Can Humans Carry Fleas from one Home to Another?

My buddy, Anna, has a massive flea infestation (she’s planning to use the best flea bomb soon). She’s coming for a sleepover 😞😞😞. I advised her not to come with her dog. So, can she still carry fleas over in her clothes?

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The short answer is: YES, human beings can carry fleas from one house to another. The bugs will hitchhike your clothes, shoes, skins, or hair. The fleas will bite and suck blood – for a maximum of 24 hours then jump onto furniture, dogs or cats. Unlike pets’ skin, human skin has no hair/fur, and thus fleas will jump off to a furry area when you get home.


Carry fleas on clothes

I’ll tell you a related story: I had just been transferred to my current job – 2 years ago. I landed in town to search for a rental house. All I can remember is that I entered many houses – some smelly and dirty as they’d had no tenant for a long time.

As I went back to my host’s house, I started feeling itchy all over my body.  I noted the small bumpy and clumped up bites on my body. Sadly, I realized that I had carried fleas from my house searching spree. Well, I took a thorough shower and tried treating my clothes with a very hot water dip. Needless to say, the house had a massive flea infestation after this event.

Can humans Carry fleas on clothes

Also, did you ever wonder why pest exterminators and vets wear scrubs as opposed to nice clothes as they work? Well, they don’t do this due to budget constraints – or to look cool or smart – but to avoid carrying dangerous pets and infections back to their house. The professionals change the scrubs after work to avoid carrying home fleas, blood, larvae, and feces that could end up being a menace in another client’s house or their home.

Here’s the deal: According to School IPM flea controlAdult fleas will emerge from their pupal casing after 1-2 weeks but may stay dormant in the cocoons for few months reliant on favorable conditions and food. When you enter an unoccupied house, the vibrations, heat and carbon dioxide that you generate will cause the flea adults to emerge from their pupal stage. 

Fleas have 2 short antennae (located on their head) that will detect stimuli such as carbon dioxide,  shadows, vibration, heat, and current changes. Consequently, the fleas will use their hind legs to jump about 10-30cms, to escape danger or attach to a host. 

How to avoid carrying fleas to your house

Sadly, you can avoid carrying fleas from another house you’ve visited. However, you can do something once you get home to avoid transferring the flea menace into your palace.

1. Using natural flea repellantsSome of the natural flea repellants include apple cider vinegar, Nematodes, coconut oil, Rosemary flea dip, Lemon spray repellent, and brewer’s yeast.

You’ll introduce the organic or herbal repellants into the bathroom solutions or your diet to repel the fleas from your skins and clothes.  Also, ensure to flea spray your yard as you can also pick the bugs from your garden. 

2. High temperatures will kill both fleas and their eggs (the whole lifecycle) – check this guide. Therefore, once you get home immediately run all your clothes through a dryer or wash with the highest temperature allowable for that fabric.

3. If you have cats and dogs in your house, flea-treat them immediately with medicine such as Revolution, Frontline, and Advantage. As noted earlier, fleas can’t live in human blood. Therefore, any stray fleas or their eggs that jump onto your pets after medication will die.

 

Conclusion

It’s practically impossible to thoroughly, and always, check for fleas in your clothes. It’s even harder to limit the places your visit for fear of carrying fleas. Therefore, the ultimate method of preventing (or at least limiting) the number of fleas you take home is by using flea repellents on your body and clothes, taking your clothes to a washer or dryer, and flea treating your cats and dogs.

5 thoughts on “Can Humans Carry Fleas from one Home to Another?”

  1. Hello,
    My sister has a cat that has flea’s. Her children don’t take care of the issue so it’s been a problem for months. My sister visits me every day. I was reading that the fleas can travel on her clothes. I have never had any animals in my home or fleas at this time. My question is, can fleas survive in my home if I don’t have a pet?

    • Hi Angel. Sadly yes, you can have fleas without having your regular pets (dog, cat). However, most homes have other types of pets (well, the not so common) like the squirrels, mice and rats – these will host and carry fleas around. In addition, you neighbors cats and dogs might also be frequenting your yard while you’re away! For this case you’d need to use flea sprays for yard such as Pivot 10 IGR flea spray.

    • Hi Heather,
      You can prevent or at least limit the number of fleas you take home by:
      1. Using flea repellents on your body and clothes, 
      2. Taking your clothes through high temperatures in a washer or dryer (Immediately you get home), and
      3. Flea-treating your cats and dogs – Revolution, Frontline, and Advantage.

      Hope that helps.

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