Welcome to the number one site on flea bites, where you’ll learn everything you need to know about fleas. If you need help figuring out if you were bitten or not and how to treat your bites, you can start by reading about flea bites on humans. You can also see what the bites may look like in the flea bite pictures section.
During your visit, you’ll learn how to effectively accomplish this:
- Identify if you have been bitten by fleas
- Treat flea bites on humans, dogs and cats
- Get rid of fleas in and outside your home
- Prevent flea infestations in the future
NEW! Now you can learn how to get rid of fleas while supporting a great cause (World Wildlife Fund).
Flea bites on humans
Let me start by saying that we don’t see fleas on humans as often as on cats or dogs. Flea bites on humans usually come from dog fleas, cat fleas or human fleas. The bites are often seen in large groups or in clusters. Some people are very sensitive to these bites, and they risk getting a kind of hives, that looks like a large number of red bumps or bubbles on the affected area.
Fleas from cats and dogs often bite below the knee, usually on the ankles. You can also get flea bites on the forearms, if you have stroked or held your pet. In fact it is only the human flea that comes in groups of two to three, or even more at a time. Bites from dog or cat fleas usually show as areas of red dots.
There are a few people, that develop severe allergic reactions to flea bites and can get irritated by a single bite. Although it happens rarely, you can also get nasty diseases from the bacteria and viruses, that fleas transmit.
Not sure if you have flea bites? Take this test and find out now.
Flea bites on your pets
No matter if you have a dog, cat, rabbit or another animal, it is most likely that your pet gets cat fleas. Flea species prefers specific hosts, although if there is someone nearby, they can easily live on other animals or humans. Often it is not even sure you notice if your dog or cat gets flea bites. But if fleas are allowed to spread, they may end up invading your home.
Some pets, like dogs, can be sensitive to certain substances in flea saliva. More than humans are. They may develop allergic reactions after just one bite.
When fleas bite and why they do it
Evolution has shown that fleas have evolved to store 15 times more blood than their own weight. They have a lot of short spikes on their legs, allowing them to stick very firmly to their host. Once they have penetrated the animals or humans skin, they inject the saliva. The saliva is known to have more than 15 different substances, that may cause severe allergic reactions. Especially dogs are at risk of developing flea allergy.
I should also mention that fleas bite some people more than others. Like many other biting insects, fleas find their hosts based on the chemical cues we release, also known as volatile organic compound (VOC). Your VOC profile is a product of your skin flora and your odor consists of around 400 compounds, making it unique. So when fleas choose to bite you and not your friends, family members or colleagues, it’s because the fleas odorant receptors detect the VOCs that are unique to you.
Thoughts, like fleas, jump from man to man, but they don’t bite everybody – Stanislaw Lec
All fleas are parasites that need to suck the blood of animals or humans to live. The adult female fleas also need blood to be able to reproduce. In fact, they need food two to three times every day. They only need to mate once in a lifetime though, to be able to reproduce. So fleas don’t just bite because they can, they bite because they need the blood to survive.
What are the symptoms?
Flea bite symptoms can vary from person to person, but these are common signs:
- Raised spots on the skin that are red and itchy
- The bites are typically seen on lower body parts like feet and legs
- Some people are immune to the bites and may not show any symptoms
- Scratching the bites can cause blisters, welts and serious skin infections
You should have your doctor look at it if you get blisters, pus filled boils and fever.
Are fleas dangerous to humans or pets?
Insect bites are annoying and potential threats to both humans and animals. Fortunately, flea bites on humans and pets are not as dangerous as many other insect bites. Although you don’t need to contact your doctor as soon as it starts itching all over the body, you must still be aware of allergic reactions and rashes.
Fleas can be carriers of many different types of bacteria and viral diseases, and they are known to transmit tapeworms. Even if the fleas are disease-free, they can still drive both animals and humans mad when they come in big groups, and they are not easy to get rid of. Stick around and I’ll show you how to get rid of them.
What do flea bites look like?
If they are not causing an allergic reaction, the bites look just like red small dots, which you might not even notice. But when the bites start to itch, the person or pet may scratch a hole in the affected area, which can cause skin infections. If you get an allergic reaction to the bite, you usually have large areas of redness, severe itching and small pimples that require treatment.
Visit the flea bite pictures section to see what the bites look like.
Flea bite treatment
If you get bitten and you don’t do anything about it, the bites will eventually get worse because you simply can’t stop scratching them. This can be very uncomfortable and cause a lot of frustration, especially if you have flea allergy. Luckily we know so much about fleas today that we have developed excellent treatments and medicines that can take care of the problem almost instantly.
You can cure yourself at home by following the instructions below. If one way doesn’t work for you, just try another. People react differently to flea bites, so the effect of the specific treatment may also vary from person to person.
How to get rid of flea bites
- First of all, stop scratching your bites! I know it’s difficult but if you continue doing so, the bites can get infected with bacteria that will enter your bloodstream and cause havoc on your body. Save yourself from nasty infections by leaving the area alone.
- This one makes the first point easier to follow. Stop the itching with some cream or lotion. This will also reduce swelling and clean the area, decreasing the chance of getting those unwanted infections.
- If cream or lotion doesn’t do it for you, there’s also antihistamine as tablets or liquid. You should contact your doctor before taking this. I would prefer that you use cream or lotion – it’s cheaper and works in most cases.
- Use ice or cold water to soothe the itching. This also prevents or reduces swelling and inflammation.
Learn more about flea bite treatment.
How to get rid of fleas
The next step towards a life without fleas is to learn how to get rid of them. I have some great tips on how to deal with those pesky little creatures that invade your home and I’ll share them with you here.
Start by reading my step-by-step checklist that explains exactly how to deal with fleas in your home and on your pets by following a few simple but effective steps. Here’s what to do:
- Click here to get the checklist
- Print it out and follow the steps
- Enjoy a safer home without fleas
I recommend using my checklist because it’s easier to take action on and ensure that you’re not forgetting any important steps, but here’s a quick sum up of what you need to do.
Get rid of fleas in your home
If you have fleas in your home, it’s most likely that your pets brought them in from outside.
Follow these steps to get rid of fleas in your home:
- Vacuum carpets and rugs thoroughly and wash your pets bedding in hot water. Discard the bedding if you have a serious infestation.
- Remove items from the floor (feeding bowls, children’s toys etc.), pull furniture away from the walls and cover exposed surfaces.
- Strip the beds of sheets etc. and wash that along with comforters and curtains on as high a temperature as the fabric allows.
- Put on protective gear and apply EPA and FDA approved flea treatment products on floors and rugs. Always read the instructions first.
- Let the insecticides work for the amount of time described on the label and vacuum your home thoroughly afterwards.
- Repeat the process after two weeks.
Treat your pets for fleas
As I mentioned before, your pets are probably bringing in the fleas, so you have to treat them too.
Follow these steps to treat your pets for fleas:
- Start by bathing your pets with flea shampoo. This is an excellent way to quickly get rid of fleas on heavily infested pets.
- Maintain ongoing flea control by using a flea collar, pills or topical flea drops (I prefer the last one).
- Some people also bathe their pets once or twice a month and add a little vinegar as a repellent for extra protection.
- Keep your pets on a healthy diet, rich in biotin, omega essential fatty acids and B-vitamins.
- Groom your pets regularly using a flea comb. This is great for discovering and removing fleas in the early stages.
- When walking your pets, avoid grassy trails where fleas reside. This includes long grass in your yard.
Eliminate fleas in the yard
Your yard is one of the common places where your pets pick up fleas due to wild animals.
Follow these steps to eliminate fleas in the yard:
- Mow your lawn regularly and keep the grass short. You can also trim bushes and rake leaves to make it uninhabitable for fleas.
- Treat your yard by spraying your lawn with EPA-FDA approved insecticides or use beneficial nematodes that devour fleas.
- Declutter your yard by removing any unwanted items that may create hiding places for wild animals like rodents or possums.
Got fleas? Find out which products work in 2019, with my updated flea control product comparison chart.