YES! Fleas can transmit diseases when taking a blood meal from a host or via contaminated fecal pellets. Some flea-borne diseases include:
- Plague – transmitted by the oriental rat flea.
- Flea-borne Typhus (Murine Typhus) – is transmitted by bacteria-infected feces of infested cat fleas when they enter they body at the same time of the flea bite or from scratching the area of the bite.
- Bartonellosis (Cat Scratch Disease) – transmitted by bites from both the oriental rat flea and the cat flea.
- Flea Tapeworm – can be transmitted if children accidentally eat an infested flea or contact infested feces.
- Tungiasis – a tropical area ailment that is cause by the chigoe flea (Tunga Penetrans) when it burrows into the skin and takes a blood meal. As the adult female feeds, she grows larger due to the development of her eggs. The bite of the chigoe flea often result in secondary infections and itching.
Fleas are also known to cause allergic reactions in some people!
The most effective way to protect your family from these health risks is to understand what causes a flea problem in the first place so you know how to avoid it.