The life history of fleas has shown that they are vectors of various deadly diseases including the plague and Typhus. Today, fleas are nothing but annoying parasites that bite us and our pets. If you do get bitten, then you naturally want to find out how long flea bites can last on humans and pets, as well as ways to heal them faster. More importantly, it is necessary to find ways to eliminate infestations and prevent further bites.
How long do flea bites last on humans?
Flea bites on humans are characterized by red blotchy skin. Many humans are unaware that fleas have bitten them. However, others may not be so lucky; they may be severely allergic to the flea bite saliva that can cause intense itching, red and swollen welts and bite marks in groups or clusters that may require a few weeks to heal.
That brings us to answering the question: how long do flea bites last? Typically, this depends on several factors which are mentioned here:
- How sensitive are you to fleas?
- Have you seen a dermatologist to get the bites treated?
- Are you sure if it is a flea infestation in the first place? Many skin conditions are actually similar to flea bites, but they may be something totally different and last longer.
- Are you using techniques and procedures to prevent new bites?
How long do flea bites take to appear?
If you compare flea bites and bed bug bites, there is a noticeable difference. In most people, bed bug bites appear almost immediately. To clarify: if you are bitten by a bed bug, you might wake up almost instantly with a severe itch. In case of flea bites though, the symptoms may take a few hours, sometimes even days, to appear. This means that flea bites might not itch immediately.
Of course, there are no hard and fast rules here. If you are very sensitive, you might end up with almost an instantaneous reaction to the bites. This is because fleas inject a protein in your blood to prevent it from coagulating. This leads to release of histamine which causes swelling, redness, itchiness and welts on the skin. Other people have a delayed reaction to this process. They may experience the symptoms a few days after they have been bitten.
Home remedies for treating flea bites on humans
Sometimes, scratching the bites can lead to secondary skin infections in the form of blistering and pus. These may need antibiotics for healing. You can also use several natural products and home remedies to treat and heal the flea bites on humans faster.
Tips to heal flea bites on humans faster
- Applying an ice pack on the site of bite to prevent swelling, itching and soothe the skin.
- Washing the site with an antiseptic soap and applying an antibiotic or anti-septic cream or lotion.
- Applying aloe vera gel taken directly from the plant. Likewise, Calendula extracts are also soothing and can help prevent itching and worsening of the rash.
- Applying Over-The-Counter 1% hydrocortisone cream.
These are tried and tested methods of healing flea bites on human skin faster so that they do not cause secondary infections.
How long do flea bites last on dogs and cats
Flea bites on cats and dogs, if left untreated, can lead to many secondary problems. Primary amongst these is Flea bite allergy dermatitis where the animal may be overly sensitive to fleas and scratch intensely leading to open blisters, loss of hair and other symptoms. It is best to treat the dog/cat with the help of a vet, especially if the flea bites are lasting longer than a few days. Prescription steroids or antibiotics may be required for healing such open wounds faster. Anemia is another probable effect of flea bites on dogs and cats.
Treat and prevent flea bites on pets
If your dog or cat has been bitten by fleas, here are some ways to treat the wounds so they heal faster. It is also equally important to prevent new attacks to avoid further suffering for your pet.
Tips to heal flea bites on pets faster
- Comb the pet; watch out for signs of flea dirt or flea feces
- Bathe the pet in soothing baths made of natural ingredients such as peppermint essential oil, lavender oil etc. These are soothing and natural products that can help prevent inflammation and itching associated with flea bites.
- Use all natural flea and tick prevention shampoos or sprays containing Aloe Vera, Calendula etc.
- Use Comfortis, an oral drug for flea prevention and treatment as it has very few side effects compared to other oral flea prevention products.
How long till flea bites heal and go away completely?
Flea bites usually disappear by themselves at some point, but naturally, you want them completely gone as fast as possible.
- As stated before, flea bites on humans and animals can go away within a week provided they are not infected and you have used aforementioned methods to enhance healing.
- Application of antibiotic creams can also speed up healing and prevent further rashes and open wounds. Oral Benadryl and hydrocortisone creams can keep down the itching in humans.
- Pets can be treated with soothing natural remedies (for example, a paste made from baking soda and water applied directly to the bite area) that will prevent itching and scratching.
It is vital that you first determine for sure it is a flea bite rash. Many other skin conditions (such as scabies) can last longer and are similar in appearance to flea bite rashes. If flea activity has been noted, it is important to get rid of them and if needed professional help be sought to ensure the same.
Got fleas? Find out which products work in 2019, with my updated flea control product comparison chart.