Can fleas pass from pets to humans? — Jacob’s student essay

Can Fleas Pass From Pets To Humans?

Can fleas pass from pets to humans? Unfortunately the answer to that question is yes. While having a pet in the home is a wonderful blessing and these cuties can bring much joy, love and happiness to your home. They can also bring fleas that they can share with everyone in your household. Fleas can pass from pets to humans. Humans aren’t considered to have fleas, but they are very much affected by them.

When you bring that cute, little puppy or kitten home to become a member of your family the farthest thing from your mind are probably the fleas that want to become a family member as well. Fleas are extremely tiny parasites that survive by biting skin and sucking blood. There is a good chance that in its lifetime your new furry family member will become a home to many fleas. 

Fleas usually live on furry and even feathery, warm-blooded animals because it is easy for them to hide and to reproduce under the fur and feathers. They can easily burrow down into the fluffy hair and hide and continue to feed uninterrupted. 

An adult female flea can lay 50 eggs a day. They incubate best in temperatures between 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Since most household fall in this ideal temperature range, the perfect incubation can occur in your home. As this cycle continues, an infestation can occur easily.

One positive note on the flea is that they are wingless. To pass from an animal to a human they rely on their jumping ability. Fleas can jump up to 13 inches. That does not seem very far, but compared to the size of the flea it is a very impressive feat. That is why they are easily passed to humans while coming into close contact with pets.

Tick and flea prevention

Fleas can also jump off of the pet unto other services and then they can jump on to humans. Once a flea is on a human, it will bite down on the human. Fleas usually bite on a human’s feet, ankles, and legs. They can also bite on other areas, but these areas closer to the floor seem to be the hardest hit due to the flea usually being lower to the ground on your pet or the floor area. 

Fleas do not live on humans the way they do pets. They usually do not last long on a human because they do not have the fur and hair that pets do. Humans usually wash or scratch off a flea long before it would be able to breed. In pets, fleas are protected by pet’s fur and even when the pet feels the bites and scratches, the flea still remains burrowed into its skin. In a lab study it was concluded that a flea would have to feed off of a human for 12 hours to have a chance at laying any viable eggs. 

Since fleas are brown in color and bite, it is very rare that a human would not notice them and remove them in that length of time. Now, I do know of some humans that I consider very hairy and that makes me wonder if they could have a flea problem. It is still very doubtful because even though they are very hairy, their hair is not as dense as animal fur.

Fleas are totally capable of being passed from pets to humans. They can be easily passed to humans but they are unable to live on humans the way they can make a home on the pet. So remember, when you bring your sweet pet home that they will more than likely be providing a home for a pet of their own except this will be a pest instead of a pet. We are fortunate to live in a time where there are many ways to get rid of fleas and have the peace of mind to love our pets without loving their pests.

Author: Jacob Gutberlet

Marietta College

Student Scholarships

Every year Thrive Pest Control hosts an essay contest and the reward is a 1-year scholarship at a 4-year university in the United States. This blog post is one of those scholarships.