Fleas are very common on pets like dogs and cats, and people have enough trouble with them as it is. But sometimes fleas pass to humans as well, and that poses an even bigger problem. Fleas can be very annoying and persistent, as they lay eggs that give birth to new fleas, even if the old ones are exterminated.
If there is a pet around, fleas usually prefer feeding on it and they leave people alone. But if the pet is gone for some reason, the fleas are left with no food, and they start attacking humans.
Symptoms of flea bites
Everyone knows that the sign of fleas on pets is their continuous scratching. When they bite humans, the signs and symptoms usually involve red bite marks shaped like small bumps that may bleed due to scratching, hives, itching that can be moderate or severe and does not necessarily limit to the affected area and swelling.
Fleas usually bite around the waist, ankles and armpits, behind elbows and knees and on shins. Usually the amount of the skin affected increases over time and the rash spreads to other parts of the body. Itching can be very intense and the scratching, that is sometimes irresistible, can cause damage to the skin.
Treatment and prevention of flea bites
Like any insect bite, flea bites should be carefully washed with a mild soap and covered with a layer of antibiotic ointment, especially if the lesions bleed. Antihistamines and ointments with cortisone may help with the itch.
However, it is much wiser to prevent flea bites if it has been established that they are already there. Fleas are often visible, jumping to and from the pet and around the carpet.
In order to repel fleas, it helps to bathe in essential oils, like eucalyptus, peppermint, lemongrass or lavender. Alternatively, those oils can be rubbed directly into the skin, for even better effect.
Laundering all the sheets, towels and clothes in strong-scented soaps, like Dawn lemon Scented Soap, every two weeks, can help eliminate fleas.
Another great product is Avon Skin So Soft Bath Oil Spray. This product repels fleas, prevents their biting, and it works great against mosquitoes too.
Certain herbs and plants are known for having a repelling effect on the fleas. One such herb is ennyroyal, which should be planted around the house and in pots on window lids, as they serve as a barrier for the fleas.
Cedar shavings can be scattered around the garden and the backyard, in front of the house and even inside the house. They can be used as the mulch for the garden and they serve as a very effective shield against fleas.
Eucalyptus leaves are very effective too. They can be included in floral arrangements around the house and especially around the pet’s bed.