Problems Caused by Cats' Fleas on Humans

If you are a cat owner and currently not using a cats fleas treatment, or you have suddenly noticed fleas in your home, it's time to take action against these tiny insects. 

Fleas bite people as well as animals and are not only annoying but can cause health problems. Some people are hesitant to use flea products because they fear the chemicals are too harsh and may cause other problems for both their pet or themselves. Although adverse reactions to flea treatments are possible, they are relatively uncommon and the benefits of using a flea treatment may far outweigh the risks.

Dangers of Fleas

Flea bites are itchy, sometimes painful and can lead to infection. Although relatively rare in adult people, fleas can carry tapeworm that can be passed to children and pets. Flea bites have also been known to transmit a disease called Murine Typhus. An infected person may experience headaches, loss of appetite, rapid change in temperature and nausea. A rash may also occur. People who contract Murine Typhus are often hospitalized and require antibiotics.

Treat Fleas Early

The summer months in particular can bring an influx of fleas. Spotting a flea problem early makes eradicating them much easier and you may be able to avoid a complete home infestation. It is important to treat your pets as well as your home in order to solve the flea problem completely. As long as either your pet or your home has fleas, the cycle will continue. Once fleas have established themselves inside the home, insecticides in the form of a "flea bomb" are almost always necessary.

Flea Bombs

Before using a flea bomb in your home, remove loose items from the floor such as clothing, toys and anything stored under beds. As much of the carpeted area as possible should be visible. Wash or destroy all pet bedding. The next and most important step is vacuuming. Thorough vacuuming will remove many of the flea eggs and larvae from the fibers of the carpet. After vacuuming, immediately take the vacuum outside, remove the vacuum bag, place it into a garbage bag and take it to the trash can. 

When using the flea bomb, follow the directions carefully and make sure all pets and people, other than the person administering the treatment, are out of the home. Both people and pets should remain out of the house until the treatment is completely dry. This may take several hours.

Preventative Flea Treatments

For the next 10 days or so, you may continue to see the occasional flea. These are most likely young adults that have not yet succumbed to the insecticide in the flea bomb. Continue to vacuum and make sure your pets stay current with a preventative flea treatment such as Frontline or Advantage. These treatments come in liquid form and should keep your pet flea free throughout the year if used properly. Preventative flea treatments can be purchased in three or six month doses and are available at most pet supply stores and veterinary offices.