Humans are not generally on the menu for fleas, but if your pet dog or cat has brought them home, then you and your family members are bound to be bitten at some point or another. Most cases of flea bites on humans can be treated using home remedies for flea bites. We will discuss some of these remedies here.
Home Treatment for flea bites on humans
Before we consider any home treatment for fleas, let us study the signs and symptoms of flea bites.
- Flea bites usually appear as raised reddish bumps.
- They occur on arms, legs, feet, ankles as well as the crooks of the elbows.
- Some people itch only on the actual site of the bite, whereas, others may experience itchiness even on the extended parts of the skin. This is a reaction to the protein in flea’s saliva. Some people are highly allergic to this, causing them to break out into hives.
- In rare cases, fleas from rodents can cause an infectious disease called typhus. This is easy to treat but it can be quite fatal especially in very young children or immune-compromised patients or elderly. Symptoms of typhus are fever, headaches, chills and a non-contagious rash. This can affect all family members especially in case of very large household infestations.
As in case of other insect bites, flea bites on humans should be treated with Cortisone cream. You can even apply a cold compress, an ice cube or frozen vegetable packs to ease the pain and inflammation on the bite area.
How to treat your bites
- Washing the bite area.
- Applying topical or systemic antipruritic treatment.
- Taking oral Benadryl if you are allergic to insect bites. This can reduce itching and swelling.
You must also avoid scratching the area as the germs trapped under the nails can lead to bacterial infections needing antibiotics or steroids to heal. It is also essential to exterminate fleas from the source. Treat your pets with shampoos or sprays for flea control as advised by your vet. Professional extermination may be needed for treating fleas on carpets and furniture. Home treatment for flea bites must be discontinued if the skin condition worsens. Seek prompt medical attention if the bite appears infected (fever, pus etc. are typical signs of infection).
Best products for home treatment of flea bites on humans
- Calamine lotion – This is one of the best, time-tested home remedies for flea bites. It soothes, heals and calms the itchiness.
- Neosporin – This is an antibacterial cream that can be applied as an initial home treatment for flea bites. It prevents the bite from getting infected.
- Baking soda – In absence of the above two products for soothing flea bites, use some baking soda with water to make a paste to be directly applied on the inflamed skin.
Home remedies for flea bites on pets
- Flea repellents – Frontline (fipronil) and Advantage (imidacloprid) are two useful products which can be used under the guidance of your vet as home treatment for fleas.
- Essential oils like lavender oil and cedar oil diluted in water can be applied on a collar/handkerchief which can be used as a home-made flea collar for the pet.
- Add some apple cider vinegar or distilled vinegar to the pet’s drinking water as home treatment to deter fleas. Not only will this take care of fleas, it will also give you pets a shiny coat.
- If the pet is scratching terribly, apply some soothing Aloe Vera gel or calamine lotion directly to the site of the bite. Seek prompt medical attention if the pet has open or infected sores.
Remember: none of the aforementioned home remedies for flea bites on pets and humans will remain effective unless you control fleas in the pet’s environment. Launder the bedding, vacuum the rugs and carpets and, if needed, get a professional exterminator to get rid of these pests from your home.
If you want to save some money by getting rid of fleas yourself, check out my recommended flea remedies.