Can humans get fleas?
Fleas are insidious, uninvited guests that can get into our homes after hitching a ride on our pets. They can be irritating and dangerous to both animals and people; though luckily it is not that common for fleas to bite humans.
If you’re wondering can humans get fleas, you’ve come to the right place.
Fleas are parasites that feed on the blood of an animal host, and sometimes that host can include humans. Flea bites can cause skin irritations, allergic reactions, and even transmit diseases. When asking “can humans get fleas”, it’s important to know the dangers associated with these tiny pests.
Thankfully, it is possible to get rid of and prevent fleas on people and pets when the right methods are implemented. Of course, there are several important things that you should know before using flea prevention products on your skin or in your home.
But before we chat about how can humans get fleas and how to get rid of fleas on people, let’s first take a moment to learn about what fleas are.
What Are Fleas And How Can Humans Get Fleas?
Fleas are small parasites that survive on blood hosts.
Can humans get fleas? Furthermore, what are fleas?
Fleas are small, wingless insects that live on the bodies of dogs, cats, and even humans. They are brown in color with mouthparts adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood.
Fleas live all over the world and have been considered one of the most common and most dangerous parasitic pests for centuries. While they prefer to feed mostly on raccoons, deer, rabbits, coyotes, cats, dogs and other mammals, fleas are also known to bite and feed on humans, as we mentioned above.
But how can humans get fleas?
Most people who come into contact with fleas do so by engaging with an unprotected animal like a dog or a cat. Dogs and cats tend to spend more time outdoors and in grassy areas where fleas are known to congregate.
If a dog or cat is not properly protected against fleas with some sort of flea protection collar, supplement, home remedy, or medication, they could easily carry fleas back into your home and transmit them to you or your family.
Fleas can jump from one host to another with their strong back legs, which are significantly longer than the other legs on their body. In fact, an adult flea can jump 200 times its own length, 200 times its own height, and seven body lengths forward. Fleas are also prolific reproducers. In a single year, a single female flea can lay more than 2,000 eggs.
Flea infestations in the home are rare, but they do occur. These infestations are often the result of fleas moving indoors to find a blood host. Sometimes, that host could be you or your family members.
Can Humans Get Fleas and Are Fleas Dangerous?
Fleas are often transmitted to people through their pets.
When asking “can humans get fleas”, you might also be wondering if fleas are dangerous.
Next to mosquitoes and ticks, fleas are considered some of the most dangerous parasites on earth. Not only do they carry anemia and tapeworms, but fleas also carry a slew of other illnesses that can be shared between your pet, your family members, and other household pets.
There are several reasons fleas should be a major concern for pet owners and families alike.
When a flea bites, it injects saliva into the host’s skin. This saliva is full of bacteria that can trigger an allergic reaction, irritation, rash, or even secondary infection due to being scratched.
Some serious conditions caused by flea bites could lead to allergic dermatitis, which can potentially lead to infections, skin lesions and other issues.
A few other common flea-borne illnesses or diseases include typhus, the plague, and tapeworms. Tapeworms are parasites that can damage your dog’s intestines, leading to serious symptoms that can be painful and dangerous.
Typhus (also known as murine or endemic typhus), is caused by the Rickettsia bacteria. Typhus causes a fever, headaches, muscle aches, and rash.
Flea bites are often confused for mosquito bites or bites from other insects. The bites don’t necessarily hurt when they are happening, but the irritation caused by the salvia from a flea bite can begin causing itching immediately after.
You can identify flea bites because they typically occur in clusters. Although the flea bites do not cause a significant amount of pain for most people, it can be very uncomfortable and itchy.
Most people notice flea infestations due to skin reactions, like small red bites on their skin with pus. Fleas can also cause heightened allergy symptoms like sneezing, coughing, or wheezing.
Fleas typically bite people around the feet or ankles, but if you’re laying down in a flea-infested bed or on a couch or carpet that has fleas, you might also notice flea bites on your back, stomach, arms or thighs.
Unfortunately, many pet owners are not aware that the answer to can humans get fleas is yes, and once pets are infested with fleas, they can carry them into the home.
Though fleas do prefer dogs, cats, or wild animals as hosts, they can start looking for new blood hosts shortly after being transferred into your home.
When a flea bites a human it is usually for the sole purpose of feeding on blood and not to defend themselves or to cause pain. As we discussed above, it is quite common for people to confuse flea bites with those of other insect bites such as mosquito bites or tick bites.
And while both mosquitos and ticks can be annoying and even dangerous, they are not as likely to infest your home as fleas are.
So, now that we know that the answer to can humans get fleas is yes, let’s take a look at how can humans get fleas from dogs and cats.
How can Humans Get Fleas From Dogs And Cats?
Both unprotected dogs and cats can transmit fleas to humans.
How can humans get fleas from dogs and cats? It’s simple – by being in an environment where fleas are prevalent.
Remember, fleas are common in many types of environments where wild animals live and feed. They can be found in urban cities, in the isolated countryside, and anywhere in between. They are often carried into your yard or garden by wild animals, where they will either fall from their current host or jump from their current host if that host becomes too crowded with other fleas.
After leaving their current host, the flea will cling to grass or jump to new hosts as they walk by. These hosts are often dogs or cats. Once on your dog or cat, the flea will burrow into the fur where they will be difficult to see.
If you do have dogs or cats, it’s important that you are not only protecting them from fleas with a flea medication or preventative, but that you are also keeping an eye out for signs of fleas on their body or in their bedding.
Some common signs of fleas on pets include flea dirt, (excrement left behind by fleas that look like small bits of pepper), your pet itching excessively, red bites on your pets skin, and of course the fleas themselves.
How can humans get fleas? The most common answer to how can humans get fleas is by petting your pet or cuddling up with your pet when they are infested. When you do this, the fleas can attach themselves to you and could even bite you. Humans can also get fleas from their dogs or cats by:
- Carrying an infested pet on their lap or in their lap while riding in a car
- Letting an infested pet sleep in bed with them
- Laying on furniture where an infested pet has been sleeping
- Walking through areas where infested pets have been walking or playing
How To Protect Yourself, Your Pets, And Your Home From Fleas
Protecting yourself from fleas means protecting your pets. (https://unsplash.com/photos/c6jp6Wmsjrk)
Can humans get fleas? We know the answer is yes and we also now know that flea bites can be dangerous.
Of course, that does not mean that if you do get bitten by a flea you are going to come down with a serious illness or have a serious reaction.
In fact, in most cases people who are bitten by fleas simply have an itchy red bump that goes away within a few days.
With that being said, if you are bitten by a flea, it’s important to monitor yourself and look out for any symptoms or signs of infection or potential disease. This is especially true if you live in an area where flea-borne illnesses have been discovered.
If you are bitten by a flea, wash the flea bite with soap and water and apply some anti-itch medication or ointment to the surface of the skin. Avoid itching the affected area to help reduce the chances of causing a secondary infection.
In rare cases, flea bites can cause serious illnesses to both people and pets. To protect yourself, your pets and your home from fleas, we recommend following these expert tips:
Keep Your Pets Clean and Groomed
First, keep your pets clean and make sure they are groomed regularly. Routine grooming can help you keep an eye on your pets and will ensure you notice anything abnormal like fleas, flea dirt, or flea bites before an infestation gets out of control.
Use A Quality Flea Protection For Your Pets
Make sure your pets are protected from fleas using a quality flea preventative like a flea collar, flea medication, or flea supplement. If you’re not sure which flea protection product would be right for you when looking into can humans get fleas, it’s wise to discuss options with your veterinarian.
Wash Your Pet’s Bedding Often
Keep your pets bedding and toys clean and monitor areas your pet sleeps or plays in frequently for signs of fleas. If you do notice flea signs around your home, wash any bedding, blankets, or toys on high heat to kill fleas.
Plant Flea-Repellent Plants
If you have a garden, plant vegetation that repels fleas. Some common flea repellent plants include catnip, chamomile, chrysanthemums, fleabane Daisy, Lavender, fleawort, citronella, and mint.
Attract The Flea Predators
You can also plant plants that attract beneficial insects or animals that consume fleas to help keep the flea population down. Some natural predators of fleas include fire ants, beneficial nematodes, frogs, toads, lizards, and snakes.
Keep Toys and Clothing Clean And Indoors
Avoid leaving toys or clothing outside that could be used as a hiding place for fleas. Fleas love dark places where they can hide from predators and if you have fleas in your yard, you could accidentally carry them into your home yourself!
Keep Your Lawn Trimmed And Keep Wild Animals At Bay
Keep your lawn trimmed short and remove debris and clutter. This will help make the environment less hospitable to fleas and their wild-animal hosts.
We also suggest storing garbage properly, harvesting ripe fruits and vegetables, and using repellents to keep pests at bay.
Best Products To Get Rid Of Fleas On Humans And Pets
There are products you can use to protect yourself and your pets from fleas and flea bites.
The answer to can humans get fleas is yes, but luckily there are plenty of different products on the market that can help repel fleas and protect both people and pets. Of course, some of them are more effective than others.
If you want to try and prevent fleas from getting onto your skin or into your home when looking into can humans get fleas, we have listed a few products and ingredients we like that can help keep you and your family protected.
Wondercide Flea and Tick Spray
Wondercide products are products we trust because they are made with all natural ingredients that are safe for people, pets, and even the environment.
This spray controls both fleas and ticks, and it can be used on cats, dogs, and even inside the home. Wondercide Flea and Tick Spray is even used and trusted by veterinarians.
The product works using plant-based ingredients and essential oils like citrus oil, lemongrass oil, rosemary oil, and peppermint oil. You can spray it directly onto your dog or on your dog’s bedding for total coverage.
When spraying on your dog or cat, use a small towel or bath sponge, apply 5 to 10 sprays directly to your pet’s coat from nose to tail, and leave it on for at least 2 minutes before rinsing it off.
You can repeat this process once every one to two weeks as needed. For cats and homes, apply 10 sprays directly to your dry hands. Run fingers through your cat’s fur and gently massage the spray into skin. Finish by spraying entire cat or upholstery surface areas.
You can also use this spray for can humans get fleas by spraying it on clothing, furniture, carpets, or curtains. Before spraying it directly on yourself or your pet, try the spray on a small area first and monitor the area for any adverse reaction before proceeding.
Tea Tree Flea Shampoo
If you are looking for a shampoo you can use yourself to help repel fleas, we recommend the Tea Tree Oil Shampoo with organic Lemon, Ginger & Peppermint extracts.
This product is a unique formula for humans that cleans and refreshes the hair and scalp without stripping it of the natural oils. Most importantly, it helps repel fleas naturally with the gentle scent of tea tree oil and citrus.
We like that it is made with quality ingredients that are natural, with ingredients including herbals and essential oils with no dyes or synthetic chemical compounds added.
While we do like this shampoo for can humans get fleas, it is not specified for use on pets. However, you can use diluted tea tree oil to make your own flea repellent at home for pets and for your furniture or yard.
In fact, tea tree oil is a natural alternative to chemical flea repellents. It is also a safe insect repellent for humans.
Still, it may not be as effective as other chemical insect repellents, and there are a few minor cons to using tea tree oil as a preventative for can humans get fleas from pets.
The first con is that many dogs and cats don’t like the smell of tea tree oil. The scent is strong and can be irritating for them, which is why it’s so important to dilute the oil before using it on or around pets.
Tea tree oil may also require frequent reapplication and is not a 100% guaranteed preventative when it comes to fleas, flea bites, or flea-borne diseases.
Adams Flea and Tick Home Spray
Adams Flea & Tick Home Spray is another natural and safe product you can use when it comes to keeping pets and people protected from fleas. This product is specifically designed for use around the home and it is even safe and gentle enough to spray directly on furniture and your dog or cat’s bedding or toys.
However, Adams Flea and Tick Home Spray is not designed to be sprayed directly on dogs or cats. It should be used only as directed and kept out of reach of children.
With that noted, this product is ideal for those asking can humans get fleas because it is made with all natural and non-toxic ingredients including essential oils that not only repel fleas, but many other biting pests like mosquitoes, bed bugs, spiders, roaches, flies, ants, and ticks.
Most importantly, this spray is specifically designed for protecting your home from these pests. To use Adams Flea and Tick Spray, simply spray a small amount on furniture or bedding around your home and repeat as needed.
PetArmor Home Carpet Powder
If you do have fleas in your home, you’ll want to invest in a product like carpet powder to get rid of them. While we know that the answer to can humans get fleas is a yes, you may not have known that fleas are experts at burrowing deep into the fibers of your carpets once they are indoors.
PetArmor Home Carpet Powder for fleas and ticks is a product that provides you protection against fleas and ticks on your carpet, bedding and furniture. When applied to carpet or upholstery, it kills existing fleas and ticks and prevents future reinfestation. This bag of powder will treat a room the size of approximately 3500 square feet.
This product is odorless, non-staining, non-irritating and easy to use. With no harmful chemicals, PetArmor can kill adult fleas, ticks and eggs with a simple vacuum treatment and sprinkle of powder.
This carpet powder is perfectly safe to use on most carpets and floors and can be simply vacuumed up after treatment. You’ll be able to breathe easier too, because the powder deodorizes carpets while killing 100% of fleas instantly. It’s a win- win!
Sallyeander No-Bite-Me Natural Bug Repellent
SALLYE ANDER No-Bite-Me Natural Bug & Insect Repellent & Anti Itch Cream not only helps alleviate the itchiness of bug bites and flea bites, but it also helps repel future fleas, ticks, or mosquitoes from biting again while the product is being worn.
This ointment is safe for children and infants, and is ideal for youngsters who are playing outside in areas known to be an environment for fleas. The product is also a USDA certified organic product, and it is DEET free. It is a natural repellent that is safe for the environment and that lasts up to 10 hours when applied as directed.
Best of all, Sallye Ander No Bite Me Natural Bug Repellent and Anti-Itch Cream won’t leave behind an oily residue on skin. It is also designed to be irritant free for sensitive skin, as the plant based ingredients are free of any animal ingredients or byproducts.
Other active Ingredients include citronella, cedar oil, Tea Tree oil, peppermint oil, neem oil, clove oil, lemongrass oil, soybean oil and red palm oil for maximum effectiveness against ticks, mosquitoes, midges, fleas, and biting flies.
We should also note here that while this is a DEET free formula, it contains Geraniol which is a botanical alternative to DEET that has been shown to increase the length of time a person can be outside without being bitten by fleas.
Can Humans Get Fleas? Best Flea-Prevention Products For Your Pets
Prevention is key when it comes to flea control.
When it comes to fleas, prevention is the best medicine. Fleas are not only annoying and dangerous to both people and pets, but they are also difficult to get rid of once they invade the home.
While we do recommend many of the above products for getting rid of fleas in the home or helping to alleviate flea bites on people or pets, we also suggest investing in a few products that are designed to prevent fleas in the future.
And when it comes to flea prevention, we’ve got you covered. We have listed some of our favorite products for flea prevention below. Take a look!
Beloved Flea and Tick Control and Prevention
One of the best ways to avoid having to look into “can humans get fleas” in the future is to keep your pets protected against these nasty pests.
Beloved Pets Flea and Tick Control Treats for Pets are treats that offer your pet protection from both fleas and ticks.
The tasty soft chews provide month-long relief against fleas and ticks, as well as other listed insects. We like that these treats are a safe, natural option that reduces the restlessness, scratching and biting as a result from fleas and flea bites.
Best of all, this product can help prevent fleas from getting into your home or biting you or your family members.
Beloved Pets Flea and Tick Control Treats for Pets is a proven flea and tick treatment for both dogs and cats, making it ideal for those in multi-pet households or those wondering “can humans get fleas from pets?”.
This treatment will not only put an end to the biting, but it also repels fleas and ticks from your pet’s territory. It is simple, safe, effective and easy to use. As a bonus, it is even made in the USA and is made with human grade quality standards.
Seresto Flea and Tick Collar
Flea and tick collars are some of the most popular forms of flea control for pets, and it’s easy to see why when you consider how effective they are.
If you’re looking for a quality brand to avoid finding out the hard way that the answer is yes to can humans get fleas, we recommend Seresto 2 in 1 product.
Seresto is a safe and convenient flea and tick collar that lasts up to eight months and works to effectively control fleas and ticks so pets can have a healthy and comfortable coat all year long.
The water-resistant collar works quickly to kill 98% to 100% of adult fleas and ticks within the first 48 hours. The product also provides year-round protection against four tick species that are known to transmit Lyme disease.
Other Tips And Tricks For Those Wondering “Can Humans Get Fleas?”
Humans can get fleas, but luckily fleas are simple to prevent.
Can humans get fleas from dogs and cats? Yes!
Can humans get fleas in their homes? Yes!
Can humans get fleas from simply being outside? Rare, but yes.
Since the answer to can humans get fleas is a yes on all counts, it’s very important to know your options.
Remember, fleas can be challenging to get rid of, and they’re not just a problem for your pet—they can also make you miserable.
Luckily, there are steps you can take to prevent fleas from even getting in your home. These tips will help keep you, your four-legged friends, and your home safe.
- Keep the yard clean: rake or mow regularly and remove debris that could serve as a hiding spot for fleas.
- Wash bedding and toys frequently: fleas can hide in linens and plush pet toys, so be sure to wash these items often—especially if anyone in your household is allergic to fleas!
- Vacuum frequently: especially around corners where dust collects or in areas where pets gather. This will help prevent an infestation from starting before it starts!
- Check pets regularly: If you don’t have time to do this yourself, consider hiring a professional who can come out once every few weeks just to make sure everything is in good shape with all four paws on the ground (or whatever animal you have)
There you have it, a detailed guide to how can humans get fleas! We hope this article helped you get a better idea of what fleas are and how to protect yourself, your home, and your pets from an infestation.
Tell us what you think about the answer to can humans get fleas in the comment section below.
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.