Do Fleas Carry Disease?

Do Fleas Carry Disease?

Fleas have long been associated with humans. A plague bacterium known as Yersinia pestis was once spread by fleas across Europe. Before the discovery of antibiotics, this disease was responsible for killing over 25 million people. Although there are many diseases carried by fleas, one of the most serious is the plague, which can be fatal if not treated quickly.

Fleas are parasites and feed by sucking blood from mammals. Their primary hosts are dogs and cats, although they can be found on other warm-blooded animals such as opossums, raccoons, and skunks. Fleas can feed up to 15 times their body weight in blood each day. Fleas can easily get onto your pet’s skin, especially the neck and base of the tail.

Flea bites are painful and may become infected. Symptoms of an infestation include extreme pain and redness in the area of the bite. If a flea bite is not treated right away, it can result in secondary infections such as typhus or spotted fever. Flea bites are often easily confused with bed bug bites. The bites are tiny red bumps that continue to grow throughout the duration of the infestation.

Fleas can also cause a variety of illnesses, including plague and murine disease. In addition to spreading these diseases, fleas can spread tapeworms. It’s also important to keep your yard and garden well-trimmed, as overgrown landscaping provides cover for fleas.