if you don't get bite marks does that mean you don't get bitten?

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QuestionsCategory: Flea Biologyif you don't get bite marks does that mean you don't get bitten?
Anonymous asked 2 years ago

Hi there
I keep seeing fleas in my room, the cat never comes in my room and we are the treating the cat accordingly. However I don’t understand why I am seeing fleas in my room, as I never get bites. Or am I getting bit and I don’t know it? I have no marks whatsoever on my ankles etc… would really appreciate an answer as I am very confused!
many thanks

1 Answers
Adam Retzer Staff answered 2 years ago

Hello Kate,

You’d notice the flea bites if you were getting bit. The reaction is similar to a mosquito bite. In rare circumstances people don’t display a reaction, but in all likelihood the fleas aren’t biting you.

It’s somewhat strange that you’re seeing fleas in your room if the cat doesn’t go in there. I would assume you’re bringing them into the room yourself. They may be hitchhiking on you. Of course, I can’t be certain without knowing the full details of you situation and environment.

Immature fleas develop within carpets. Once they reach adulthood, they move to the top of the carpeting to wait for a nearby. If you’re the nearest warm-bodied animal, they’ll jump on you. When they jump on people, they almost always land on socks.

Cat fleas don’t live on people, as humans make poor hosts. They may bite people, but they’ll leave soon after. In your case, it appears they’re leaving before they bite. Perhaps they can’t find access to exposed skin.

In your situation, it may be a good idea to purchase a flea trap and place it in your room. Flea traps are poor solutions for ending an infestation, but they’re very helpful for assessing flea populations. If the trap collects relatively few fleas, I’d assume the fleas are hitchhiking on you. If the trap collects a large number of fleas, it probably means fleas are developing in your room’s carpet, which means your cat is somehow getting in there without you noticing.

Similar to the trap technique, there’s something called the “white sock technique”. Just walk around your room with knee-high white socks for a few minutes. Then count the fleas on the socks.

Hope this helps!


klloyd00 replied 2 years ago

Adam!Thank you so much for your quick response. This is VERY helpful. This may explain it further- I’d love your opinion on this- I only moved into the room 2 months ago, (i’m lodging a room in a woman’s house) and before that I think my room was the woman’s room- who would have had the cat in the room all the time.. Perhaps the Fleas would have set up a home in the carpet in this room, then as i’ve had the heating on quite a bit in my room, liked the warmth, hatched etc. so that’s why i’ve found them in here? As I think the cat has maybe been in my room only once in the past few months.So do you think perhaps the flea population in my room should naturally dwindle out? As they aren’t biting me, and also I did use one of those flea traps in my room, after 3 days I only caught ONE flea in it. But then when I saw three more fleas yesterday I am wondering why they are still appearing- but do you think they will just keep appearing for a few more weeks because there are still eggs etc that are hatching, but then hopefully dying off? What do you think? I am vacuuming everything… I am VERY sensitive to chemicals so I don’t want to use chemicals in my room. Would love your opinion on this. Thank you again, really, it is very helpful for me!! All the information about fleas online is rather confusing. Happy new year! Kate

Adam Retzer Staff replied 2 years ago

Kate, happy new year to you too! It’s possible the previous tenant’s pets had fleas. If so, then the fleas, after pupating, can enter into a dormant-like state for up to 5 months. These are called pre-emerged adults. They wait to emerge from cocoons until they detect heat and pressure (two cues that indicate a host is nearby). Vacuuming simulates these two host cues and helps force the pre-emerged adults to emerge. Fleas can’t reproduce on human blood (they can technically, but not in natural settings). So, no new generations of fleas will be developing in your room. You just have to worry about these pre-emerged adults, and there probably aren’t many left. No need for chemicals. The fleas will die out on their own if your cat doesn’t go into the room. Keep up the vacuuming and you should be in the clear soon. You can also walk/crawl/roll all around the room to help try to force them to emerge (pressure and warmth again). Yes, flea information online is confusing and lot of it is incorrect. That’s why I made this site. Unfortunately, I think my information is still confusing haha. But at least I strive for accuracy. Wish you the best! Feel free to return with any other questions.

klloyd00 replied 2 years ago

Thanks so much for your wonderful response. Sorry I didn’t reply sooner- I didn’t get a email notification. in fact I have technically JUST been bitten for the first time!! (on my face! gah) Which is frustrating, but reading your message has been reassuring so as long as I keep the cat out of my room, and vacuum regularly they will eventually die off. So no need for chemicals! This is wonderful news. Thanks again for this brilliant site. All the best, Kate