If you have ever owned a pet, chances are you’ve had to deal with fleas. Fleas are blood-sucking parasites that can cause many diseases in animals and people. They have adapted to survive by latching onto warm-blooded mammals such as cats, dogs, and humans. Fleas have specially adapted mouthparts that can pierce through fur or skin and draw blood. They have six legs, strong claws on the bottom of their feet, and a jumping capacity that is much greater than their own body length.
While it is rare for fleas to live on humans, they will bite when they encounter us looking for a meal. Generally, they will bite around the ankles and calves. When fleas bite humans, they typically cause itchy swollen bumps called Why do fleas only bite me? These bites are caused by a chemical in the flea’s saliva that triggers an allergic reaction on your skin.
Flea Bites and Personal Preferences: Exploring the Reasons They Choose You
Fleas are attracted to animal hair, especially that of cats and dogs, because it helps them blend in with their host and hide while they feed and lay eggs. They are also drawn to areas with high humidity, such as those found in the southeast, where they can thrive year-round.
While there is no concrete evidence that fleas have a preference when it comes to whom they bite, some experts believe this phenomenon exists. They suggest that some people may produce more carbon dioxide due to their sweat and skin secretions, which could attract pests. Others speculate that certain smells, such as those of garlic, curry, or onions, may repel fleas. And, lastly, it is believed that a person’s threshold for pain or the amount of histamine released after a flea bite varies from one individual to the next. This could explain why some people experience more bites than others.