Can Fleas Pose Health Risks to Pets as Well as Humans?


When we talk about fleas, the first thing that pops up in our head is the image of an insect that is infested usually on a dog or a cat, leaving them scratching themselves continuously and obsessively.

But not only can these animals suffer flea bites, but it is also easy for fleas and ticks to infest harmful microbes into humans. This calls for taking some serious actions against them and look for ways to get rid of fleas like flea management, which includes some home remedies to remove fleas from pets and also suggests solutions to toss them out from your home.

For now, let’s categorize fleas first:

Cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis)
Dog fleas (Ctenocephalides canis)
Human fleas (Pulex irritans)
Oriental rat fleas (Xenopsylla cheopis)
Nothern rat fleas (Nosopsyllus fasciatus)

Amongst all, the first three are common to be found in humans and pets; however, the rat fleas can be rarely detected in humans.

Fleas: Characteristics and Behaviour

walking fleas

Some Unusual Flea Traits:

Fleas are small insects, usually between one and seven millimetres in length, which are part of the order of Siphonaptera or wingless insects. Their body is hard and resistant, having a relatively small head compared to the rest of the body.
They have long and strong hind legs that allow them to make large jumps, and this acts as the main mechanism by which they move and leap from one organism to another.
These are parasitic insects that feed primarily on the blood of other animals, especially mammals. For this, they have a jaw in the form of a saw that allows them to generate a tear of the skin through which they can nourish and grow.
In the case of females, they need this blood to get to lay eggs, which they often do throughout their lives.

The Distinct Flea Behaviour:

They are challenging to see, move very quickly on the skin of your pet, and have an extraordinary reproductive capacity. Therefore, the fact of not seeing them in your dog or your cat does not mean that you do not have them.
Their eggs are usually arranged in the host, while the mother flea has small faecal remains in which it provides digested blood that can nourish the future larva. There are numerous species of flea, being able to find differences, concerning their morphology or the type of species to which they infect.
Solo adult fleas live on the host; the rest are in the environment. Therefore, when it comes to treatment, it is essential to do it both at home and in the animal.

[Scientific Reproductive Fact:

Fleas have several phases: eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults. Each female lays between 15 to 20 eggs per day so that throughout her life, she can lay up to 2000 eggs. The larvae feed on the faecal matter of the flea, then the pupae become adults and look for a host where they will live feeding on their blood.]

cartoon fleas

This was all about fleas, and I hope you have gained valuable knowledge about them. Now let’s focus on how Fleas pose health risks to Humans and our Furry Friends.

Fleas are transmitters of a parasite that affects animals and people equally!

How Fleas Affect Your Pet’s Health?

dog scratching

In pets, fleas cause a lot of itching that is the gateway to many dermatitis, since the animal begins to bite itself, damage its skin and may witness some behavioral changes.

To prevent and control fleas from contaminating the environment and make your beloved pets suffer miserably, there are liquid products, aerosols, talc, pipettes, and pills, which are very easy to use.

[Prefer Reading: “How to Apply Flea and Tick Treatment to your Dogs?“]

Take a rundown at some of the health problems fleas can generate:

Dipylidium Caninum: Also known as flea tapeworm, it is a worm that develops, grows, and feeds inside the dog’s intestine. It usually only affects dogs, and it is necessary to take medication to eliminate it, or it will cause serious health problems.
Black Plague: It may sound a bit alarming, but this disease is common in rats, which also have fleas that can be contracted by dogs and cats and, thus acquire the disease.
Mycoplasma: It is a bacterium that can spread fleas to your four-legged pals (dogs and cats), putting serious impacts on cats but mild in the case of dogs. (Mainly causing fertilization problems in dogs.)
Rickettsia Typhi: They usually transmit rats to fleas and fleas to their new hosts, dogs, cats, or humans. It generates discomfort, fever, diarrhea, and much more.

[Check out: “The Three Most Common Places Fleas are Found.”]

How Fleas Pose Major Risks to Human Health?

people scratching

Fleas bite to feed other animals, mostly mammals. In this sense, they are frequent in animals such as dogs, cats, rats, or horses. But they can also bite humans and jump from one species to another. Its sting tends to occur in the extremities (especially the lower ones), at least in humans. The sting, in question, can be painful.


Once produced, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between flea bites and those of other insects. In this regard, the fleas themselves are characterized by easy bleeding from scratching (common to find traces of blood on clothes or sheets when the bites are in humans), and by being arranged in rows. (Since these beings tend to move around at different points to snack, instead of focusing on a single area.)


The reaction of our skin to the bite of a flea is usually rapid, appearing in a few minutes. A small lump usually appears with a point in the center. (where the flea has pierced the skin), which generates a high level of itching or itching and redness of the area. (The area is often inflamed and not just the bite itself)


A possible complication of flea bites is the appearance of a skin infection, which will often be accompanied by fever and other typical symptoms of infection such as fever or tiredness.


Occasionally, its severity could even cause anaemia.


Another possible complication is that which occurs in people who are allergic to their sting, which could cause the presence of blisters and rashes, emotional sensitivity, tiredness, diarrhoea, or respiratory problems that could lead to anaphylactic shock.

dog in bed

The Expert’s Say:

Controlling that the flea does not spread is important for animal welfare, but also for taking care of human health. Like pets, fleas cause people to itch and can lead to severe infections.

Doctors explain that pests can infect humans when they come into contact with their animal friend, which unknowingly causes belly pain, cramps, discomfort at bedtime, etc.