Are flea larvae dangerous to humans?

Summary

Flea larvae aren’t dangerous or harmful to humans. The “baby fleas” live deep within carpet fibers, and feed on the feces from adult fleas. Cat flea larvae don’t live on animals, and don’t feed parasitically.

Details

Flea Larvae are Rarely Seen

Fleas in the larval stage aren’t dangerous to humans or other animals. In fact, it’s rare to even see flea larvae, because they’re negatively phototactic and will rapidly move to areas where light can’t reach. In domestic infestations, a majority of the larvae will be found living at the base of carpets.

Flea Larvae aren’t Parasitic

Cat flea larvae are free-living (not parasitic). They neither live on, nor parasitically feed from, a host, including humans. Flea larvae lack the piercing and sucking mouth parts needed for parasitic feeding. Instead, they have mandibles for chewing solid foods. The larvae consume dried fecal blood dropped by adult fleas, as well as conspecific eggs.

References

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Discussion

  • diane November 16, 2016, 10:49 pm

    I have worms coming out of my scalp. they match the same identity of the life cycle of the flea. can they be in human skin

    • Adam Retzer November 17, 2016, 3:43 pm

      Those are definitely not related to fleas. Go see a doctor immediately.

  • lyanna October 10, 2017, 4:56 am

    Hi, Im currently dealing with an infestation with my cats and I’m doing everything I can but I have noticed flea eggs and larvae on my cats more the white ones and if I spray flea treatment it turns red so I know it’s not dirt for sure but I’m worried when they lay on my bed. Would those flea eggs and larvae harm me? Sometimes they sleep next to my pillow and always near me on my blankets I live in a house but rent a room so no place to separate my cats from me while I sleep. I do wash blankets but I’m worried over night.

    • Adam Retzer October 17, 2017, 10:09 am

      No, the larvae won’t bite people or pets. They aren’t parasitic. It also takes eggs 2-3 days to hatch. So if you wash your bedding every couple days, then the larvae won’t have a chance to hatch.

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