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Why do fleas bite some people and not others?

By: Dr. Jon Rappaport

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Our question this week was:

Hi,

I want to know why fleas bite me and my son but not my husband or my daughter? I am fighting them as we speak. I have bought foggers and treated my house, put Frontline on both my cats and hope I am winning this battle. In the meantime though, I am getting bit by fleas on my lower extremities only. They bite my legs and ankles. Is there anything I can do to stop this.... again why do they bite some and not all?

Susan Sowle


Answer

Hi – thanks for your email.

Wow – you have a frustrating problem and a very good question. For the fleas to be biting you, you do have an infestation. They say for every flea you see on your pet, there are at least 20 other forms of the flea that are living in your carpet and home.

Frontline is a good product. It is a topical medication that collects in the oils of the skin works to kill adult fleas. Eventually, you will get control but it will take time. You may also want to vacuum frequently (and empty or throw out the bag), clean like crazy and give the Frontline every 30 days to all pets in the house.

As far as your question on why the fleas bite some people and not others, I have no idea. I did some research on this and all I could find in the literature is that fleas generally prefer dogs and cats, will bite humans and seem to prefer some people over others. I have heard this before and in my experience, women seem to get bit more than men. I always thought it was a bit like mosquitoes – one of the vets in my hospital is often bit by mosquitoes and I rarely get bit. I'm not sure why that is either.

An article that might be helpful to you is on our Petplace.com is Flea Infestation in Cats and Frontline Medication or Frontline Plus®.


Best of luck!


Dr. Jon




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