Are Fleas able to Live in Human Hair? Fleas can’t live in human hair. live in human hair for very long, so trying to steer clear of them won’t help if you have a flea problem.
But, let’s take a closer look into the question!
What Are Fleas?
Fleas have been a source of trouble ever since their discovery. According to the history books, the first mention of the insect was over 2000 years ago, by Chinese authors who recorded “hailstones” that fell from an empty blue sky and caused aching in man and beast, especially at the soles of feet. From this description, it seems likely that fleas were already well known as disease carriers – plague or murine typhus had been killing off whole populations even before that time.
In those days, no one had any idea what kind of tiny creature had caused such terrible suffering, but some bright person must have realized there were more than hailstones involved because flea powder became one of the staple remedies for every householder.
It was another thousand years before the medical world took fleas seriously. But with the death of Charles II in 1685, brought about by his beloved pet dogs who were infested with fleas carrying the plague, there had to be some sort of explanation.
The first realization came soon after when a doctor examined some mice whose backs had been broken open and found them covered in flea bites. That was one link in the chain of evidence that enabled scientists to identify insects as the carriers of disease, but it took another eighty years before someone finally realized how our furry friends could carry plague without dying themselves.
Nowadays, we know better how this little pest survives – or even thrives – on animal blood or human blood if nothing else is available. Cats and dogs are prime targets for their affections, but humans can suffer too. Even if the cat or dog has no fleas, it is still possible to get bitten since most creatures that come into close contact with pets also pick up any they may have missed.
What are Fleas Like?
Firstly I would like to mention one of their most unusual abilities, which naturalists very rarely mention. When in extreme danger, they squirt out a bit of blood before they die, so they do bleed even if you don’t see the spot where it went in!
Their bodies are flat oval disks about 1/16-1/8″ across them spread out, with legs that allow them to move sideways just as well as forwards and backward. Their color varies according to their age, being reddish-brown for newly born fleas, pearl grey in young adulthood, then turning darker until they are almost black in old age. The eyes are scattered all over the front half of the body so they can see what’s going on behind them while walking forward or lying flat.
Fleas have three pairs of legs so they can climb up or run across nearly anything under them; these are not equal length, however, giving them a very awkward gait which is often enough to convince people that fleas “can’t get” up hair! They actually do manage fine but don’t expect it to happen quickly!
Their mouthparts are specially adapted to pierce the skin and suck up blood digested in their stomach. When they do manage to get onto you, you can usually see the dark spots where they’ve been biting; these are mainly on the legs or ankles because that’s how they got there in the first place.
Can fleas live in human hair
Fleas are ectoparasites which means their only association with humans is to be on human skin to feed. They cannot live in human hair for very long, so trying to steer clear of them won’t help if you have a flea problem.
After having jumped off your dog’s or cat’s coat where they usually reside, these parasites will find other places about the home that provides shelter and, most importantly, warmth – usually your bedding! The answer is not finding out how to trap fleas in your hair but rather how to get rid of the irritating little creatures altogether.
The female adult flea lays around 20 eggs per day, which can hatch as quickly as two days later, although this varies depending on the conditions. For example, if the temperature is lower, it will take longer for them to hatch into larvae (maggots).
The eggs can survive without access to their host; they only need the warmth of your home and some moisture – which you can help provide by steam-cleaning carpets, soft furnishings, and bedding regularly.
Flea larvae like nothing better than moist surroundings where they can feed upon adult flea feces which will make up around 25% of their diet; this also provides them with a source of protein. They will move away from light areas in your home towards darker ones such as under furniture or behind skirting boards. Then, after developing further over several weeks, pupate to be an adult – which is the stage at which they can leave your home and then feed on blood.
Around 20% of flea larvae will survive their pupation period, and this is where you’re likely to find them; on carpets, soft furnishings, or bedding.
Just like adults, these can jump onto nearby pets but also make their way into cracks in skirting boards or furniture folds; good hiding places for them here if you don’t steam clean regularly enough! You may often see them out of the corner of your eye as they’ll scamper off quickly when disturbed.
To prevent re-infestation, it’s important to treat the areas within your home where you have seen evidence of a problem and those outsides. Fleas will hop onto your pet and you as you pass through the garden, so treating both areas is necessary to stop their return again and again.
But what happens if you do get a serious infestation? Once more, the Victorian age of medicine comes to the rescue with various products that can be used.
For instance, carbolic soap was used as a flea shampoo on dogs, and it still does a good job today! Liquid paraffin is also very effective on cats and dogs, but I have been told by someone whose cat has done this for years without ill effects that they thought it would dissolve their skin from the inside out!
The boric acid powder is very good at killing eggs and larvae, too; it’s fairly harmless to pets once dried, so you don’t have to worry about them licking themselves afterward.
However, there are some precautions you must take while using these products. Firstly, have someone who doesn’t use the same shampoo give your pet a bath in warm water to get rid of its natural oils; these keep it waterproof, but if you want the soap or paraffin to do their job, they need to work on bare skin. Secondly, rinse very thoroughly afterward! This is especially true of paraffin which will kill fleas in pores in the skin, so there’s no point in using it unless your cat comes up immaculate when you’re done. Since cats bathe themselves daily, at least part of the dirt should come off with water alone, but dogs are another matter entirely if they don