Compression stocking and fleas

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QuestionsCategory: OtherCompression stocking and fleas
WebAndNetdotcom asked 4 months ago

Thank you, very much, for this wonderful site.   Truly valuable information!

I wear men’s thigh high stockings, Sigvaris Midtown 20-30.    These very tight medical stockings resemble closely-knit women’s leg nylon stockings.    Its holes (pores) are typically about .8 mm  wide, are all black in color, and reach top of my thigh.  Can fleas or very small fleas bite through .9 mm wide holes?

Unable to determine whether fleas are biting through these stockings or enter the stockings when I put these on.   I’ve seen flea on my legs immediately after I take these off, which suggests the fleas entered stockings while I put these on (or maybe they jumped on rapidly).  

80% of bites are on my calf, where I have no hair.  This suggests fleas bite by jumping onto my leg.  The stockings are very tight, and it would be difficult for so many fleas to initially gain entry at the stocking’s thigh-high top when I’m putting on stockings and crawl down to bite my calf.  Yet, the possibility still remain that these fleas jump onto my stocking during the process while I’m rolling up these stockings to put these on (yet why would they jump primarily near the calf portion?)

Still, I have nearly no bites on my ankles or feet, and I am frequently without shoes or wear open toe shoes.   And this suggests the fleas enter my stockings when I’m putting these on.

Prior to reading your website, I wore men’s shorts, and not long pants, so my leg protection was primarily these stockings.  I’ve read the site’s posting regarding tight nylon socks and permethrin.  

Had a family of possum in attic and fleas in the yard, which is where I believe the fleas came from.

The fleas jump remarkably high–I would say, as much as 12 inches, maybe higher.   I’ve seen them on table tops and jump very high.   Waits near the bathroom toilet seat are too.  No better victim than someone sitting on toilet.

If the holes of stockings are between .8mm and 1mm, can fleas or smaller fleas, bite through stockings?

WebAndNetdotcom replied 3 months ago

4-12-17 update. Compression stockings are woven very tight near the ankles and gradually less tight ascending up the legs. This enables for gradual upward pressure in venal blood circulation, which is how these stockings are designed.

Because of this weave pattern, the “holes” (pores) in the compression stockings are very small around ankles (less than 8mm, possibly less than 5mm), and the hole size increase up the legs. Around calf, the holes are between .8mm and 1mm. I’m guess-estimating using a ruler and eyes.

The weave and pores of these stockings, and that the majority of my bites were around the calf, suggests that the fleas need a hole greater than .7mm in order to bite. What seems to be happening is that the fleas still need to jump up to calf level in order to bite.

Compression stockings threads are thicker than most women’s nylon leggings, so my guesswork may not apply to standard women’s nylons.

Conclusion so far– fleas are mostly not hiding within the stockings (though when putting these on, they can end up within the stockings). Fleas have to jump up to calf in order to have sufficient stocking hole space to bite.

1 Answers
Adam Retzer FleaScience answered 3 months ago

Hello, interesting question.

I don’t know exactly what size holes fleas can bite through. It sounds like you’ve read the related article (Here’s a link for other visitors). Fleas can’t bite through most clothes, but it’s possible through thin, tight-fitting fabrics. Fleas are 1.5 to 3.2 mm in size. So, they would be able to fit their mouth parts in holes between .8 and 1 mm. But fabric thickness would also play a role, as fleas don’t have a penetrating proboscis like mosquitoes. A flea’s head needs to contact the skin to feed.

I think it’s more likely that the fleas are biting through the stockings, rather than entering them when you put them on. I think you’d have noticed the fleas while putting on the stockings, but they may have slipped by your attention.

Thank you for the update. Interesting information. It makes since that fleas would crawl to the larger pores to feed.

WebAndNetdotcom replied 3 months ago

Thank you again!

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