- Written byDan Edwardsam 17. May 2018
Last updated: December 10, 2020
Although there are more than 2,000 species of fleas, only one species feeds on human blood. Called the Pulex Irritans, this species of flea enjoys living in the hair while causing varying amounts of itching and irritation to its host.
While other flea species like to hang out on human hair, they cannot live there as they will soon have to leave to feed on their regular warm-blooded hosts (like cats and dogs).
How do fleas get into hair?
In order for fleas to get into your hair, you would have to hold a flea infested pet close to your head or lie down somewhere where there are fleas. Although it is known that fleas can jump great distances relative to their size, for humans those distances are still very small.
One study found that cat fleas (the most common type of fleas) can jump horizontal distances of over 1000 metersabout 8 inches on average. The longest jump was 19 inches, but that's rare.
Most adult cat fleas are less than 1/8 inch long, so jumping that distance is very impressive as it is about 160 times their length.
Regarding height, fleas were originally thought to be able to jump up to 13 inches vertically. Recent studies have found that this is not true. Fleas can jump to an average height of six inchesThe highest jump recorded was 7.9 inches.
Fleas are naturally unable to jump off the floor onto your hair, even if you are sitting on the floor. Jumping six inches in height only brings the flea to the ankles of most adult humans.
Because of this, most flea bites are concentrated around the ankle area. Fleas usually just eat quickly and then leave when they're done. But could a flea climb from your ankles to your hair?
Most flea species are capable of climbing. 'Cause when they come out of their cocoonshave to crawl out of hidingto reach a host. In your home, you have to climb up the carpet fibers to get to the top of the carpet. Outdoors they climb on blades of grass.
However, fleas do not climb up people's legs and bodies to hide in their hair. The same applies to the pubic area, fleas do not climb and hide there either. Once a flea finds bare skin, it will bite and eat for a while, then move on.
Based on this, the only time a flea can get into your hair is when a flea-infested pet is lying next to your head, or sleeping in your bed, or lying on a carpet that fleas come out of.
Do fleas stay and live in your hair?
Once upon a time there was a host, adult fleas wanted to stay there for the rest of their lives. They do not abandon their host voluntarily, but are driven out when their pet grooms themselves or forced to leave due to the application of a repellent.
Cat fleas take the opportunity to feed on many different warm-blooded mammals. They have preferred hosts that are biologically designed to live, reproduce, and thrive. However, these are cats, dogs and other furry mammals. Humans are not a preferred host for fleas.
People who share an environment with fleas often get bitten, especially when a preferred host isn't around. When fleas hatch from their cocoons, they urgently need to be fed. So if a human foot comes by, they don't hesitate to jump on board and eat.
In general, we're just another warm-blooded mammal when it comes to fleas. They are not fussy when it comes to getting a meal, but leave as soon as they are full.
A flea that landed on a human willThey usually bite 2 or 3 times before gone. They can feed on our blood for up to seven minutes at a time if not disturbed.
For those who worry that fleas will reside in your hair if they manage to get there, the answer is that it is highly unlikely. Fleas are destined to live on animals with thick fur,and not people.
Also, fleas can only live and reproduce on animals that are their preferred hosts, such as dogs and cats. That's because fleas have evolved alongside these hosts for thousands of years.
The only real exception to this is a specific species of flea known as the "human flea" or "human flea"."Pulga-Chigoe".This flea is extremely rare in the US and tends to live in more tropical areas. This flea is very well adapted to living on humans and burrows into the skin where it feeds and lays its eggs.
If you have very thick, frizzy hair or a bushy, matted beard, there is a chance fleas can get in and not be able to find their way immediately after feeding. But they certainly aren't actively trying to stay there.
Do fleas lay eggs in your hair?
As we mentioned before, humans are bad hosts for fleas. While a regular diet of human blood will allow a flea to survive, it will not be able to breed and reproduce on human blood alone.
Female fleas must constantly feed on their host's blood before they can begin laying eggs. Once they start laying, they need to be able to feed themselves as they please to keep up their fastidious metabolism.
If a female flea only has access to human blood, her fertility will almost completely decline and she is very unlikely to be able to lay eggs. If fleas are alive and feeding on their preferred host, they can lay eggsup to 30 eggsDaily.
Because of these factors, you are unlikely to have to worry about fleas laying eggs in your hair. If a flea manages to get into your hair or thick beard, it will eat if it can before attempting to make its way back to its preferred host.
If there is no preferred host, they will likely stay and feed. But they will not be fertile or well-fed enough to reproduce.
Is there a way to prevent fleas from getting into your hair?
While it's uncommon for fleas to spend a lot of time on humans, when there's a particularly heavy infestation and a shortage of pets, you're the only target.
Getting rid of fleas requires a multi-pronged approach to personal hygiene and home treatment.
As we mentioned earlier, if a flea is going to be in your hair, it's likely to be in a bushy beard, dreadlocks, or thick, thick hair. Because of this, it is extremely important to keep your hair neat and clean as much as possible. A good tip is to tie your hair tightly and slick it back into a bun so a flea doesn't have too many hairs to get stuck in.
Strong-smelling shampoos with ingredients like tea tree, eucalyptus, and rosemary are good flea repellents to encourage fleas to come out.
Of course, if you have furry pets in your home, they almost certainly suffer as well. You should treat them for fleas as a priority since they house the majority of the adult flea population.
It's fair to say that if you have enough fleas around that they start getting into your hair, they'll make themselves very uncomfortable.
Treating your pet and yourself is an important step, but don't overlook the enemy in your carpet or the cracks in your hardwood floor. Flea eggs don't stay on the host, they are supposed to fall off the fur onto the ground.
In your case, that means your floors and carpets are likely full of flea eggs and larvae. This is a time bomb waiting to go off. If you don't get rid of flea eggs and other life cycle stages in your home, it's only a matter of time before they return.
By far the most effective way to do this is to vacuum the entire house thoroughly. Adult fleas, eggs and larvae are sucked out of the fibres. Flea pupae cling to carpet fibers in a cocoon, but the vibrations of the vacuum can "wake them up".
They believe the vibrations are signs the hosts are moving nearby, so they break out and start surfacing only to be sucked in. You may need to vacuum hard every few days before you get them all.
Vacuuming is a great way to kill fleas, but you also have to deal with furniture and fabrics that cannot be vacuumed. Be sure to remove bedding, pet toys, pet bedding, pillowcases, etc. and wash them at a very high temperature to kill fleas and flea eggs.
If you have access to a steam cleaner, this is a surefire way to remove fleas from carpet and furniture, no matter what stage in their life cycle they are at.
The thought of fleas living in your hair is enough to make anyone feel a mad itch and jump in the shower right away. Luckily, as we've seen in this article, the chances of fleas living in your hair are very slim.
Most types of fleas bite andfeed on humans, But the reality is like thisthey don't want to live on us. If there is no preferred host, they may end up getting caught in thick human hair. They can feed there and not find a way out, but it's not where they really want to be.
Fleas don't lay eggs in human hair because our blood isn't nutritious enough to support their fertility and ability to reproduce. So you can rest assured that this is very unlikely.
Simple household and personal hygiene methods are effective in controlling fleas. As long as you treat your pets and home thoroughly, you should be rid of these pests in no time.
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