Belinda is a writer and dog lover who, unfortunately, has plenty of experience with flea bites.
How to Recognize and Treat Flea Bites
Fleas are wingless, blood-sucking parasites that are notorious for the irritation they cause us and our pets. Even though fleas are typically more interested in our furry friends than people, flea bites on humans are not uncommon. It's a fairly accepted fact that if you're a pet owner, you're probably going to experience a flea bite at some point in time.
Of course, people who don't own pets are not completely safe from the attention of this small parasite either. Fleas are surprisingly hardy creatures, especially in their pupae stage, when they can survive in harsh environments for long durations without any food. It's a common horror story amongst new homeowners to be suddenly attacked by a horde of fleas. The returned presence of warm-blooded prey stimulate fleas to hatch from their protective cocoons for a meal, and all this can occur without a dog in sight.
So, how can you tell whether you're the main course for this notorious little blood-sucker? Continue reading to learn about the symptoms of a flea bite, how to treat it, and more.
What Do Flea Bites on Humans Look Like?
Flea bites on human skin appear as red dots surrounded by reddish halos. There are often multiple flea bites in one area, and they do not follow an organized pattern or structure. Instead, they are scattered about randomly.
Can a Flea Be Seen by the Human Eye?
Yes, a flea can be seen by the human eye, but not without difficulty. They are reddish-brown, and usually about 1/4 inch in length. They can move about very quickly and can jump up to six feet, although they cannot fly. Usually, by the time you register that a flea is on you, it has already jumped off. If you are able to catch one, try to squish it. Since fleas have hard-bodies, they are hard to kill by squishing. If you are able to squish the bug, it may be a bed bug or something else.
Flea bites are commonly mistaken for bed bug bites, and vice versa. While sometimes challenging to determine, it is important to know the identity of your attacker. See the table below for the differences between flea bites and bed bug bites.
Flea Bites vs. Bed Bug Bites
Bites look like small clusters of red spots.
Bites look like mosquito bites. They are red, firm, and sometimes swollen.
Bites are scattered about randomly, and are usually found on the legs, ankles, or feet.
Bites often appear in linear rows, and can be found anywhere on the body.
Bites may occur at night, but are more likely to occur when in close proximity to furniture or pets.
Bites usually occur at night when you are sleeping in your bed (hence the name).
Bites start to itch immediately and will become red within an hour of being bitten.
Bites may take several days to appear, and begin to itch gradually.
Symptoms of Flea Bites on Humans
Below is a list of symptoms you can expect to see or feel after being bitten by a flea.
- Flea bites are extremely itchy and can cause great discomfort.
- The bites are typically focused around the feet and lower legs, as fleas tend to live in carpets and floorboards. It also isn't uncommon to experience flea bites on other areas of the body, particularly around your mid-section.
- If you are allergic or have a hypersensitive reaction to the flea bites, large welts may form that are painful and hot to the touch.
- Flea bites are easily infected, as scratching can introduce nasty bacteria into the open sores. Infected flea bites become painful, red, pussy, and swollen.
- Flea bites may cause hives.
How Do You Treat Flea Bites on Humans?
While there is no step-by-step method for treating flea bites on human skin, there are several things you can do to treat an area of skin that has been affected.
Also, make sure the marks on your skin are, in fact, flea bites. They can sometimes look similar to mosquito bites, heat rash, bed bug bites, or a number of other skin ailments. If you haven't actually seen any fleas jumping around your home, yet you still have what seem to be flea bites, a trip to the doctor or pharmacist may be in order.
Flea Bite Treatments
- Wash the affected area to reduce the chance of infection
- Despite the urge, do not scratch flea bites. Fleas defecate as they feed, which means that every flea bite is surrounded by nasty bacteria. Not only does scratching irritate the skin surface, but you risk introducing some of these bacteria into your skin, leading to infection.
- Wrap an ice pack around the bitten skin. This will reduce swelling and numb the skin, making it easier to avoid scratching.
- Witch hazel can help with itchiness.
- Oral antihistamine will help reduce itchiness while also lessening the chance of an allergic reaction.
- Topical antihistamines, antibacterials, and other soothing lotions (such as aloe vera) will help soothe and cleanse the skin so as to reduce redness, swelling, and the chance of infection.
- Tepid baths with an oatmeal solution, which can be found at chemists and health stores, will soothe your skin. (Note: Avoid hot showers. Hot water can make the itching worse.)
Can a Flea Bite Harm a Human?
Aside from the possibility of an infection or allergic reaction, itchiness and redness is usually the worst one can expect after being bitten by a flea. However, keep in mind that reactions tend to be worse in those with weaker immune systems, such as infants, children, and seniors.
If a flea bite develops into an allergic reaction it can be very harmful to a human. Symptoms of an allergic reaction to a flea bite that constitute a medical emergency include:
Symptoms of an Allergic Reaction to a Flea Bite
- Difficulty breathing (shortness of breath or wheezing)
- Swelling of the lips of tongue
- Chest pain
Fleas are also capable of transmitting certain diseases, such as:
Diseases Transmitted by Fleas
- Plague (Yersinia pestis)
- Typhus (Rickettsia typhi)
- Flea tapeworm
How to Prevent Flea Bites on Humans
There are a few measures you can take to avoid being bitten by fleas in the first place. Follow the steps below to protect you and your family from flea bites.
- Use a lemon citrus spray, as fleas do not like the scent of citrus and will avoid anything with this smell. By applying a lemon spray around your house, the fleas should stay away (at least temporarily). You can make your own lemon spray by cutting lemons in half, boiling them in water, and letting them steep overnight. Once finished, simply pour your anti-flea concoction into a spray bottle.
- Use a diffuser and essential oils that repel fleas. Some of the best oils to repel fleas are lavender, eucalyptus, lemon, cedar wood, and peppermint.
- Wear lotion containing essential oils.
- Apply an insecticide inside and outside of your home. Since fleas can take a long time to hatch, purchase an insecticide with a growth inhibitor. (Note: Consider the health hazards of these chemicals.)
- Purchase nematodes for your yard, which are small worms that feed on fleas. Ladybugs are also notorious flea-eaters.
What Kills Fleas in the House?
When it comes to ridding your home of a flea infestation, there are both chemical and non-toxic solutions.
- Vacuuming fleas is a very effective, and non-toxic, way of eliminating fleas in your home. The fleas will jump toward the vibrations of the vacuum, and once sucked inside, the rotation will kill them.
- Apply a mixture of salt and baking soda to flea-infested areas. This will dehydrate and kill the fleas.
- Use a non-toxic flea spray to kill fleas in your home.
- Spray flea-killing chemicals inside and outside of your home
- Fog your home using a flea fogger or flea bomb
- Contract an exterminator
Four Stages of the Flea Life Cycle
When it comes to removing fleas from your home, having some knowledge about the flea lifecycle may be of some use. Homeowners often take measures to exterminate fleas from their home only to have a new generation crop up a few weeks after. The key to removing fleas from your home for good is to break the lifecycle. The best way to do this (unless you've hired an exterminator and are sure all traces of fleas are gone) is to continue your extermination method for multiple months.
An adult female flea will lay eggs after consuming blood. The eggs appear as small, white objects, smaller than a grain of sand.
Emerging larvae are blind and sensitive to light. They are about a 1/4 inch long, white, and legless. If conditions permit, they will spin a cocoon within 5 to 20 days of hatching.
The last stage before emerging as an adult flea, the pupae will wait in their sticky cocoons before emerging. They usually hatch within months of this stage, but they can stay in the pupae stage for years if need be.
Once a flea has emerged from its cocoon, it will begin feeding on a host within hours. Adult fleas are small, dark-colored, and flat-bodied when unfed, and darker and fatter after feeding.
Pest Control Expert on Killing Fleas (Video)
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2011 ThePepperDen
Sam on March 23, 2020:
I have been fighting fleas for 1 1/2 years after my daughter brought them to our house on an infected dog she was walking. The fleas now live off of me - we have no pet - and have do so for the whole time. They have infected my work place and my cars and have followed me where ever I go. I have learned ALOT about fleas. Fortunately these fleas only like me and do not bother my wife or daughter.
Of course constant vacuuming is important. Spraying IGRs regularly is important. Using DEET is important (after resisting use DEET and trying every botanic under the sun I gave up) to get them off my body until I can put on protective clothing. I have found the only thing that work protectively is a full body(including head and hands) suit with entry and exit via zippers. In addition I find the large fleas can bite and/or poke me (with high levels of skin destruction) through many layer of material especially on my feet, ankles, and calves. As a result within my body suit a wear hand made shows and ankle protectors using several layers of tough (flexible) plastic shelving from Costco together with Kevlar socks made from Kevlar arm protectors, and diving boots. The diving boots keep water out which allows me to spray feet (on occasion) with pesticides. Using all of these protection together I am able to keep my skin free of most bites. Last night even with all these protection one or more very large fleas were able to penetrate all of these layers and wake me up at 3am with incredibly sore toes. I responding by getting up and spraying my protected feet with 39% permethrin SFR mixed with IGRs. Then I covered my protected feet with old pillow cases and lashed them to my calves with heavy rubber bands. When I got back in bad the fleas were thwarted but continued bat themselves against the pillow cases all night. By morning they were still there but had slowed down a good deal. Generally speaking I clean my protective clothing with a combination of machine washing and boiling inside of plastic bags in a 15 gallon kettle on the stove.
I am hoping if I keep this up they will die of starvation as no combination of cleaning, pesticide spraying, DE, botanics, or changing of location has done the trick. Their numbers are definitely way down, but their longevity and resistance to poison is mind boggling.
Loz on January 27, 2020:
The dish soap you use “dawn”
Mix up a bottle of strong dawn and water.
Spray carpets , floors etc...
This is the ONLY thing that worked for me.
Also use the dawn and water mix on your yard grass around your house.
It’s gentle and safe on plants/animals/humans... grass...
It kills fleas good and fast tho
Renee on August 21, 2019:
Flea bite 1 year old on the leg will it make him fever and thow up
Dee on August 17, 2019:
We've had fleas for 3 years. I'm getting bitten just as much as the cats. I'm going insane. I get bit all over, ankles, legs, torso, chest, back, arms, wrists, between fingers and sometimes on my neck and face. Sometimes it welts up, most of the time it's crazy itchies. I can feel most of them crawling on me, biting or jumping off me. The ones I do catch on me are tortured with dish soap or rolled between my fingers until they are crushed. I've used a diffuser with lavender, lemon, peppermint and eucalyptus oil. I have also used a carrier and smothered it on my skin at night. It did not work for me. Baking soda did not help as well as chemical application. I finally found some Diatomaceous earth. It helped, then a wave came. I see fleas standing in the dust. I see fleas dying in the dust. I see larvae crawling in the dust making tunnels. Dawn Dish soap traps with a desk lamp over it at night attracts the fleas, that does help. I go over there and spray with dish soap and watch them suffocate. Taking regular showers helps me with the itching, as well as 2.5% cortisone. Once a week in the shower I exfoliate then smother olive oil all over. That helps heal my skin. I only take antihistamine at night because they make me sleepy. Prevention is key. Don't waste money on cheap products. Fleas bite in 3's or 4's. They are the breakfast, lunch and dinner bites and sometimes desert. Check your areas for immunities against pet flea protection. The fleas in my area are immune to Frontline. We live in Southern IL, hot, and humid.
Kathleen on July 30, 2019:
Great article! Will definatly try the citrus spray and lemon essential oil when in my yard as this year the fleas are horrible!
Paul on September 23, 2018:
I think i have bed bugs or fleas somehow. I am a clean person wash once or twice a day i have no pets though my ex had a dog. I just cant seam to sort out this itching the doctor has give me moisturiser and antihistameans but they are doing nowt. I feel dirty and its embarising i am ready to bin my mattress and get a new one its 1am ive had no sleep and im in work in 5 hours
Marlyn Maslow on July 02, 2018:
Great post and extremely helpful! Thx!
Anelle on May 20, 2018:
PS folks......bedbugs and fleas are insects after all if you can find a natural antihistamine take one it will help with swelling and raised itching....... we never had that problem so at the first time we ever had by it's around our ankles I recognized what it was and we take a natural antihistamine at bed the worst looked like little red Sharpie marks. They never itched and they never raise up.
Anelle on May 20, 2018:
no chemicals on my farm or in my house or on my pets either I use diatomaceous earth you're very first line of defense is vacuuming and sweeping completely in your rooms no dust we have combat it it for years because we live on a farm and all of our neighbors have deer fleas and we've lost a couple domestic pets because of that and then I got smart so no chemicals they've gotten really chemical resistant so little bits of Diatomaceous Earth that's food-safe after sweep and vacuum whole house and soft surfaces...pillows,sofas,rugs,etc.....rub it into your carpets sofas, pillows, and along your doorways and wherever your pets are on the porch and do it about 20 feet out from the house and the yard because we have that all the time and it has really gone down to a minimum.
Also each full washload 2cups apple cider vinegar.....soak about 20 min....wash rinse dry. Eggs andfleas in the load are dead.....
Sara on May 10, 2018:
Hi I went to a neighbor's house a couple hours ago and I got three bites in a row on my leg can it be fleas or can it be bed bugs
Joan on October 20, 2017:
If your animals have fleas, you need to give them a preventative medicine on the 1st day of every month. My preference is for nexguard because they eat it like a treat but there are plenty of other options like frontline which is a solution that you put on there neck, again once a month. Both of these should get to work in 24-48 hours and they will then be protected against fleas for 30 days. Next task is to clean the house to rid it of any residual fleas. If you keep them on Nexguard every month, you will never have another flea!
Megan on September 10, 2017:
COMFORTIS flea pill!!!!
Miko on August 28, 2017:
Had a flea episode this winter; horrific experience ever. I love my two beautiful dogs...but they are really killing us. At first we thought we had chicken pox up until we discovered this small creatures jumping up and down our dogs and on our blankies and lastly, on us. You can imagine trying to get rid of this creatures in winter ( having so many blankets acting as a good hiding and possibly breeding place). To make things worse, i had an allergic reaction to the bites leaving me nauseous, with swollen lips, difficulties breathing, headaches and so forth. To treat them in the house we used blue death powder and i am taking a lot of allergy meds; the problem is not solved but atleast it reduces the" impact". We also wash the dogs more regularly with antiseptic shampoos*** but as for getting rid of the problem, please share once you get a permanent solution.
Monica lacroix on August 10, 2017:
Me and my husband have a cat. We had fleas before but this one seems to be worse. We gave her the drops, have been vacuuming, cleaning, laundering and who knows what else and tried natural remedies and somega silver water from the health food store who they say helps for some reason. Anyways, my cat loves sleeping with us ever since we had her and because of that she is ßleeping on bed when I'm in bed. I kick her off because she is scratching all the time but then I am too. I found 3 or 4 fleas in my bed the other day jumping around and couple weeks ago I would wake up in the morning to go pee and I had a flea go down my face , made me feel creepy. My head freely itchy and my ankles, under my buttocks upper thighs underneath and my arms, everywhere, sometimes feel like screaming murder. So to speak. Vet said it would take upmtom3 months of This? We just did 2 weeks of this and still not working. He even sprayed 2x in basement where there is carpet and some in the living room with flea spray. I couldn't handle the fumes so that's why I couldn't do it in bedroom. Oh and do flea traps too.
Emma on March 31, 2017:
Well , my dog AND cat both had fleas , I think they still do . But I'm not getting bit anymore but I went to the doctor and found out that , I'm allergic to flea bites . I'm left with scars up and down my body , thighs , legs , ankles , stomach , arms , back & sides so pretty much everywhere . I've found fleas on my bed like more than 5 . But back to th point , I have scars and I've been trying to get rid of them but , they won't go away . I've had them for months now almost 3 . What can I do ? I have 3 months till i leave to Idaho on vacation and it'll be summer and I don't want to show up with scars all over my body . I need help .
Claire.email@example.com on March 13, 2017:
I treat my cat with a deflea liquid solution on her neck, I use a flea fogger spray, and I also sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth around the house, around the edges, and in corners especially. I wash all fabrics that could be a potential flea breeding ground, and the cats beds. I then sprinkle the cats bed with Diatomaceous Earth too.
I hoover the excess powder from the diatomaceous earth after leaving it on the carpet for a day at least. This usually does the trick. Diatomaceous earth is a godsend for flea problems.
John on January 04, 2017:
Thanks for this awesome articles, it was really educative, I had an hard time while trying to find out what FLeas bite look like until I came accross this site, Thanks a Lot once again
Gina on November 22, 2016:
I used a flea bomb took pets & I left house for 4 hours it helped .I took benadrill for the itch relief & sprayed the dogs & put flea med & spray on them
Chanel on November 16, 2016:
Is an child getting flea bit abuse??? If you are treating the house and doing what you can.
Kimberly Gilmore on November 14, 2016:
My boyfriend and our 3 month old daughter had just moved into a new home and the very next day i was attacked by fleas we had an exterminator come out 3 times to spray our whole house down he said it take about 2 weeks for all the fleas to die well its almost been 2 weeks and i wake up with big welts on my neck arm back and ear lobe im just trying to get rid of the itch and pain thanks for your article i hope it helps me
Bruna on October 31, 2016:
The last apartment I stayed in was infested in fleas and I didn't have pets. They got so bad that if I would step foot off my bed, my feet would immediately be covered in them. I would have to wear three layers of socks to be able to hop over to the bathroom. If you spread rock salt on your carpet early on and let it sit overnight then vacuum in the morning, it should help in getting most of them out.
Cathy on August 20, 2016:
Someone commented that the best way to avoid having fleas in the house is not to have pets in the house. I do not have pets in my home, never have had. Suddenly, after living here for 12+ yrs, there are fleas and lots of them. I am using Borax, salt, foggers, sprays---everything I can think of! What is odd is that 1. I have very very few bites, 2. Though research shows that fleas only jump about 7-8", I am being bitten much more on my upper arms than my feet and ankles, 3. These seem to be flying fleas--if there is such a thing. Perhaps I do not know what I am dealing with; perhaps it isn't a flea infestation at all. Can anyone help? I have literally spent hours researching, only to find the same information over and over. Might I have Carpenter ants? Thank you to whomever can respond.
Deborah Short on August 16, 2016:
Deborah Short My little dog has fleas I recently start noticing flea bites around my ankles and legs and arms is there something that I can use on my dog for fleas and me for the flea bites.
Imaygonuts on August 15, 2016:
I live in a lower duplex that has major humidity,wetness,and a bit of a mold problem in the corner of my dining room only.I use a dehumidifier which may or may not help,the stupid thing throws out hot air while on!(very hot summer here in Southern Ontario this year so this double sucks).So I have the wet,the dark,and the mold.I also have a cat with fleas.Here's the thing,my cat has never been outside(can fleas jump through screens?).So,this is driving me nuts to begin with.The problem with me is in the last two months I wake up with welts,medium red,raised,bites(there are holes in the center.Two on my back actually had a clear fluid came out and then crusted.Always happens at night.They are never around my ankles or feet but on my inner arms,breasts,back,inner thighs,belly.It's like whatever is biting me likes the soft skin!I saw a spider crawling up my wall the other day,it was small and clearish beige.I've seen them around here and there.I have tried to look them up but can't find a thing.I have the cat's fleas under control but every night,something,cruises around my body deciding when and where to take a chomp.This is freaking me out!HELP!
cp on August 10, 2016:
The best way to deal with this is to not have animals in the house.
Mandy on July 27, 2016:
My older cat just had kittens last week.... and then we noticed fleas everywhere... I have treated my outside cat... what can I do for her and the babies, because she is feeding them???
Michelle on July 27, 2016:
Ah I'm living in hell thanks to fleas. Its almost 5 am and Im still awake because of the itchenese. I live with a relatively big family and no one got bitten but me!!! It's literally all over my body (neck, back, cheast, stomach, thighs, arms, and legs)!!!
I have them for more than a week now! Went to the dermatologist, gave me some bills and creams! No help
I hope it goes away quickly:(
Ebony on July 22, 2016:
Ashes kill fleas. Cigarette ashes in window sills and dumped on carpets kill fleas immediately.
Mama J on July 18, 2016:
If they are bad enough that you see them jump on you, then (this is weird) rub school glue on your bare ankles and go to the infested area. They will jump on you and stick. After about a minute rinse the glue and pests down the bathtub drain. Repeat until no more jump on you. This will knock down a population quickly.
firstname.lastname@example.org on June 22, 2016:
My flea bites on my neck are really bad Because my neighbors kitten had fleas and I got then now and I don't know what I should do. I been hugging it and it just got baderbader well yeah it did not work out now I have to get Ointment for it so yeah but I don't know if I'm Allergic To cats so yeah that's what my flea story is.
Jill Amundsen on May 20, 2016:
My suggestion is essential cedarwood or eucalyptus oils, pricey, but well worth it, stops the itch immediately, and kills all stages of fleas, but treat everywhere, car house yard pets and yourself. And your new best friend is your vacuum.
Angie on May 07, 2016:
has any one ever become really tired almost flue like symtons with badly infected flea BITES
Phil on March 27, 2016:
A very well written and informative article. With this amount of comments you can see how it affects many people. If anyone would like some more information and advice visit http://www.flea-bites.co.uk
tm22 on April 12, 2015:
Has anyone become ill after many flea bites? Im not sure if its the the fleas or something else ...I feel a lack of energy, generally run down, itchy, weak legs etc...don't know if the fleas can carry anything? Help please
Jacob on September 27, 2014:
Thanks for this interesting article Belinda. I have more on this subject if you want to check it out: http://www.fleabites.net/flea-bites-on-humans/
Have a great weekend!
Karan Arora on July 23, 2014:
read more about flea bites on dogs on this http://fleabitesinfestation.com/flea-bites-cats-do...
David Hamilton from Lexington, KY on June 18, 2014:
The fleas are bad this year. We have only one dog and he has managed to fill the whole house with fleas. Thanks for the tips!
Valerie M. Frost on March 27, 2014:
Hi guys and gals. Yes, we all love our animals, and at 64, disabled, with a 165-lb Newfoundland Service Dog and 4 crazy but beautiful and loving cats - all 5 from rescue/abandonment situations, I finally, after all my life, have "flea bites". My home remedy for "bites" is poultice with a cotton ball saturated in 70% Rubbing Alcohol. It disinfects and dries up the bo-bo's, and soothes the nagging itch. Tea bags sound great too, as I use them on my eyes when I get a stye. The Tannic Acid in the tea "draws" the infection out of the stye and soothes your eyes. So that would also be good on bites. I then use Polysporin cream - and get on with my day. Cheers! Gotta luv 'em pets of ours. Val and BUBBLES, my Newfoundland (female) Service Dog - Ottawa, ON, CANADA
kt.3 on January 25, 2014:
My cat had fleas about a month ago both me and my daughter got bitten a lot the cats been treated and i can't see any more fleas on her. I've had a spray from the vet and covered everything in it I've also flea bombed and hover everyday. I haven't seen a flea in days Yet we are still getting the occasional bite help it's starting to get me down now
Arie on January 16, 2014:
Help please. Ive had red itchy bumps on my head, my neck, my chest and breasts, my stomach and legs. Ive treated my cat and my bedding clothes etc. Why won't it stop?!
adele on January 07, 2014:
We crushed moth balls and scattered them through out the house. In the end thats all that worked for us
ashley on January 01, 2014:
i went to a friends house and she did not tell me she had fleas until we were about to leave and i just looked at my sons arm because he was licking it and i noticed he had flea bits. he is only 5 months old what can i do to sooth the itchiness for him
georgia on December 27, 2013:
okay, i have flea bites from my knees down . the thing is my dog doesn't have fleas how did we get the fleas ?
the best treatment i have used is colloidal silver "you can find it from your local chemist or health store" colloidal silver helps get rid of the ugly bites i apply it with a cotton bud every night ! tea tree oil gets rid of the pain !
i hope this helps you like it helped me
Mimi on October 30, 2013:
Same here. My little ones have it the worst, my eldest doesn't have any but itches a lot, and i have a ton. My husband, just 2. Wen i take them to the doc, they tell me no treatment, leave. They sead ill get the others infected!
Anthea Kissoon on October 27, 2013:
I heard from a cat lover that they mainly bite females... : (
This is the case in our house as none of the men get bitten.
My little one gets it the worst...
Anyone know why?
And what is best natural solutions...
Stoneage2010 on October 11, 2013:
Yuck, fleas are the worst! But this is great to keep on hand. Luckily it's not something I've had to deal with often but you never know. Great hub, voted up & useful.
Betty on September 27, 2013:
Mix equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and dish soap in a small container . fleas are drawn to this mixture. I have had as many as 30 in one day go into this . I keep several of these containers around the house during the warmer season. .
Diana L Pierce from Potter County, Pa. on September 08, 2013:
The best flea treatment I have found for my dogs is to add apple cider vinegar to lukewarm bathwater and lather the dog with Dawn dish soap. This is a great alternative to chemical insecticides.
Gaurav on August 02, 2013:
If you notice your baby or infant has flea bites, its time to take action. Of course, first of all, make sure they are flea bites.
geoff on July 30, 2013:
adding a small amount of tea tree oil to my socks and legs stopped bites and i put some drops in the carpet to repel fleas
phlxboe on July 18, 2013:
My mom has 2 cats and ended up with fleas in her home. when you sat down on the couch fleas would jump on you. My mom ended up with many flea bites. I took a bowl of water and added a few drops of dish detergent. Placed the bowl on the floor with a small lamp, no shade, beside it and turned the lamp on at night. The next morning there were so many fleas in the bowl it was unbelievable. The soap inhibits the fleas from jumping out and the warmth of the light bulb attracts them. They jump toward the bulb and end up falling in the bowl. Between treating the cats, vacuuming the carpets and continuing the bowl treatment we were able to eliminate the fleas in a very short time. Strange thing is, her cats never go outside. The neighbor has cats that come in her yard and it's possible we carried them in the house. She also has a lot of squirrels that hang around.
Rebecca Mayglothling from Binghamton NY on July 14, 2013:
My son is actually slightly allergic to fleas. He gets a rash. I have to be pretty darn careful with the animals.
cbpoet from Las Vegas, Nevada on July 08, 2013:
Thanks for sharing your symptoms and treatment for flea bits. Relatives of mine recently had a flea infestation and corrected it by exposing these nasty bugs to heat. They moved couches,bedding etc outside. It was close to a 100 degrees outside so I guess heat kills them too.
Pam on July 03, 2013:
I have a stray bull dog hanging around my house. He has fleas and his hair is falling out. The dog is very old. I was feeding him but not anymore. I don't know what to do to get him to go away. Help!!!!!!
fleasloveme on June 28, 2013:
suffering from a second flea infestation at home.
best advice i can give at this point: A rigid schedule of Vacuum - Spray Frontline on all flooring and vacuum again. Also, spray some frontline on the inside of your vacuum cleaner bag so the fleas/eggs don't hatch and survice in there.
Madison on May 30, 2013:
these comments are so helpful.. My fiancé and I recently found 2 baby red squirrels and took them in over night till we could get them to the local rescue. We woke up in the morning and the smaller 1 was cold and weak. Not even thinking about it I quickly put it in my lap with a heating pad. Shortly after I noticed little reddish brown fleas crawling in his fur. The fleas managed to get under my clothes and bit my thigh and my lower abdomen. I have been trying so hard not to itch, but in my sleep I have itched to bleeding.. I'm really excited to have some possible remedy.
Viee on May 20, 2013:
Omg I remember when my puppy had fleas & I didn't know he got them inside the house!! I had MILLIONNSSSS of bits all over my legs & I was in agony!! If you want to get rid of the fleas call the exterminator RIGHT away. After they exterminate vacuum the whole house for 2 weeks straight everyday!! I had the exterminator come to my house 3 times. It may cost money but ill tell you it's worth it!!
Nature Girl on May 08, 2013:
Wanted to find a non-toxic way to get the fleas out of our carpet... Similar to the post re: using Borax on carpet before vacuuming, I'd heard of sprinkling salt on the carpet, wait about 10 min., then vacuum. Moth balls in the vacuum bag will kill them there, just make sure to have windows and doors open if you use those, and then toss the bag. Repeat a couple times to ensure they're all gone. For each large room, it takes about one 26 oz. container of salt.
chris on March 10, 2013:
I am emailing you because I was wondering if could help with my skin parasite problem You see it all started when i moved into this apartment. I didn't realize at the that the apartment had fleas living in it after a while I was starting to get bit but through my own stupidity I choose to do nothing about being bit by flea's until it was to late because one morning i woke up with hundreds of parasite bits around my neck after that I stared killing the flea's with flea powder and bombs, but it was a while before I learned that it just wasn't fleas that were biting on me it was all kinds of different parasites that feed on blood that were living in my area mites, chiggers , fleas, etc all kinds of parasites and some I didn't know what they were. Were hunting me, attacking me for my blood and know matter how many parasites I killed there would always be more to replace them. So I move two miles to a different location but I found out the parasites that live in my new area would hunt me attack me to. So after two months. I moved again and the same thing happened I am still being hunted attacked by parasites that feed on blood. So at work I finally came up with a way to stop from getting bit by these parasites I started using insect repellent I have tried all different kinds of insect repellent the ones that have Deet in them work the best. So I use Cutter insect repellent with Deet But I don't like the side effects from the chemical Deet. I am tired of the side effects being stoned on Deet So can YOU HELP ME !!! to find a way to stop having these parasites identify me as a food source. Or can you leed me to someone that is an expert or someone knows what to do to help Me?
lesliebyars on February 13, 2013:
Thanks for this informative hub!! Voted up!!
Ana on January 21, 2013:
Salt is the answer to your problem, put salt all over your house and let seat for at least a few days, even in your bed and under your sheets and wash everything. You can even use salt outside all over your yard so your dog own bring back inside again. Make sure you treat your dog while do get your house with salt.
ER on December 08, 2012:
My three dogs got went to the neighbors they came back with fleas now I have red spots all over my body what can I do? it started on my ankles now I have them all around my body. Can somebody please help?
Christian Lincoln on October 17, 2012:
I've dealt with fleas for 4-5 years, we've bombed the house multiple times even using hard core top of the line. We've treated the cats multiple time, and we still have fleas, it's terrible because they only attack me, I kill at least 25 fleas a day by pulling them off of my socks and cracking them between my nails. I'm pretty much stuck being feasted on until I move out.
Brittany on October 15, 2012:
i think these tips are going to help a lot with my my flea bites
denise southam on October 14, 2012:
me and my husband have got flee bites but we have not seen one flee our hole house his wood floors apart from a rug in our sitten room we have 3 cats and 1 dog wear can we find them i looked thuw my cats and carnt fined any yet we both got bites
DonnaLWR on October 06, 2012:
I hate fleas, and i suspect they are becoming resistant to old flea solutions. one thing that does work on pets and also on carpets is diamecious earth (sp). D earth can be bought at most any local feed store. It is so safe that people actually mix it with water and drink it, so you pet could lick it and it would only hurt a parasite that may be lurking in their body, however caution must be taken that no one breaths it is because you could get cuts in your lung. I use a face mask when applying to carpet and a nose guard (on my dog)when putting it in my dogs hair. I have not had fleas since 2008, so my guard was down. I allowed a friend to bring a puppy over that was rescued from the forest. It took me 3 months to realize the bites on my body were flea bites. my poor dear Millie though a hairless dog had lots in her crest (head hair). I hugely recommend putting D earth down under carpet padding and on top of carpet padding before you lay new carpet, paying special attention to edges of the wall and corners. note that dawn dish soap does not kill fleas at all. I have hear of success with borax, but have not tried it myself.
ashley on September 28, 2012:
Pretty much the only thing that REALLY works is to treat your animals. Advantage is the only thing that has ever worked for me. Unfortunately, you have to apply it every month to your animal. Flea eggs can hatch up to 9 months later, so even if you think you got rid of them, they may come back a lot later!
Shasta Matova from USA on September 08, 2012:
Fleas and ticks have been especially healthy this year. I have been putting baking soda on the rugs and vacuuming everything in sight, and throwing the bag out immediately. Sprays for the house and pills from the vet for the dog have also helped.
Tori on September 04, 2012:
I have done literally everything to kill the fleas in my home. we moved here in Feb and I think the house had fleas because my two cats didn't before we moved and the girl who lived here before us had an inside cat AND rabbit. My cats never go outside and I have done EVERYTHING to get rid of the fleas and they just won't go. I don't know what to do anymore, I am head to toe with sore bites, my cats are going mad, they've had treatments and I've seen dead fleas around the house so why am I still getting them? what am I doing wrong? I've spent so much money and time on this for nothing, it's making me upset and embarrassed. It was my birthday yesterday and I had to do at least a little bit of a flea treatment, I mean really!!!! Do I have to live with this forever?! :'(
emg454 on September 03, 2012:
Does anyone know if Off works to spray on me to keep them off till I can bomb the house again ? I want front line for humans LOL
cara on September 02, 2012:
I've actually had bites on my cheek for going on 4 wks now. Im horribly ocd when it comes to cleaning and making sure my shets and house are spotless. At first I thought it was somehow bedbuv bites since I stayed in a hotel on vacation recently but after seeing my doctor she said that wasn't the case. Im 28 yrs old and its embarassing having these marks all over my left cheek (i sleep on my left side.) Please if there are any helpful remedies please let me know. Ive tried suggestions on here that were recently posted for vites and none have helped.
Carol on August 26, 2012:
If you have carpets, try Borox. It's a mild powder detergent that was much more popular years ago. You can find at most grocery stores. The product is safe for animals and children. Heavily sprinkle Borox on all carpets, and let sit for an hour. Then vaccuum. Be sure to throw out vaccuum bags immediately. Repeat this once a day for a week. When I was first dating mu husband, he had a horrible flea infestation. Borox worked wonders!
RJ on August 18, 2012:
I use the following & it seems to work great!
- wash clothes bedding etc with hot water, hot air, & borax
- permethrin spray on the upholstery, window screens, my shoes, jacket, hats. But read the label & don't use permethrin around cats. It is deadly to cats until it dries.
-diatomaceous earth sprinkled along baseboards, cracks, in the cat litter, on cat beds, their scratching post & other places they like. DE is safe for cats & people, but kills any bug with an exoskeleton.
-keep the humidity in the house low. Fleas need humid environments to live.
ThePepperDen (author) from Australia on August 08, 2012:
Thanks so much for chiming in, everyone! I really appreciate all the extra tips and tricks people have posted. :D
A few other articles I've written may help people with some of their flea issues:
I hope this helps!
lzeiser on August 07, 2012:
Was at my neighbors the other night for a bonfire. They were dog sitting for a sweet, very old Lab who was sitting near us all night. Towards the end of the evening both my daughter and I started itching around our feet and ankles. By morning we were covered in bumps (VERY ITCHY)! We can only assume it's flea bites from the old dog! Hw do we stop the itch?
Chantelle on August 05, 2012:
I recently got a bed of a friend and i woke up with flea bites i hve sprayed flea killer on my mattrrerss washed all the covera will that be anouff ? Help please
lousie marriott on August 01, 2012:
the problem a lot of the time once you'vedone your best to get rid of them and they come back, is the fleas eggs. You can flea bomb and spray all you want and get rid of the active fleas, however female fleas can lay thousands of eggs everyday, and killing them before they hatch kind of thing is difficult. no matter what flea sprays and bombs you have used they will still take nest in your carpets, the places they lay eggs is cold places, skirting boards and so on.
Advice- spray skirting boards - clean them perhaps daily, hoover daily, basically keep everywhere clean daily and keep the cat, or well animal with the right treatment they will eventually die down. as for the bites, there not really too harmful. Keep yourself clean and try not to itch. Our flea problem was huge but you gotta persavere with the general house cleaning and they will eventually go.
you have to remember doing one thing such as a flea bomb alone won't get rid of them in one go, you have to follow on with that and think of the eggs.
simple cleaning everyday with a few flea bombs worked for us.
jae mccoy- yes you can go swimming, they arent harmful nor contagious, they simply itch and leave a scar for a few days. its absolutley fine.
jae mccoy on August 01, 2012:
A couple of days ago, I noticed a lot [at least 30] of these little bumps around my ankle and up to my knee.I am not sure what it is, but when I saw these pictures, I started to think that they are flea bites. I would like to know if I am able to go swimming with it, my 13th birthday was last wednesday and I am having a swimming party this saturday. I have already tried lots of things, but they did not work.please reply!!!!!
Nit Picky Lice Removal Service on August 01, 2012:
Mix 2 cups of salt with 2 cups of baking soda (for larger rooms you can double the batch... always make equal parts of baking soda and salt) Sprinkle it on carpets and cloth upholstery leave on for about an hour and then vacuum. Do this in every carpeted room. Make sure to get baseboards as well. Continue to do this every day for a week. You can also leave the on overnight and vacuum in the morning. This will dehydrate the fleas. Continue vacuuming every single day for the first week, every second day for the second week, every third day for the third week and then one final time during the forth. Works like a charm. (If you have a pet make sure to sprinkle their bedding with the baking soda/salt solution and vacuum)
Darlene Nicholls on July 30, 2012:
I can always tell when my cats have the fleas , they start to bite me, I itch like crazy, the boyfriend thinks I am nuts, part of me starts to think that way, maybe I have lice or something else, the bites are there, and have been bitten even when small, blood suckers like me I guess, it sucks never touch him always me, and now I am dying, my body right now only has 4 or 5 bites that can see but it is the burning of my skin all over , specially the scalp can you have an allergic reaction and take Benadryl or something, God why me, now I noticed the cats scratching so one not crazy , I love them to death, they are inside cats, likes to squeeze out the door when we come in, go for a smell of fresh air, guess all it takes, little shits
kim on July 21, 2012:
we got flea's from my daughter camping and brought them into the house. Have bombed, sprayed, cat powder and almost gone, but, the bites OUCHHHH. best way to stop itching, isopopal alcohole. cheap, $1.00 a bottle. stop inching now.
Von on July 21, 2012:
We had issues a few years back, we put stuff outside to kill ticks and the fleas invaded our house. We sprayed and such and didn't work. Heard a crazy thing and it worked! Put out a nightlight in an outlet close to the floor and fill a small flat dich or lid with liquid soap (dawn works best) and the little critters are attracted to light and jump in and can not jump out and die, we replaced the liquid every night to ensure the best stickiness. Each night we had fewer and fewer fleas in the liquid.
Ashleigh on July 19, 2012:
My kitty loves sleeping in my bed under my covers. I woke up with bits all over my lower body. It is so itch! Is there anything I can put on them that won't sting as I've already scratched them. Plus it's winter so cold showers aren't my first choice is there anything other then cold water I can use?
lynn on July 17, 2012:
I too get flea they are as bad as everyone describes.l
I was told that if you feed your dog garlic they wont want to bite him don't try on cats though it is harmful. So i purchased garlic pills for myself today see what happens as they are beneficial in other ways.
Kate30 on July 16, 2012:
I have flea bites all on my ankles and they scabed over from itching! DO NOT ITCH they scar and it is terrible just use hydrocorozine or any itch medicine! I have had to hold off my foot surgery do to these and it sucks so bad. But just ask your doc. For an antibiotic and they heal faster and use peroxide and get cutter insect repellent to spray on areas u need it b/c it prevents biting fleas also aneseptic wash helps infection & scaring
Chefchar on July 14, 2012:
I actually found that if you take a packet of aveeno collodial oatmeal and add enough warm water (not hot, it will itch more than ever) to make a paste and then put the paste on the bites, that it is instant relief. This works well if you do it right before bed and then leave it on all night, I don't itch in my sleep then. As for the actual fleas, bomb, vacuum, then spray everything that can not be washed in hot water and dried in the dryer. As for your actual pet, flea collar and drops, and flea dip or powder. If your not sure if you have fleas at your home, a couple of sure signs are your cat will not want to lay on rugs, carpets, pet bed, the usual spots, and they will be cleaning themselves more than usual.
Sfmtwin@gmail.com on July 14, 2012:
Ugh. I hate fleas!! Does anyone know how long the bites will last? I try my best not to itch but I've awoken in the night many times to myself scratching my ankles and legs. It's awful!
email@example.com on July 13, 2012:
oh my god, I had been wandering what those nasty red bumps were when I surprisingly woke up with these all covered around my feet. we never had such problems until a cat and her kitty came to live with us. And my lord it's so so so itchy that I can't help scratching my feet all the time even during my class and at night I need to fix my feet to the wall and the more I do so, the more I get the bumps. I have tried all the home remedies but they are not working out at all. I am just in despair that I will heal soon and get out of these horrifying itches. And to all my friends including,misty and mike,just try the remedies given in the site and all the best that it might help.sympathy to all the victims like me. I can understand how you are feeling........... poor us
Misty on July 10, 2012:
I have one cat. She is an I side cat. I have a BIG problem with fleas. I have flea bombed my apartment, I have taken my cat the the vet to get a flea dip, I have had an exterminator spray my couch with a potent spray, I have vacuumed, and the spray is supposed to kill all the fleas over a weeks period. Well........ Turns out I still have fleas as well as my cat. The extermanator came to my apartment on the 6th of this month. I have bites all over my legs and ankles, it's driving me up the wall. I'm so ready to pull my hair out. HELP!!!!!!!
Mike on July 09, 2012:
I know that fleas are bad this year is worse than they have been I think it's due to the heat. But it's hard to get rid of the fleas no matter what u use or do. Believe me I've use frontline an bomb the whole house. 2 times an sprayed my yard 2 times but they keep getting on my dogs an inside my house I feel hopeless help me out here plz.
Water Lily on July 07, 2012:
Speaking of banana peels, rubbing the part of them that touches the banana on the bites helps to relieve itching
Su77 on July 07, 2012:
that's exactly what he meant. Such people make me sick. The cat is suffering somewhere.
Jodi on July 05, 2012:
@Alexus: Do you mean you kicked your cat out because it had fleas? I hope not... that would be pretty awful. How is it an innocent little cat's fault she had fleas? Unfortunately they cannot treat themselves... it's up to us to treat them & our homes. If you did kick her out, not only is she homeless & starving (or worse) now, but she's probably suffering immensely from the fleas. Argh. But I hope I'm wrong and that's not what you meant!
Fleanan on July 04, 2012:
The fleas are killing me they started a gang and are attacking my nut sack
ThePepperDen (author) from Australia on June 28, 2012:
@Louise- I'm sorry to hear about your experience! While I'm glad you were able to find someone to house-sit for you, it's kinda lousy that they left you with an infestation. Some people live with fleas for so long they get used to it, and bring little hitchikers with them wherever they go. :o
@Melinda & Alealia: Thank you SO MUCH for chiming in! Banana peels? Whodathunk? :D
@Maximus: I don't know much about bird parasites, but there's a possibility they're lice, not fleas, in which case a different treatment might be required. If you keep having problems after bombing your flat, talk with your local vet. The vet may have a treatment for your parrot that will help stop any future infestations.
maximus on June 27, 2012:
i have an african grey parrot and since i bought him 5 years ago i am having flea bites,i have bombed my flat and have never seen fleas,do you think my parrot is the cause
jack on June 25, 2012:
I've had flea's for the third time now, and my suggestion is immidiate action. If you don't deal with it, it can grow out of control
Alexus on June 21, 2012:
My cat only had a little bit of fleas and now there everywhere. We even had to kick her out;(
And we had to bomb our house(flea bomber)
adam on June 20, 2012:
i don't have time to read they're killing me litteraly the fleas are jumping and i can see them hop around on my skin and clothes
Cris97 on June 17, 2012:
I have bumps buy tht itch but oder much so is it heat rash I had it 3 years ago maybe because the weather is getting hot maybe I have the rash again ?