Do Fleas Carry Disease?

Do Fleas Carry Disease?

Fleas are small but pesky parasites that can make both humans and animals feel quite uncomfortable. But do fleas carry any diseases? Let’s take a look at what science has to say.

Are Fleas Vectors for Disease?

Fleas can act as vectors of disease by transferring bacteria, parasites, and viruses from one host – usually an animal – to another. Diseases that are transferred by fleas can range from mild discomfort to life-threatening illness.

Common Diseases Carried by Fleas

Some of the more common diseases carried by fleas include:

    • Murine Typhus: This is an infectious disease caused by an organism called Rickettsia typhi. Symptoms of the infection can include fever, headache, and rash.
    • Plague: This is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Symptoms can include fever, chills, and swollen lymph nodes.
    • Tungiasis: This is an infectious disease caused by the flea Tunga penetrans. Symptoms of the infection can include severe itching, pain, and local swelling.

Preventing Flea-Borne Illness

The best way to prevent flea-borne illness is to take steps to reduce the population of fleas on your property. These steps can include regularly vacuuming carpets and furniture to remove fleas and eggs, regularly washing bedding and toys, and regularly treating pets with flea-control products.

It is also important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of flea-borne illnesses so that you can seek medical attention if needed.


Fleas can be serious pests, but they can also be carriers of disease. It is important to take steps to reduce flea populations around your home and to be aware of the signs and symptoms of the diseases they can transmit. By following these steps, you can help protect yourself and your family from flea-borne illness.

The presence of fleas in homes can be a tremendous nuisance, but they also affect more than a person’s comfort level – they can transmit diseases. Fleas, small parasites that feed on warm-blooded animals, such as dogs and cats, have been known to transmit multiple diseases.

Several flea-borne diseases can be transmitted to humans, the most common being plagued. Plague is caused by the bacterium, Yersinia pestis, and can be contracted from the bite of an infected flea, coming into contact with an infected animal or eating an infected animal. Plague can cause serious infections in humans, such as fever, chills, and gangrene. Other flea-borne diseases that can affect humans include Bartonellosis, Murine typhus, and Myxomatosis.

Fleas also transmit diseases to animals, many of which can seriously impact their health. For example, canine bartonellosis is caused by a species of bacteria that is transmitted by fleas and can infect dogs, causing skin lesions, lameness, fevers, kidney damage, and even death in severe cases. Murine typhus is a bacterial infection that is spread by fleas and can cause fever and vomiting in cats. Rabbits can contract Myxomatosis, a virus spread by fleas, which causes swelling, blindness, and death.

It is important to take precautions to prevent flea infestations in the home, as they can pose a health risk to both humans and animals. Keeping pets up to date on flea-preventative treatments, vacuuming regularly, and changing bedding frequently can help reduce the risk of flea-borne diseases.

In conclusion, fleas can be a nuisance and can spread diseases to humans and animals, so prevention of flea infestations is necessary to protect people and pets from contracting flea-borne diseases.

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