Fleas and lice - millimeter-sized pests

In addition to mosquitoes in summer, it is the tiny, barely visible bloodsuckers that can torment us all year round. Especially in the summer months, it is mainly fleas that are introduced via pets and do not despise humans as a source of food. Lice can be removed relatively quickly and thoroughly, but fleas must be thoroughly cleaned every nook and cranny.

Fleas are not picky

It is not easy to fight the lively fleas, because they have enormous leaps and bounds: over half a meter, the only two millimeters large flea can bounce with ease - a person would have to jump comparatively over the Cologne Cathedral, he wanted a similar performance accomplish. This explains why fleas spread so quickly once they are in the house - as an unwanted gift usually brought by dog ​​or cat.

Even if they prefer to stay on "their" dog or "their" cat, fleas are not picky when it comes to the host. And so they also choose people to enjoy a blood meal and then disappear back into cracks, crevices, rugs, mattresses and other loopholes.

Luckily there are no health risks in our wide fleas. But that was not always the case: in the 14th century, when the plague killed 25 million people, rat fleas transmitted the plague bacteria. Nowadays, only the tropical rat fleas are dangerous in the southern latitudes, as they can continue to spread plague bacteria.

Help - fleas in the house

Adult fleas live for several months, depending on the environment - and fleas love it warm. Fleas are usually the right plague in summer and autumn. Flea stings itch strongly, they can be recognized by the characteristic flea ladder. These are several stitches in a row, because fleas often make "test bites" before they eat their fillings, fleas inject saliva against the blood clots in one shot, which acts as an allergen and the body reacts with a swelling or itching.

The itching of flea bites can be alleviated with an anti-allergic ointment. The best prevention against fleas is the regular control of pets (cleaning the baskets, blankets and pillows and pest applications on the coat with a flea drug from the pharmacy). Daily sucking of carpets and upholstery is essential. If the flea infestation massive helps the exterminator. He can use insecticides that are aerosolized, because only then they reach in the apartment all stages of development of the fleas and kill them.

Lice like hair

They are at most three millimeters long, prefer to live in the temples, ears and neck area, but also do not spare eyebrows, beard and chest hairs. They need two to three blood meals a day and drive their host with their itchy bites almost insane: This refers to head lice, a fairly common plague, but you can get a good grip again.

From her mouth come three Stechrüssel used when it comes to sucking a few milliliters of blood. The Stechrüssel be pricked into the scalp, with a tiny amount of Läusespucke is injected into the scalp. Most of the time there are not more than 20 lice on the head.

The eggs, also called nits, are stuck in the hair. The lice kidney lays four eggs a day, which develop into larvae after eight days, skin several times and develop into a new generation after three weeks. Lice are in the summer months and after the holidays boom, because holiday resorts, camps and camps offer optimal conditions for the spread of human to human.

Lice can be well controlled

In the pharmacy, there are suitable remedies for lice, but you should definitely take care to protect eyes, nose and mouth, because the active ingredients are highly irritating. Drugs approved for head lice treatment include allethrin, lindane, permethrin and pyrethrum. The killed lice and eggs are then combed out with a special Nissenkamm.

It is important to wash or clean all clothes, blankets and pillows, upholstery and children's soft toys that have come into contact with the hair at 60 degrees - with sofas and armchairs, sufficient vacuuming is sufficient. Things that should not be washed should be sealed in a plastic bag for about three days and stored at room temperature or cooler, then the lice will die. But you can also stuff eg stuffed animals in a plastic bag for 24 hours in the freezer. This also kills lice and nits.

Important for parents

If kindergarten children or pupils are affected, the parents are obliged to inform the school or kindergarten about the infestation and to take appropriate therapeutic measures. Even with the correct application, but especially in case of application errors during therapy, the nits can survive in all lice remedies. For this reason, the Robert Koch Institute generally recommends repeating the treatment after eight to ten days. After this time, all larvae hatched, but have not yet laid eggs themselves.

Alternatives to chemical treatment in lice

Only those who can not tolerate chemical agents or pregnant and nursing women can also resort to a natural method. This is mixed with normal household vinegar (5%) with water in the ratio 1: 1, which also lice lice. The mixture is massaged into the hair, then wrapped one more with the vinegar water soaked towel around the head and let it act for an hour.

However, treatment with vinegar water does not kill the lice or nits, it only facilitates combing out. This treatment must be done once daily for at least 8 days. After about eight to ten days, the head must be thoroughly checked and, if necessary, treated again. For any remaining eggs may hatch new lice during this time.

The sometimes still recommended killing of lice and nits by the application of hot air z. B. by means of a hair dryer is unreliable and can lead to significant scalp damage, so that in principle is not recommended. Similarly, a sauna stay to kill the lice is unsuitable.

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