Although it is commonly believed that the fleas usually jump on humans only with nearby fleas, but in reality these parasites can often attack directly from the ground - for example, when visiting the basement of the house, walking in the yard and even hunting in the forest. In summer and early autumn, residents of some apartment and private houses are literally invaded by so-called earthen fleas, getting rid of them without understanding the features of the multiplication of parasites is not so simple.
Let's see where, in general, these parasites come from in the earth and, most importantly, how they can be effectively combated if they already appeared in the house (or apartment) ...
Unchanging neighbors of man
For someone, it may be unexpected, but so-called earthen fleas are the most common fleas parasitizing on cats, dogs, rats, mice, and if successful, biting people.
As for the epithet "earthen" - it can be said, especially popular, it is used in common speech, when they want to clarify that the parasites are located on the ground (or on the floor, if it is a flat or a private house), from where they attack rights. In fact, this is typical for almost all types of fleas, because this is how they attack their prey.
For example, most often in the houses, apartments and cellars of a person bites fleas belonging to the following species:
- The cat flea;
- South rat flea;
- The dog flea;
- The human flea.
To distinguish them from each other with the naked eye is almost impossible, and even specialists need a microscope and professional experience for this.
Below the photograph shows a rat flea under a microscope:
Given the actual size of these insects (about 2-3 mm in length), the difference between individuals of different species without a microscope is extremely difficult to observe.
In addition, it should be borne in mind that species names do not mean at all that, for example, cat fleas only parasitize cats, and rat rats only on rats. These parasites are universal and can be fed by blood of different animals: for example, a cat flea can equally bite cats, dogs, and humans. And, for example, on one rat, representatives of different types of fleas can parasitize simultaneously.
Parasites bite both wild and domestic animals, including rodent pests, with them they also penetrate into the human habitation. Here, in the cellars of houses and apartments, they can leave the body of the master, moving to the floor, and being hungry, if possible, they attack people.
All these parasites in everyday life are called earthen fleas and they can be combated with all the same methods.
On a note
Perhaps, one of the most frequent questions asked by tenants of workers of pest control services, who come to work on cellars of houses against fleas, is how earth fleas differ from feline fleas. As you now understand, there are actually no differences, as far as the same insects are concerned.
Outside the host's body, adult individuals fleas are jumping, and run only in the animal's fur. Consequently, they can jump to the human body only from the floor or from the ground.
Below, the photographs show what an earthen flea looks like at the time of the bite:
A characteristic feature of the appearance of these parasites is a flat body, glossy covers (by the way, very strong and protecting the flea from crushing). But the easiest way to identify the parasite is by its jumps: it may seem that the insect that just sat on the skin, as if it had disappeared - the flea jumps so fast that the human eye can not trace its movement.
In the street, earthen fleas bite, first of all, open areas of the body. Normally, the legs suffer, less often the arms and neck. At home, parasites have enough time to get under their clothes.
On a note
In some countries (for example, Thailand, Vietnam, India) you can find true earthen fleas - they are also called sand fleas. The female of such a parasite literally gets under the skin of a person and stays there, feeding on blood and gradually swelling in width, as a large number of eggs develop in her body. Not recovered in time, it causes suppuration, which sometimes develops into gangrene and requires amputation of the limb.
Photos extracted from the foot of a sand flea:
Fortunately, in our country, sand fleas do not occur.
Meanwhile, in Russia, earthen fleas are sometimes referred to as insects that have no relation to blood-sucking fleas. For example:
- Fools are arthropods that live in the ground, and not on its surface. In a private house or apartment they are found in flower pots, and, multiplying in large numbers, can lead to the death of plants. To get rid of such earthen fleas is also not so easy;
- The genus of small leaf beetles with jumping hind legs. They are known as pests of agriculture and vegetable gardens. Below the photo shows a beetle from the family of earthen fleas:
Podury and beetle-beetles do not bite either man or animals. Parasitic fleas feed exclusively on blood, and therefore for life and reproduction are forced to bite people, dogs, cats or rodents.
Where do earth fleas come from in the house or apartment?
It is widely believed that fleas are planted only in dirty areas in which the proper level of sanitation is not maintained. This is true only in part - worm-like flea larvae, the existence of which not everyone suspects, it will be really more comfortable to develop on the floor of a poorly cleaned room. However, adult specimens of parasites often appear in very clean tenants, and everywhere, where they can physically penetrate and regularly feed on blood.
As a rule, in the house or apartment, earthen fleas come with pets that periodically walk on the street and do not wear special anti-flea collars. Even two or three fleas that have jumped on a dog, over time scatter eggs around the house - from them then larvae will appear that will quickly become full bloodsuckers.
However, often earthen fleas fall into the room in other ways:
- Penetrate from the infected neighboring premises - from cellars and entrances, from attics, as well as from neighbors containing dogs or cats and not keeping clean. Often in the warm season from the basement, earthen fleas can massively enter the apartments on the ground floors (the same applies to private houses) ;
- They are brought into the house or apartment with rats and mice. These rodents are almost always infected with parasites, and if they visit the house permanently, they will probably leave a few fleas here. If such a rodent dies (from poison, in a mousetrap or for some other reason), all the fleas quickly leave his body and look for a new victim;
- Through the windows and doors from the street (from the yard). Just imagine that in your yard under the window the larvae of fleas are teeming in the ground and, in addition, flea cats and dogs are walking: parasites need very little time to enter the room (provided that the windows are not very high);
- They are brought into the house by the person himself on clothes or directly on the body. For example, fleas in large quantities can jump on the clothes of a person visiting the basement (often plumbing suffer from this), but jumping off when a person returns to a dwelling. The same applies to hunters who, for example, passing near fox holes, also often catch on themselves a huge number of hungry fleas.
On a note
Earth fleas live on average for 1-2 months, although in ideal laboratory conditions some individuals survive to a year or more. If in an apartment or a private house these parasites bite massively, it means that they have already successfully settled here and are actively breeding. In this case, we need not so much to look for ways to penetrate the premises, how many to eliminate the conditions, because of which they safely breed, and also to get rid of the already existing population of parasites.
Sometimes it is generally problematic to find out where the earth fleas come from in a particular apartment: it would seem that there are no pets, the neighbors do not suffer from invasion of parasites, and according to the owners, rats and mice were not visible for years. In such situations, the most likely option is a random drift of fleas into the house on clothes (can be entered by both residents and guests).
Where in the house to look for these parasites and their larvae?
To effectively combat earthen fleas , it is important to be aware of their life cycle. As practice shows, most people do not even guess that they have a huge number of flea eggs in the basement of the house (or on the floor of the apartment), and flea-like flea-like larvae similar to small worms can swish in the corners of the apartment. And because of ignorance, the whole struggle boils down to an attempt to get rid of only adults - those who jump and bite.
So, fleas reproduce with a full cycle of development:
- Each female after the ripening of eggs with a force pushes them out of the body, and they literally scatter from the animal's fur around the room;
- Small worm-like larvae are hatched from the eggs, which feed almost any organics - from debris under the bedside tables to urine-wetted sawdust in a cage with a hamster. It is clear that such larvae can be found almost everywhere, even where there are no adult fleas. And to destroy them, you need to process by special means literally every square centimeter of the floor;
- After some time the larvae turn into pupae. Pupae do not move and do not feed, but they are resistant to the action of most insecticides. Pupae are in the same place where the larvae of parasites live.
As for adults of fleas, due to their small size and flattened body, they can hide in housing literally anywhere, including between parquet boards, in upholstered furniture, behind skirting boards. However, usually they choose as shelters those places near which their victims most often turn out to be.
It can be:
- Litter on which the dog sleeps;
- Slots in a wooden cage with a rat or hamster;
- Cat house;
- Toilet for a cat;
- Angles, plinths and furniture near the place where the animal spends most of the time;
- Beds, sofas, armchairs.
In the cellars of private houses, fleas concentrate near the moves of rats and mice, and in the cellars of high-rise buildings - where dogs and cats are constantly sleeping.
How to deal with earthen fleas?
To remove the flea from the house, it is necessary:
- To block the path of possible penetration of parasites into the room;
- Infect fleas in pets;
- Destroy the parasites and their larvae in the house. It is not uncommon to get rid of fleas in an infected room for one treatment - then a repeated procedure of pest control is necessary.
All these actions need to be performed in this order, since otherwise it is possible to restore the number of parasite populations in the room.
In animals, fleas are poisoned with special insecticidal drops (for example, Hartz, Frontline, Stronghold), sprays (Frontline, Hartz), shampoos (Beaphar, Leonardo, Doctor Zoo), and also with specific agents (tablets, injections, emulsion concentrates for dilution and spraying - for example Butox 50). Most modern tools allow you to get rid of fleas from the pet fairly quickly and at the same time is relatively safe for the health of the animal (provided that the instructions for the use of appropriate drugs are strictly observed).
A good effect is also provided by anti-block collars, but it is better to use them for preventive purposes to further protect the pet from repeated infection with earthen fleas.
On a note
It should be borne in mind that the funds intended for the destruction of fleas in the premises are not suitable for treating the animal, although they can use the same insecticides as, for example, in droplets on the withers or insecticocaricidal sprays for dogs and cats. The fact is that in preparations intended for the disinfestation of premises, the concentration of the active substance can be tens of times higher than permissible for processing animals. In addition, technical insecticides may contain undesirable impurities.
Choose the drug for breeding fleas on the pet should be in consultation with the veterinarian.
To independently get rid of earthen fleas in the apartment (or in the basement of the house), for example, the following types of insecticides can be used:
- Concentrates of insecticides, adapted for household use - they are diluted, after which they are sprayed from a conventional spray. Pyrethroids (cypermethrin, tetramethrin, deltamethrin, lambda-cyhalothrin) and organophosphate compounds (chlorpyrifos, fenthion, malathion and others) help the fleas well. Today, ready-made concentrates of these insecticides are on sale, which at home are simply diluted in the right concentration with water. Here are some examples of some tools that can effectively get rid of earthen fleas in the room, even in the most neglected cases: Ksulat Micro, Get, Lambda Zone, Delta Zone, Agran, Cifox and some others;
- Aerosol preparations in cans, ready for use (for example, Dichlorfos of different brands, Raid, Combat, Raptor, etc.). They are easy to use, but not very economical - the number of cylinders sufficient for processing a large basement room will cost significantly more than a concentrated product;
- Powdered insecticides, also called dust (Clean House, Phenaxin, Ecokiller, Piretrum powder, etc.). Such powders are particularly effective in destroying larvae of earthen fleas, so it is advisable to combine them with other types of preparations.
By these means it is necessary to fully process all the places of possible shelter of fleas and their larvae. If the drugs are applied correctly, the vast majority of parasites can often be destroyed very quickly - literally in a few hours, and taking into account the preparatory measures, the entire fight will end in one day.
On a note
It is useless to try to etch earth fleas with gels and poisoned baits for cockroaches and house ants. The fact is that such funds are designed for the fact that their insects will eat and etch (active substances in them have an intestinal poisoning effect). Fleas, by virtue of their biology, feed on only blood and to bait will be indifferent. As for the larvae of fleas, eating all in a row, then most of them will not crawl to the poison.
Many try to get rid of earthen fleas in the house, using folk remedies - decoctions of herbs, gasoline, kerosene, combined solvents, vinegar. Sometimes parasites are even frozen out or try to destroy them by high temperatures with the help of hot steam. In some cases, such methods and tools prove to be effective, but they often give only a partial result, while substantially lowering the simplicity of application, reliability and effectiveness of modern insecticidal drugs.
On a note
Scare fleas from the apartment with the smell of wormwood, tansy or ammonia can rarely. Yes, we can say that adults are afraid (or rather avoid) of the smells of some herbs and technical fluids, but they are not always able to leave the premises themselves - windows and doors are simply closed. And certainly there will not be larvae of fleas that reliably remove them from the house, only destroying them with a poisonous substance.
Do not forget that the specialists of pest control services can help get rid of fleas in the house. It is more expensive than buying drugs and poisoning parasites on their own, but often more reliable and easier. Specialists use powerful tools and, in addition, know which places in the apartment need to be processed to kill both adult fleas and larvae.
If the fleas constantly climb into the apartment from the basement or from the attic of the house (often attacking the tenants who go out into the yard), then they can not do anything on their own to remove them in this case. This is the patrimony of the SES, and they must solve the problem jointly with the management company. Your task is to achieve resolution of the issue by the SES itself, and the more tenants of the house will be able to attract to this process, the higher the probability of success.
What can be dangerous bites of fleas and what to do if you are still bitten
Perhaps the first thing to keep in mind is that fleas can indeed pose a threat to human health, despite the fact that they are often treated without due attention, as a minor unfortunate misunderstanding. And the danger of regular flea bites is the main reason to hurry up with the removal of these parasites from the room.
At least, the bites of earthen fleas are painful and long itch, the place of bite is often inflamed (especially for children who comb the wounds, infecting them, which leads to suppuration).
Below, the photographs show several examples of how earth flea bites on the legs and body of a person can look:
It is much more serious that fleas can be potential carriers of pathogens of the most dangerous diseases - plague, anthrax, typhoid, brucellosis, encephalitis and some others. It should be remembered that it was fleas that were one of the causes of the devastating pandemics of the plague in Egypt and the Middle East (the number of victims is about 100 million people) and in Medieval Europe (then, according to rough estimates of historians, 25 million people died from the disease).
In addition to bacteria and viruses, fleas also carry some helminths.
This does not mean, however, that after a flea bite, one must immediately run to the doctor. Most flea bites today are not accompanied by infection, and therefore it is enough to spread a painful wound with a suitable ointment to relieve pain (for example, in the absence of contraindications, Menovazan, hydrocortisone ointment, Fenistil emulsion or Psilo-balm) can be used. Such drugs, in addition, will reduce inflammation and prevent the development of an allergic reaction.
As a rule, any special treatment with flea bites is not required, although sometimes the victims try to "treat" bites with folk remedies - alcohol tincture of propolis, vodka (inside), parsley juice and even a piece of potatoes. In this respect, it would be preferable to treat flea bites with green or iodine - for antiseptic treatment.
In general, when receiving multiple bites, you should watch for a while carefully your own condition: if there are signs of deterioration of well-being - body temperature rises, there are pains in the head or abdomen, fever develops - so you need to go to the hospital.
On a note
There is an opinion that earthen fleas do not bite all people, but do it selectively, and there are many explanations why this happens. Someone even seriously believes that fleas choose a victim by blood group or by psychotype.
In fact, fleas are absolutely indiscriminate in the choice of the victim - they are equally willing to drink blood from any person who is nearby. And the corresponding opinion is due to the fact that some people bite the fleas almost do not feel and do not complain about them, especially when parasites are not particularly numerous. It is clear that when one person does not suffer from bites in the house, and the second, whose skin is inclined to react actively to insect bites, is infinitely itchy, it seems that parasites bite only one of them.
How to protect the apartment from the re-emergence of these insects?
To prevent the re-emergence of earthen fleas in the room, it is necessary:
- Regularly use protective equipment in domestic animals - anti-block collars, insectoakaricidal drops on the withers;
- If it comes to a private home - get rid of all the rodents that enter the room and monitor their absence in the future;
- For an apartment building - create conditions that exclude mass reproduction of fleas in the basement and in the attic (for example, scatter insecticide powder on the floor, or spray the insecticide in the warm season approximately once a quarter);
- Carefully to erase and check things in which a person visits a cellar or cellar, goes hunting;
- Regularly wash the litter on which pets sleep;
- Regularly spend in the room cleaning (a common vacuum cleaner just will not leave the fleas larva chances of survival, for example, somewhere in the dust near the baseboard).
On a note
If fleas attack from the ground directly in the garden, then, as a rule, the destruction of rodents helps - it is in their holes and parasites breed.
If you personally had to face the invasion of earthen fleas - share your experience, leaving a review at the bottom of this page (in the comments field).