How Dangerous Are Fleas In The Bay Area?

fleas in hair

Most of the time, fleas are just irritating pests. But there are rare circumstances when these blood-eating pests can present a serious threat to human health. Please note that the examples given in this article are the exception, not the rule.

The Plague

There has only been one case of plague in California in the last five years. That means the odds of you getting plague from an infected flea are extremely low. The news gets better. The man who contracted the plague was treated with antibiotics and recovered. This isn't always the case. There have been deaths from the plague in the United States over the last decade. It is important to recognize the symptoms early: fever, swollen lymph nodes, chills, weakness, and nausea.


Can you imagine waking up blind in one eye? For one woman, no imagination is necessary. She lived through it. An Ohio woman woke up one morning and discovered that she couldn't see out of her left eye. She thought maybe she had pinkeye. After a month of tests, which turned out inconclusive, the source of her blindness was uncovered. It turns out, she got bartonellosis from the saliva of her cat. The disease (referred to as cat scratch disease) can be contracted by a scratch or by exposure to the saliva of an infected cat. Her cat got the bacterium, Bartonella henselae, from an infected flea and transmitted it to her by licking her eye. You can't make this stuff up. If you wake up blind in one eye, the source of your illness could be fleas.


A common flea-borne illness is Murine typhus. This is a disease that shares symptoms with many other common illnesses, such as the flu or the common cold. This can make it difficult to diagnose. You can get flea-borne murine typhus from infected fleas or flea dirt. If you're not aware, flea dirt is adult flea feces. This waste product is food for developing flea larvae. If you have an open wound and flea dirt gets into the wound, it can result in disease transmission. Be sure to let your physician know that you have a dog or cat and whether or not you may have been exposed to fleas. This can help to prevent the misery of murine typhus that is improperly treated.


fleas in pet hair

When it comes to mysterious flea-borne sickness, this one is right up at the top of the list. You may know that your dog or cat can get tapeworm when they groom themselves and accidentally ingest an infected flea but are you aware that you can get tapeworm? A location that fleas commonly infest is living room couches. If you like to enjoy food while you sit on your couch and watch television, you could accidentally eat a flea that springs into your food. The good news is that most cases of tapeworm are minor. The human body can process tapeworms and expel them. But there are rare cases that result in serious illness.


When fleas get into your home, they're going to bite you. If you don't address the flea infestation properly, there can be "somewhat" dangerous consequences. These are important to consider.

When you are routinely bitten by insects, it can lead to a condition called anemia. This is where there are insufficient healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to body tissue. This can result in fatigue, shortness of breath, tachycardia, jaundice, cold appendages, chest pains, and more.

Flea bites are itchy. If you scratch the bites, they can become open wounds, and these wounds can become infected. Multiple bites wounds can lead to improperly treated wounds and the spread of infection.

How To Reduce The Danger

If you quickly address flea problems when they arise, fleas won't present as much of a danger to you, your family, or your pets. A pest management professional can help you with this. Licensed technicians use products that are residual. These linger in your home and address flea larvae when they emerge from their eggs. This works to break the cycle of infestation. A pest management professional can also help you prevent future infestations by providing exterior treatments for fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes. These treatments address fleas in your yard before they hop on your pets and hitch a ride into your home.

Do you live in the Bay Area?

If you live in the Bay Area, you're in our service area. Contact Bay Pest today and tell us a little bit about your flea problem. We can help you find the right solution to correct the issue and guide you in determining whether or not ongoing flea control around your home is right for you. Reach out to us today. We can help.

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