens of deadly diseases were discovered by scientists on certain types of fleas. Considering the fact that these species themselves are practically indistinguishable from each other in everyday life, a bitten person can never know what infection he will pick up with another parasite.
It is very important not to comb the bites of fleas. If the skin is damaged and the canal through which the parasite is fed, there is a risk of secondary infection of the wound with an infection.
More often the scratched wounds begin to fester and cause even more painful sensations, rather than bites by themselves. Instead of such combing it is much more reasonable to immediately correctly handle the damage caused by insects.
How to handle flea bites
In order to maximally decontaminate flea bites and reduce pain when they appear, it is necessary:
- to wipe places of bites with warm water with antiseptic soap;
- In case of severe damage, blot the bite with an aqueous solution of vinegar or citric acid;
- Lubricate bites with an antiseptic lotion or gel. Excellent Boro-Plus or calamine lotion;
- with a strong itching to treat bites with Hydrocortisone - it helps to relieve pain.
But the main recipe for getting rid of flea bites is the removal of parasites from the apartment or house and the prevention of their bites in nature. And this and that task can be successfully solved today even by a layman, and such an approach will allow the most reliable protection against flea bites.