Can Dog Fleas Transfer to Humans?

Recently my friend acquired a healthy looking dog.  Sadly, the dog had a massive flea infestation. He had just flea shampooed it but was wondering “Can Dog Fleas Transfer to Humans?” Can fleas jump/ bite him, his kids or wife? I seek to answer these questions in a short post.

The simple answer is Yes – The over 2,000 flea species (mainly C. felis & C. canis) can hitchhike human hair and clothes from dogs – canines. Despite that most fleas will bite humans, only the Pulex irritans (human flea) will survive on human blood. 

Pulex irritans or Ctenocephalides canis

A quick google search on whether Can Dog Fleas Transfer to Humans, – most related information available online is false. Some articles claim that only dog fleas (Ctenocephalides canis) attack canines and that only the Pulex irritans can bite human beings.

Pulex irritans feed on blood (human, dogs, and cats) and thus will bite human beings (leaving itchy red bumps ) but only survive on human blood. Fleas transmit tapeworms, cause flea allergy dermatitis (FAD), and anemia. Control fleas on clothes and kill massive flea infestation with foggers

Fleas Hitchhike your clothes and hair

First, fleas lack wings and thus do not fly but jump from one host to another or hiding place. Also, fleas have rough bristles that allow them to attach themselves to the pet’s (cat or dog) fur. 

There are about 320 flea species: in the US Ctenocephalides felis is most common. Ctenocephalides canis is common in Europe. The above two flea species all bite human beings, but Pulex irritans are mainly hosted by pigs.

The insects jump about 16 inches long and eight inches high to land on any host to bite and suck blood. Notably, fleas will mainly suck blood from any host, either humans, wild animals, or pets (cats and dogs).

Any flea brought in by your dogs will hide under the furniture until their larvae if fully developed. Finally, the fleas hatch and sense your warm blood and thus take a bite on your skin to suck blood. Also, humans carry fleas to another home on their hair and clothes. 

Fleas will bite your ankles and legs, which you see if you walk into a house infested with a massive flea population. They’ll leave some rid itchy round bumps on the location they bite. 

Signs of fleas transfer from your dog

So, how’ll you know when fleas have transferred from your dog to you or your family member? Well, first check if your dog is continuously scratching its skin and fur. That’s the first sign because flea bites will cause itching on both human beings and dogs.

Also, check whether your dog has signs of allergies due a massive flea infestation. Further, if you notes some flea dirt and red bumps on the dog, you should be alert that a flea attack could be coming over to you from the dog.

Brush or comb your dog keenly to check whether the comb comes out with some brown color when passed on a white surface.

Prevent fleas on your dogs

I’ve pointed above that you can use flea bombs to control massive flea infestations in your rooms. However, to control fleas on your dogs, Advantage® II and Frontline® Plus have proven to the top models. You can also use a flea spray for your yard such as Pivot 10 IGR Concentrate or NyGuard Insect Growth Regulator

Conclusion

Fleas take host on your dog and thus whenever you come too close to the pet, the fleas could jump over to you looking for a blood source.  However, fleas (apart from Pulex irritans) cannot live on human blood and thus will have to jump off to an appropriate host, particularly after sucking some of your blood.

 

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