Beside infesting and sucking off blood from your pets, flea bites on people too. Among all insects’ bites, flea bites on people are one of the most commonly seen.
Human can be bitten by a variety of fleas namely the dog flea, cat flea or the human flea. Fleas use their jaws to cut through the skin and then excrete their saliva containing enzymes and anticoagulant. The anticoagulant will prevents blood from clotting and enable the fleas to suck on the blood. The enzymes excreted cause all the allergic reactions seen on people.
What do flea bites look like?
Human flea bites generally occur along the ankles and lower portions of the legs. A flea bite can usually be described as a red spot accompanied by a halo of redness that can last for several hours depending on one’s reaction to it. It may causes a slight irritation or itch in some people while others with extreme allergies will sometimes break out into hives and have excessive swelling. Children tend to have more sensitive skin and as such, flea bites seen in children are usually more severe than in adults.
Treating Flea Bites
Before you run to your family doctor to seek medical treatment, here are some home treatments for flea bites that you may try especially if it’s just a mild case of allergy.
1. Wash affected area with a mild antiseptic soap or detergent
2. Put an ice pack over the affect area. This will help in reducing swelling and inflammation
3. Apply some calamine lotion to relieve the itch
4. A mild steroid cream like hydrocortisone which are easily available from a local pharmacy will be useful in relieving the swellings and itch more rapidly.
As always, prevention is better than cure. Fleas breed at a rapid rate and getting rid of fleas can be an uphill task. Flea control requires an integrated plan, which involves treating your pets, entire house, backyards and gardens. All these require both great efforts and persistence but will be all worthwhile when you get to finally declare your home flea free and bites free!
If there is something in the world that you can't think of any positive attributes to describe, it will be pests. Pests are very much unwanted. They are harmful to humans and animals. Fleas are considered as pests. They are commonly found in animals like dogs and cats. However, they can infest people as well. Fortunately, there are so many things that you can do to get rid of these parasites. You can choose between commercial products or home remedies. Both are effective, although the former can be more costly. If interested to try home remedies for fleas, here are some anti-fleas regimens that you can do at home.
Liquid soaps are predominantly used in the kitchen as it can remove hard to wash grease and soils. But did you know that liquid soaps are also very effective in killing fleas? Yes, liquid soaps particularly Dawn Lemon Scented Liquid soap is a fantastic repellent and flea killer. To use as flea killer, mix the soap in a basin of warm water. Bathe your dog. Make sure that you wear clean gloves before you wash your pet to protect yourself from fleas.
Flea Free Diet
Prevention is very important. One way to prevent fleas from infesting your dog is to add garlic to your pet's meals. Adding Sulphur to their diet at least once a week can greatly help as well. Black Walnut Hulls are also good for pets because it help repel fleas, ticks and mosquitoes. You can buy Black Walnut Hulls in capsule form. They are available in several health food stores and even online.
Herbs are very powerful in combating fleas. Some of the most effective herbs to get rid of fleas are rosemary, lavender, pine cedar, eucalypus and geranium. Find a commercial shampoo that contain these herbs in your local grocery or search online.
Always don clean gloves when bathing your pet. Pour small amount of shampoo to your hands and build it up carefully by rubbing your hands together. This is important to note. As soon as the shampoo gets in contact with the dog's fur, predictably fleas will try to escape. The soapy border will trap and kill the fleas that are trying to get out. So after creating a soapy lather, proceed to washing your pet. Pay special attention to the neck and head area. To achieve its maximum effect, be certain that you leave the shampoo for at least fifteen minutes before rinsing. Rinse your pet carefully and dry well especially when it is chilly and cold to avoid draft.
Vinegar is a common kitchen ingredient. Add vinegar to your pet's bath and you'll see that the flea count is greatly reduced.
Use Avon's Skin So Soft
According to researchers at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Avon's Skin So Soft is a fantastic flea repellant. Avon's Skin So Soft is available in the leading groceries and online stores. Make a bath solution. Carefully mix 1 ½ ounces of Avon's Skin So Soft bath oil to a gallon of water. Soak your dog in this special bath. Based on the study, a considerable 40 percent drop in the flea count was observed after using this remedy in just one day.
As a pet owner, you need to be responsible in looking after your pet's health. Surely, fleas are hard to get rid of. But still, you should never take it for granted as fleas are very harmful. Try the home remedies above and see which one works for your pet. Good luck.
7 Tips to Controlling Your Dog's Fleas
My dogs has fleas, and I am as embarrassed as a school nurse who's child has been sent home from school with head lice! As a dog groomer and enthusiast, it would seem I am horribly neglectful for allowing such a thing to happen. I'm one of those diligent groomers that dispenses advice on preventing flea infestations. So how could such a thing happen to me?
Well, for those of you who have witnessed the agony of a dog infested with fleas knows that all a poor dog can do is lick, bite, scratch and chase his butt in circles to defend himself from these pesky creatures. I have been using a spot on topical for years. I was very proud of my flea-free record until my Schnauzer Tilde began biting herself raw in some spots. Befuddled by this sudden "condition" she developed I raced her to the vet in a panic. "Does she have any fleas?" he asked, in that calm, clinical doctor voice. "No, I checked, and haven't seen any," I replied, while thinking that he knows something that I haven't a clue about. He rolled her over on her back to examine her belly, and low and behold, there was one lone flea running across her belly. That one flea was all it took to send her into an allergic response that drove her to bite herself down to the skin!
I have an awesome vet, and he gave me the lowdown on flea prevention, which I am sharing, in part, with you. I also did further investigation of the pesticides I had been using and the clinical results*. So here's my advice to all of you wondering what to do to prevent fleas.
- Understand that there is no such thing as prevention. I don't know why they use the term, because in reality there is no such thing. Fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and worms are all around, and a force of nature. Your dog will is going to come in contact with fleas at one point or another in its lifetime, so it's really about how you manage them. Control is the key to living with fleas.
- Learn about parasites. The more you know, the more equipped you are to deal with them. Just knowing when they are the most active, and the kinds of natural and man-made pesticides available to deal with them will aide you in keeping them in check.
- Learn whether your breed of dog is susceptible to reactions from the pesticides on the market. I have seen dogs loose the hair around their neck from some flea collars, and others go into a anaphylactic shock from an allergic reaction to certain ingredients of a spot-on treatment.
- Choose a treatment program that you will stick to. Take me for example. I really don't like any sort of collar for the reason stated above. As a dog collar designer, I also don't think these collars are very attractive, so I opted for the spot-ons. Yes, they are more expensive, a little messy, and must be applied with care as you are handling a pesticide chemical. But when Tilde developed her flea dermatitis, I had to move on to Comfortis, a pill application with a higher effectiveness rate (and higher price tag) than a spot-on. And you need to order ample supply so you don't run out (as I didn't do - lesson learned).Which leads me to the next point...
- Have a back up plan. Sometimes the flea will prevail, and you will need immediate treatment. There are are few options, and most are 100% effective. A flea bath, for example, is one of the most effective ways to rid a dog immediately of fleas. You can get both natural and chemical versions. Capstar, and oral pill, is another option. It begins working immediately. Just remember to follow up with your control plan right away, as these methods do not prevent new fleas from appearing or larvae (eggs left behind) from hatching. If you don't have a back up plan, that's when things get out of control.
- Never let your guard down. Unfortunately, that's what I did. Whatever method of control you use, stick to the regimen. I let my dog's monthly spot-on treatment slide about a week or two. As most topical treatments have an effectiveness rate of about 70%, once you get past the recommended 30 day treatment cycle, the effectiveness drops to as low as 20%, That's as good as no protection at all.
- Be mindful of the residual effects of fleas. They will bite, and your dogs will react. Even when protected they can be bitten, and they will bite and itch, particularly their rear and nose, as these are the most common points of contact. If the reaction persists, then something may not be working with your control program. Sometimes it's just a reaction to a bite (think of your own reaction to mosquitoes or ticks), so have some skin remedies on hand to ease them of this, as flea control products do not resolve allergic responses.
Remember, it's all about control, and taking these steps will put you in the control instead of the flea - bringing peace of mind to you, and bodily peace to your dog!
* Small Animal Dermatology, George H. Muller, Robert Warren Kirk, Danny W. Scott, Craig E. Griffin