Pets and wild animals nesting around your home attract fleas. They can be difficult to eliminate once they invade and can stay for over 100 days without a host. Although they do not have wings, these pests have long hind legs designed for jumping.
They reproduce rapidly and live in grass, carpets, and fabrics. Their bites trigger allergic reactions which get itchy and painful.
Humans are not primary targets for fleas to bite because we are not suitable hosts. Pets are their primary target. Fleas only bite humans when hungry or if they have not found a family pet. If your baby crawls near an adult flea that has just come out of its cocoon, they become their first meal.
Most people worry about bedbugs and mosquitoes. When you get bitten, you rarely assume it comes from fleas. It’s essential to know their differences to avoid addressing the wrong symptoms during treatment.
Flea bites appear as tiny bumps within a small area of inflamed skin. In most cases, these bites occur at home during an infestation.
Bedbug bites are very similar to mosquito bites. They leave large raised irritated skin surfaces. However, mosquito bites are large with no pattern.
Mosquito bites usually occur at night or during sunset while flea bites can happen at any time.
Babies are innocent and eager to discover new things. This means they may wander to flea infested areas where they may get bitten. Your baby may not know how to respond, but many express pain and suffering by crying. Flea bites on your children can cause severe health problems if not managed on time so it's important to check your baby’s body regularly. Whenever you identify flea bites, take early precautions to cure them early. Here are some symptoms to look out for:
Usually, fleas bite arms, legs, and feet since they are the most accessible body parts. Some babies are excessively sensitive to flea bites resulting in allergic reactions. Primary symptoms of allergic reactions to flea bites on babies include nausea, shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, and swelling of the tongue or lips. Get in touch with your doctor immediately you see symptoms of allergic reactions.
Fleas are not known to cause extensive health complications. Nonetheless, there are risk factors that make flea bites on infants quite hazardous. Wheezing, chest pains, swelling of lips or tongue, and breath shortness are some signs.
Some children are allergic to proteins present in flea saliva which causes an allergic reaction on a larger area of their skin. The bites are usually surrounded by swollen skin and a halo of red. These swollen areas feel itchy, and scratching may result in infections.
Allergic dermatitis may also arise from flea bites. Therefore, consult your pediatrician before applying any allergy reducing or anti-itching medication on your baby.
Fleas can also transmit tapeworms. Their larvae ingest tapeworm eggs. When flea matures, pets eat the infected pests during grooming and the tapeworms hatch in the animal’s intestine.
Most fleas are attracted into the house by your pets. Therefore, the best way of preventing getting bitten is to prevent the pests from infesting your pets. You can start by:
Moreover, ensure your pet bedding is clean by washing in hot water frequently. Use a suitable flea comb to inspect and remove fleas on your pet’s fur. Dust all furniture and dry clean fabric and curtains on a routine basis. Vacuum rugs, carpets, and upholstered furniture in places where pets stay most of the time. Do not leave out areas under sofas, beds, and behind furniture when cleaning the house.
It is also advisable to use flea preventive medicine on a monthly basis on your pet. Some of the most common medicine includes Advantix, Sentinel, Advantage, Revolution, and Frontline. Nonetheless, talk to your veterinarian about the most viable products for your pet. It is easier to get rid of fleas before they spread to the rest of your house.
Although primary effects of flea bites are itchiness and scratching that may lead to infections, they are also associated with other hazards. These dangers arise due to the disease-carrying nature of the pests. Yersinia pestis is a type of bacteria that is spread by fleas. This bacterium causes ‘black plague’, a deadly disease that can kill millions of people.
The pathogen that causes bubonic plague is proven to be transmitted by fleas. Wild rodents are significant carriers that infect fleas that bite them. Rapid reproduction rate of the bacteria blocks the digestive system of the fleas causing them to bite frequently to avoid starvation. The disease may then get to your baby via flea bites since the pests regurgitate infected blood on bite wounds.
Symptoms of bubonic plague may become noticeable within a week after flea bites. They include:
Flea bites on your baby are preventable with the right treatment. Some cosmetics including baby soaps and lotions are helpful. These products can also be applied to your baby’s body whenever you detect red bumps.
A cold or hot compress with ice is quite sufficient to suppress the pain of flea bites. In case of itchiness, Aloe Vera lotions are useful in the removal of the scratch of the bite. Administration of baking soda solution using cotton wool and a body massage for the baby is also another remedy for pain relief.
Ensure that your baby does not scratch itchy areas of the skin. They can create open wounds that give way to bacteria to enter the body causing infections.
Hydrocortisone cream is helpful in the removal of red bumps. Almond oil and tea tree oil protect your baby from further infections. Also, you can get some flea free lotion from the nearest pharmacy. However, don’t use it on your baby’s hands to avoid ingestion.
Antihistamine medication and calamine lotion are the other treatment remedies that you can use to suppress the effects of flea bites.
These remedies are proven to work in reducing effects and symptoms of flea bites on your baby. Nevertheless, it is advisable to consult a doctor if the condition and symptoms get worse even after administering them. Also, see your doctor if the affected area turns dark.
Flea bites on babies are quite dangerous but easy to prevent. Once you are aware of all symptoms and causes, implement necessary steps to mitigate.