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Are Flea Infestations Dangerous In Pennsylvania?

The Problem With Fleas

Flea infestations are, without a doubt, a horrible situation to deal with. Fleas can cause Fluffy to dig and chew at her fur until it comes out in clumps. Fleas can provoke Fido to be up half the night, digging at his sides, thumping his leg on the floor, and keeping everyone in the house awake.

Swinging your legs out of bed and putting your feet on the floor will invite several of these tiny blood-suckers to launch onto your ankles to add more bites to your already flea-bitten legs. Yes, fleas are horrible to deal with. But are they actually dangerous? We invite you to read on and decide for yourself.

a flea jumping on the skin of a homeowner in pennsylvania

Negative Effects Of Fleas On Humans

  • Flea bites cause little red bumps on the skin surrounded by reddened rings. They are extremely itchy and can cause great discomfort. If they are scratched enough, and open wounds occur, an infection can result. Also, if an individual has an allergic reaction, the skin around the flea bites may swell up and become painful and irritated, and sometimes hives and/or a rash will appear.

  • Fleas are known to carry typhus. This disease can be spread not only by fleas but by mites, lice or ticks as well. If a person scratches a flea bite that is infected with typhus, the skin may open and allow the bacteria to enter the bloodstream. Symptoms of typhus include fever, headache, chills, and rash.

  • Fleas are able to carry spotted fever. This disease can also be transmitted by ticks. Symptoms of spotted fever include high fever, chills, severe headache, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, and insomnia. A few days after the onset of fever a non-itchy, red rash will appear.

  • Fleas are able to transmit the plague. Back in the Middle Ages, the plague, also called "Black Death" killed approximately 50 million people. While we are relatively safe from this disease today, it is still around and still infecting people. The plague has symptoms that are pretty horrifying, including fever, headache, chills, weakness, and one or more swollen, tender lymph nodes. Bacteria multiply in the lymph node. If an infected person does not receive appropriate antibiotics, the bacteria can spread. And even if death does not result from the plague in today's modern world the way it used to, it can still be extremely uncomfortable.

Negative Effects Of Fleas On Dogs And Cats

  • Like humans, animals are also susceptible to the plague, and dogs can contract spotted fever. While cats may test positive for exposure to Rickettsia (what causes spotted fever), they are not known to develop the symptoms of spotted fever.

  • Pets that are bitten by fleas can develop flea-allergy dermatitis, tapeworms, hair loss, and skin irritations, which can be severe if enough fleas are biting.

  • Fleas on pets in large numbers (especially on puppies and kittens) can cause anemia or iron deficiency.

  • Tapeworms in pets are caused by fleas. Tapeworms can also appear in small children if fleas (or parts of fleas) are ingested.

It would be bad enough if flea bites only caused itchy red bumps on the skin to plague us and our pets, but they have the potential to cause much more misery than that. Fleas can cause, both humans and pets alike, serious conditions and diseases, some of which still can cause death if proper medical attention is not acquired.

Do DIY Flea Solutions Really Work?

While there are a number of flea products on the market that can work well to prevent fleas from infesting, once fleas have taken root in your home, they can be nearly impossible to eliminate with DIY treatments. There are also many different flea prevention tips you can try, but again, they aren't guaranteed to work.

If you need a thorough solution for your flea problem, Moyer Pest Control is here to help! Not only can we take care of fleas, our home pest control services will eliminate and prevent a whole host of other household pests as well. Contact Moyer today to request your free pest inspection!

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