Fleas are small wingless insects that live on the blood of humans and animals. Although they prefer to live and feed on animals such as dogs and cats, they do consider humans as their source of food as well.
Cat scratch disease is a bacterial disease caused by Bartonella henselae. People with weak immune systems are at increased risk of getting seriously ill with cat scratch fever.
Itching and scratching can lead to infection
Cat Scratch Disease
Plague is a serious infection of humans caused by a bacteria called Yersinia pestis. It is usually caused by the bite of a flea that has fed on an infected wild animal, such as a rat, chipmunk or prairie dog
Fleas are small biting, jumping insects that live in the fur of many different animals. Cat and dog fleas are the most likely fleas to affect humans, though rats and raccoons nesting in a home can also carry fleas. While their bites can cause severe itching and skin infections, they can also spread diseases such as cat-scratch fever, typhus and plague to people.
Bites from fleas on wild animals should be avoided in rural areas by staying away from animal burrows where fleas breed. Fleas on cats and dogs can be prevented by the use of topical insecticide drops or shampoos. Unhatched flea eggs in carpets can be killed with “flea bomb” insecticides, available from veterinary clinics.
Why do fleas bite?
Fleas bite in order to survive. Why else would they do it? They are not trying to hurt you on purpose. Fleas have been known to store blood 15 times more than their weight and they need blood two to three times per day. Female fleas need blood in order to reproduce when actually fleas only mate once in their life. Flea bites on humans are usually caused by fleas on cats and dogs, and are usually very itchy and sometimes painful, appearing as small red bumps with a red halo around the bite. This reaction is actually caused by the flea’s saliva. Flea bites come in clusters or groups of about four and can even appear in a straight line. These bites are common on the ankles and legs, even around the waist, armpits, breasts, groin, and in the folds of elbows and knees. Some people are more sensitive than others and may have a risk of getting hives or developing a rash from flea bites, and some can even have a serious allergic reaction even from a single bite.