Flea Bites: How To Identify and Treat Them Quickly
Flea bites are incisions in the epidermis resulting from bites of siphonapteran insects. Flea bites are generally produced by ectoparasitic insects of the Pulicidae family.
What are fleas?
Fleas are tiny insects; their size varies from ⅓ to ⅛ inches (1mm to 3mm long); they do not have wings, but they can move by jumping. They are of variable dark brown color. Not having wings, they cannot fly. As a component of their structure, they have a protein, resilin, which allows them to move through jumps of variable length. Compared to other animals, they can jump around 200 times their body length, making them capable animals. To jump the most significant distance compared to other animals. This ability allows them to move from one body to another, whether animal or human. They have a tube-like mouth apparatus that will enable them to feed on the blood of their hosts. Through this mechanism, the flea can cause disease in humans.
What are the symptoms of a flea bite?
The symptoms of a flea bite are variable. When the insect comes into contact with the animal's or human's skin, an inflammatory reaction begins that can be mild and produce only a red spot with a point in the center, or it could continue to grow until a higher, more challenging lesion appears. The main symptom that stands out is pruritus or itching. If the scratching is constant, the lesions can become super infected with bacteria, and a yellowish liquid similar to pus appears in them. These lesions can progress to scabs, and if they are very extensive and infected, they can give rise to complicated skin infections.
- LOCAL ITCHING OR ITCHING
- GENERALIZED ALLERGIC REACTION IF THE PERSON HAS THIS ALLERGY CONDITION TO THE EXIT OF THE FLEA
- APPEARANCE OF A SMALL RED AREA WITH A CENTRAL POINT
- FORMATION OF A WHEEL OR SMALL INCREASE IN VOLUME
- IF THERE IS SUPER-AGGREGATED BACTERIAL INFECTION: GREATER RED COLOR, YELLOW DISCRETION OR PUS, PAIN IN THIS AREA.
- IF THERE ARE MANY PITCHES, MAJOR INJURIES MAY CAUSE UNREST AND ANXIETY.
Can flea bites cause other problems?
In addition to the symptoms described above, fleas can transmit other diseases. Fleas behave as vectors that transmit diseases from animals to humans. Fleas cause the following conditions:
- Typhus and bubonic plague are transmitted between rodents and humans by the gutter rat flea and the black rat flea.
- The typical dog and cat flea can be intermediaries for cestodes (parasites) which can then parasitize humans.
How to detect if there is a flea in your house?
Fleas generally inhabit domestic animals such as dogs and cats. In addition, the possibility that these insects can infest humans even if they do not have pets at home exists since, as mentioned before, fleas can move over greater distances by jumping. Other small mammals, such as rodents, can harbor fleas and live in homes or infested areas.
The Pet is infested based on the following signs:
Frequent and excessive itching
- Hair loss
- Shedding of the animal’s skin
- Small raised lesions on the animal’s skin
- General symptoms: irritability, decay
We can see Adult fleas due to their small size. These are only 5% of those that inhabit the animal (adult fleas); another sign that the animal has fleas is that lots of white particles are visible on its skin, and other dark ones at the base of the hair, the white ones are eggs, and the dark ones are the stools.
Where do fleas bite cats and dogs?
Fleas prefer cats in the head, neck, and front legs. And in dogs, they choose to be located in the regions and hind legs.
Can fleas affect people at home without affecting animals?
Although they have preferences for pets, fleas can live and multiply in any area with organic matter, such as grass, soil, and other non-domestic animals. Producing in this way the infestation of homes and also infecting humans.
Some ticks like the black-legged ticks (also known as deer ticks) may carry parasites like the Babesia (Babesia Microti) of the Protozoa family. These parasites may cause serious complications like Babesiosis (blood infection). Babesiosis can affect both humans and animals (domestic and non-domestic animals).
Bed bugs vs. flea bites?
The lesions are similar; however, they present differences in terms of the distribution of the lesions and their characteristics:
- Red lesions not so raised
- Face, back, and neck injuries
- The lesions are usually confluent or grouped in the affected areas
- They tend to inflame
- Red raised lesions around injuries mainly to hands, legs, ankles, arms
- They do not ignite, only a red dot in the center
Bed bugs vs. Mosquito bites?
As its name describes, bed bugs are insects that infect mattresses. They can produce rounded red lesions predominantly in the areas of contact with these surfaces: the face, thorax, back, and arms. They have lesions that can be confluent, red, or raised.
On the other hand, insect bite lesions are isolated or separate lesions found on the hands, arms, and legs. Those are the most exposed areas. They produce variable itching. They can get better quickly, unlike bed bug injuries which last for days or weeks.
How are flea bites treated?
In general, if there is a suspicion of insect bites, the first thing to do is to ensure an environment free of them since they can occur repeatedly. Treatment will depend on the number or extent of the lesions. If the lesions are isolated, creams for insect bites are the most appropriate. Creams can not only improve injuries but can also soothe symptoms by cooling the area. Widespread lesions can be prevented by using ointments that contain antibiotics.
More severe reactions with suspicion of allergic responses with general symptoms ranging from fever, respiratory compromise, or signs of infection should require immediate attendance at the emergency services for timely medical evaluation.
How are insect bites in babies treated?
When having contact with pets, our babies can suffer from insect bites. Likewise, if the lesions are few, and there are no signs that suggest allergies, the most appropriate treatment is to wash the area with water and antiseptic soap, then apply lotions for pediatric use that contain calamine or oats to refresh the affected skin.
The application can favor the low-potency corticosteroid creams; a thin layer is applied only on the lesion without extending beyond it. Using ointments containing some antibiotics Mupirocin could also prevent superimposed infection.
Trimming the child's nails is also essential to avoid scratching injuries. In the presence of fever, weakness, loss of appetite, or any sign that suggests a complication in the child, it is necessary to consult the pediatrician immediately.
Who are the top experts researching treatments for flea bites?
The top experts researching flea bites are: Elizabeth García, Susana Fiorentino and Rafael Andrade.
What are the top concepts researched in studies about flea bites?
The most researched concepts in studies of flea bites are: Papular Urticaria, Flea Bite, Atopic Dermatitis, Allergic Rhinitis and Skin Diseases.
Recent articles about Flea Bites
Allergy To Flea Bites. Iii. The Experimental Induction Of Flea Bite Sensitivity...
.. to flea bites by previous exposure to Ctenocephalides felis felis. Delayed reactions appeared at from 5–7 days following daily exposures. Two to 5 days following the appearance of delayed ...
Known for Flea Bites | Guinea Pigs | Ctenocephalides Felis Felis | Delayed Reactions | Intradermal Injections
Allergy To Flea Bites. I. Experimental Induction Of Flea-Bite Sensitivity In Guinea Pigs
.. to flea bites, by exposure to the bites of Pulex irritans, P. simulans and Ctenocephalides felis felis, resulted in a delayed 12 to 24-hour reaction. The development of hypersensitivity ...
Known for Guinea Pigs | Flea Bites | Experimental Induction | Stings Siphonaptera | Bite Sensitivity
Histologic Studies Of Guinea Pig Skin: Different Stages Of Allergic Reactivity To...
.. to flea bites. The sequence is composed of stages that are observed at the bite sites and can be classified in terms of allergic phenomena. This study presents a sequential morphologic ...
Known for Flea Bites | Guinea Pigs | Skin Reactions | Bite Sites | Delayed Reaction
Allergy To Flea Bites. Iv. In Vitro Collection And Antigenic Properties Of The...
The in vitro collection of oral secretion of cat fleas Ctenocephalides felis felis and the allergenic properties of the collected material are described. The reported experiments demonstrate ...
Known for Oral Secretion | Flea Bites | Ctenocephalides Felis | Stings Siphonaptera | Humans Hypersensitivity
Allergy To Flea Bites. V. Preliminary Results Of Fractionation, Characterization,...
Preliminary investigations of material obtained from in vitro-collected oral secretion of fleas have revealed several substances showing allergenic activity related to flea-bite ...
Known for Oral Secretion | Flea Bites | Ctenocephalides Felis | Gel Filtration
Antigenic Property Of The Oral Secretion Of Fleas
.. to flea bites they developed an allergic state which required a latent period of 5–7 days for the appearance of delayed reactions, and an additional 2–5 days for the onset of immediate ...
Known for Oral Secretion | Flea Bites | Guinea Pigs | Intradermal Injection | Skin Reactions
Desensitization To Insect Bites
.. for flea bites.The region surrounding the San Francisco Bay aboun
Known for Insect Bites | Desensitization Immunologic | Francisco Bay | Stings | Fleas
Lesions Of Experimental Flea Bite Hypersensitivity In The Dog
.. by flea bites. Histologically, the immediate response consisted of edema and eosinophils which sometimes overlapped with a delayed inflammatory response comprised of perivascular ...
Known for Delayed Hypersensitivity | Insect Bites | Mast Cells | Siphonaptera Skin | Flea Bite
Cases Of Cat-Associated Human Plague In The Western Us, 1977–1998
Exposure to cats infected with Yersinia pestis is a recently recognized risk for human plague in the US. Twenty-three cases of cat-associated human plague (5 of which were fatal) occurred in 8 ...
Known for Human Plague | Yersinia Pestis | Flea Bites | Infected Cats | Western States
Mass Flea Outbreak At A Child Care Facility: Case Report.
.. to flea bites occurred on the legs of six children. Flea presence was due to cats occupying the crawl space. Fleas were eradicated by eliminating entry of cats and using residual ...
Known for Flea Bites | Day Centers | Siphonaptera Animals | Infestations Humans