It's every pet owner's worst nightmare. Your cat or dog is sitting in the corner scratching like no tomorrow. There's only one thing for it—they've got fleas. When your pooch or feline is itching away, figuring out how to get rid of fleas can be challenging. The truth is that these little critters will bite and irritate them all day and night long.
However, that may not be the only worry on your mind. There's another thing that's been keeping you awake at night. Can fleas live in human hair? When you see your pet scratching away, you've wondered whether you're doomed to the same fate. You've even started to feel itchy and uncomfortable when around them.
Don't panic. This guide will look at everything you need to know about whether fleas can live and lay eggs on the human scalp. Here's what you need to know.
Can fleas live in human hair?
First, is it possible for fleas to live in human hair? The short answer is no. There are more than 2000 types of fleas around the globe. However, there is no evidence that these insects can live on the human body or scalp. Unlike what you may know about treating head lice, these insects only live on other species. You may find them living on livestock, some of your household pets, or even wild animals.
One of the main reasons fleas are attracted to certain animals is their fur or feathers. For example, a bird with amble feathers makes a perfect nest for a large family of fleas. The insects will have the chance to get deep inside the feathers and then lay eggs there. The environment makes an ideal breeding ground for insects.
On the other hand, humans tend to have much less hair than other animals. For that reason, fleas aren't attracted to them. So while you may be worried about a flea jumping from your pet to your head, that is unlikely to happen. Moreover, even if it did, the flea wouldn't make its home on your head. Put simply; you don't have enough hair to offer. Don't worry, growing long hair won't change that either.
Do fleas like to live in human hair? No—they don't. That means you can stop worrying about whether you'll catch fleas from your cat or dog. While their infestation may be annoying, you don't have to worry about catching the fleas. That's good news if you've been feeling a tad itchy lately.
Can fleas bite humans?
Sure, fleas can't live on humans… but that doesn't mean you're 100% free from them. Animal fleas can bite humans, and often enough, they do. The most likely situation is that the insects jump from your pet's bed and bite your ankles, feet, and legs. You will feel it when they do this, and, worse still, you might see them.
Flea bites gross and irritating, but they could also be dangerous. One study published in the Nature Journal suggests that cat fleas in New York can spread pathogens from human to human. In the simplest of terms, pathogens are organisms that can produce diseases. When they spread across communities, it could mean that many people become sick in a domino effect. That means that illnesses and diseases could spread fast.
For that reason, you will want to protect yourself against flea bites. When these insects have made the family pet their home, you must take action as soon as possible. Ignoring the issue will only mean that the infestation will worsen with time. Before you know it, you will find that other animals in your home also have fleas. These tiny insects love to lay eggs anywhere they can, and they can hop from animal to animal.
How to protect yourself against flea bites
Worried about your pet's fleas biting you? Luckily, there are some simple and effective ways to prevent bites. So long as you act fast (and keep things as clean as possible!), you should have no problem avoiding these irritating bites. When you realise that your cat or dog has fleas, you need to move quickly. Here's what to do:
1. Treat your pet for fleas
The first step here is to treat your pet for fleas. You can head to the vet and get a flea treatment or even buy something over the counter. As we have mentioned, the longer you ignore this problem, the worse it will be. You don't want to make that mistake. Treat the infestation the moment that you notice your pet has been scratching. It will do you and them a favour. If you need more information, check out the RSPCA guide.
2. Clean your pet's bedding
Bedding can become a hot spot for fleas. Since your dog or cat spends so many hours every day in this area, you might find loads of fleas here. Unfortunately, the insects may also try to lay eggs here too. To help get rid of the infestation sooner rather than later, you need to regularly clean your pet's bedding. This habit will help you kill the insects at the earliest stage of their lifestyle. That means that you can get rid of them swiftly.
3. Use a flea comb on your pet
While you may use a chemical flea treatment, there's another way to get rid of fleas. You can use a cat flea comb on your pet. These combs help you pick out insects and remove them from your animal. While it may not be a fun job (not by a long shot!), taking this measure will significantly affect how long the infestation lasts. When you are combining your pet, be sure to protect yourself. You don't want the fleas to jump onto you.
4. Use a regular flea treatment
When the infestation is gone, the fun and games don't end there. First, you should use a regular flea treatment on your domestic pet. Often enough, your vet will be able to advise you on what to use. In addition, you may want to wash your cat or dog with a specialist shampoo or even a shot you can put on their back every few months. Keeping up with this part of your pet maintenance could mean you don't have to deal with fleas again soon.
When your beloved pet gets fleas, it can be super stressful. Luckily, you don't have to panic about whether you can catch the insects from them. However, you should do everything you can to protect yourself and your animals from the critters. Acting fast is the only way to go. You can use a strong flea treatment, wash your pet's bedding, and clean your home well. When you've done that, you should say goodbye to the infestation.
Now that we've covered everything you need to know, let's look at some frequently asked questions. We've got you covered if you want to know more about fleas and how to manage them. Here are some of the questions that may be burning in your mind.
Can fleas lay eggs in human hair?
No. Fleas don't lay eggs on your scalp. These insects can only breed on specific animals, such as cats and dogs. For that reason, you don't have to panic about catching them from your animal. However, you should keep in mind that fleas can bite humans.
Can fleas live in your bed?
Fleas can live in your bed. This is a real risk if you let your animal sleep on the bed at night. When your pet has fleas, you should not allow them near your bed. You should also do all you can to get rid of the infestation. That means washing all of your bedding and ensuring that there are no fleas or eggs there. You may also find that vacuuming the area daily will help you steer clear of a widespread infestation of fleas. Yikes.
Are fleas more active at night?
Yes! Fleas are more or less nocturnal. That means that they will move, breed, and bite more during nighttime. You may find that your pet is more anxious or irritated during the evening with that in mind. The sooner you treat the fleas, the better.
Has this news taken you by surprise? Let us know in the comments below!