Do Fleas Carry Diseases? : Symptoms And Preventive Measures

You may think that tiny organisms like fleas are just blood-sucking parasites and may compare them to small-sized vampires. But this is not the case.

Fleas, tiny nasty organisms, cause many diseases and epidemics. They can affect the economy and condition of the whole country.

In this article, you will learn about the diseases spread by them, the symptoms and treatment of these diseases, and how to prevent them.

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Murine typhusRickettsia typhiFlea bite
Bubonic plagueYersinia pestisFlea bite
TularemiaFrancisella tularensisFlea bite
BartonellosisBartonella henselaeFlea bite, scratch or bite
Cat scratch feverBartonella henselaeFlea bite, scratch, or bite
RickettsialpoxRickettsia akariMite or flea bite
Tapeworm infectionDipylidium caninumIngestion of infected flea
Mycoplasma haemofelisMycoplasma haemofelis (formerly Haemobartonella felis)Flea bite

Diseases Spread by Fleas

Fleas are known to carry and transmit various diseases to humans and animals. Some of the diseases that can be transmitted by fleas include:


Fleas are known to be the primary carriers of the bacteria Yersinia pestis which causes bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic plague. Bubonic plague is the most common form,

Murine Typhus

Fleas can also transmit the bacteria Rickettsia typhi and Rickettsia felis, which cause murine typhus and flea-borne spotted fever, respectively.


Fleas can also carry tapeworm larvae, which can infect pets and humans when they accidentally ingest an infected flea.

Cat scratch disease

Fleas that have bitten infected cats can transmit the bacteria Bartonella henselae, which can cause a condition known as cat scratch disease in humans.


Fleas can also transmit the bacteria Francisella tularensis, which causes tularemia.

do fleas carry diseases


It is caused by burrowing sand fleas. Travelers are advised to wear shoes while walking in the sand of the affected regions so that they do not get this disease. The flea burrows into the epidermis of the skin of the feet.


Rickettsialpox is a rare bacterial disease caused by Rickettsia akari. It is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected mites or fleas.

Mycoplasma haemofelis

Mycoplasma haemofelis is a small bacterium that can infect the red blood cells of cats, causing a condition known as feline infectious anemia. The bacteria are transmitted through flea bites.

Allergies due to fleabites

It is widespread. Fleabites can cause redness, rashes, and itchiness. Some people might feel breathlessness when a flea bites them.

Symptoms and Treatment

The symptoms of diseases caused by fleabites differ from disease to disease.

  • The symptoms experienced by people affected by plague include fever, body pain, breathlessness, swollen lymph nodes, and many more. Antibiotics are given for treatment.
  • People who suffer from Murine typhus experience pain, nausea, fatigue, and restlessness. The treatment includes the consumption of doxycycline.
  • The symptoms of Cat scratch disease include fever, swollen lymph nodes, and fatigue.
  • The symptoms of Tularemia include fever, chills, and fatigue, and in severe cases, it can lead to pneumonia or sepsis. Treatment includes the consumption of antibiotics like Streptomycin and doxycycline.
  • The symptoms of Tungiasis are pain, foot ulcers, and nausea. Treatment includes the removal of fleas and taking anti-parasitic medicines.
  • The symptoms of Rickettsialpox include fever, headache, and a skin rash with a black eschar, which is a dark scab-like lesion that forms at the site of the bite.
  • The symptoms of Mycoplasma haemofelis include lethargy, weakness, and pale gums.
  • The symptoms of allergic diseases are breathlessness, body pain, fever, and chills. Treatment is just like that of any other allergic disease. It includes the application of antihistamines. It can prevent conjunctivitis and motion sickness.

Preventive Measures

It would be best if you tried to protect yourself from coming in contact with fleas.

  • Wear shoes while traveling, and clean your house regularly. 
  • Please keep your pets clean and take them to regular visits to a vet.
  • Use salt and essential oils to protect your pets and yourself from diseases caused by fleas. You can prepare a solution of essential oils and spray it in your home.
  • Sprinkle salt in the probable living areas of fleas. If you find even one flea in your home, start the process of eliminating them.
  • Keep the size of the grass in your garden short. 

Still, if you get an infection, visit a doctor as soon as possible for proper and timely treatment.

Final Words

Try to prevent yourself from flea infections. It might seem ignorable, but it can be severe and problematic.

We hope you stay aware and protect yourself and your family from flea infestation. Stay safe and healthy.

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Daniel White
I'm Daniel White, and I live in Jacksonville, Florida. The warm and humid climate of Florida gives an ideal habitat for many different kinds of pests. So, if I had to live in Florida, I had to learn how to deal with these pests. Now, I have 7 years of experience in Pest Control.

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