If you’re getting all bit up from fleas, you might be wondering can fleas live on humans? The scientific answer is yes, but it is a certain type of flea that lives on the human host. The general answer is no, as the main types of fleas we are exposed to are cat and dog fleas.
Types of Fleas
There are actually three main types of fleas that tend to bite humans. They are the Pulex irritans, the Ctenocephalides felis, and the Ctenocephalides canis.
The Pulex irritans is also called the human flea and it used to be a great problem – in the 16th century. Since then, our hygiene has improved greatly and so has the exposure to this tiny pest. However, they also like to feed on pigs, so this can become an issue in some parts of the world. The Pulex irritans like to feed on human and pig blood and are built in such a way as to be able to stay on relatively hairless hosts.
The fleas we are most familiar with these days are the Ctenocephalides felis and the Ctenocephalides canis. The Ctenocephalides felis is called the cat flea, although they like to live on and feed off of dogs just as well as cats. The Ctenocephalides canis is called the dog flea, and just like the cat flea, is really rather indiscriminate as to whether they live and feed off of dogs or cats.
The dog and cats fleas, however, cannot live on humans – they can feed on them, but not live. They are built to live and hide in the fur. The spines on their legs allow them to hold on to the fur while the host is on the move. Since humans just don’t have that much hair, the fleas don’t have good places to hide and can’t hang on.
Can Your Home Be Infested With Fleas If You Have No Pets?
There are usually two reasons why people want to know if fleas can live on humans. First, if a home is infested and has pets, and they are concerned if they too will become a host. Second, if a home is infested with fleas that doesn’t have any pets, then are they the type of fleas that live on humans?
As stated above, dog and cat fleas will bite us and feed on our blood, however, they cannot live on us – they just weren’t built to. However, many places in our homes are just as inviting to them to live in as your dog’s fur. Which is why when using a flea treatment for dogs, you should also treat your house. Borax for fleas is one of the more popular home remedies for fleas in the house. While flea bombs are another way to get rid of fleas in your home.
The fact that your home is just as inviting explains how your home can become infested without any pets. Fleas love to hide in the carpet and fabrics and love the fact that many homes are kept warm and there are many dark places to hide in. Neighboring pets can carry fleas that hop off and wait in tall grasses to hop on another host – you or someone else. This can be carried into your home. Once inside, as long as it has some blood (yours and your family’s), it can live. If it cannot get any blood, it will eventually die off.
If your home or dog is infested with fleas, refer to how to get rid of fleas naturally for natural, less harmful options, rather than synthetic toxins.