Fleas on humans.
It’s something very few people want to consider, let alone talk about. However, it is much more common than many people realize.
The good news is that fleas don’t LIVE on humans, though they can and do feed on human hosts. More good news – fleas cannot survive long without a blood meal, which makes them a bit easier to get rid of once you know what you’re dealing with.
So, how do you get rid of fleas on humans and keep them from coming back? That’s what today’s article is all about.
But before we begin, let’s take a look at fleas.
What Are Fleas And How Do Fleas Get On Humans?
Fleas are small parasites. They cannot live longer than a few days to weeks without a blood host.
Fleas are small, parasitic animals in the arachnid family. This means they’re not technically insects, though they’re often seen as such. Fleas live throughout the majority of the world, save for places like Antarctica.
They are adaptable to different climates and can be found in both urban and suburban areas. These nasty pests cannot survive long without a blood meal. Fleas can only live a few days to weeks at most without a blood host.
Though they’re quite small, you can see fleas with the naked eye. They are about 1/8th of an inch in length and dark brown or black. They are wingless pests but their long back legs allow them to jump up to 13 inches, which is about 200 times their body width.
So, how do fleas come into contact with humans?
While fleas on humans are not uncommon, it’s more common for fleas to choose animal hosts. They often prefer wild animals and long-haired animals, as these hosts provide better habitats for fleas and fleas can feed as often as they need.
Once on a host, a flea can live for several months if left undisturbed. Some of the most common hosts fleas choose are animals that live close to humans. These animals include raccoons, rats, rabbits, deer, and other mammals.
They will often ride these hosts into residential areas, where they will fall off the host or dismount. They will then cling to grass or foliage, and are often picked up by a passing pet. Fleas can also bite people as they pass by, though it’s not likely a flea will be able to live on a human as a host.
When fleas do bite humans, the bites are generally on the feet, ankles, and shins. This is because people are often passing by longer grassy areas where fleas are present, and this is how they wind up with a bite.
However, fleas can cling to pets, and this is one of the most common ways you get fleas on humans or fleas in the home.
What do you need to know about fleas on humans? Keep reading.
What You Should Know About Fleas On Humans
Fleas can be transmitted to people from unprotected pets.
Unfortunately, fleas are much more than just annoying parasites. They can be seriously dangerous to both our pets and our families, especially if the fleas in our region are known to carry serious diseases.
In fact, in California specifically, there have been recent reports of typhoid fever in both people and animals due to an influx of fleas. This has been especially common in areas heavily populated with people experiencing homelessness, or in city environments where things like garbage, feces, and a buildup of debris can attract wild animals, which then attract more fleas.
If you’re concerned about fleas on humans, you have every right to be. Fleas not only carry typhus, but they may also be responsible for spreading the plague and even tapeworms.
Along with these serious health problems fleas on humans can cause, fleas can also cause other issues including allergic reactions from their bites.
Fleas on humans will be more common if you have unprotected pets living in the home. This includes pets like dogs, cats, rabbits, and other vulnerable pets. However, dogs and cats are the most common victims of fleas in the home, and they are often the most common hosts responsible for transferring fleas to humans.
Experts agree that the best way to avoid fleas on humans is to ensure your pets are protected with long-lasting flea and tick medications or flea collars.
You can purchase flea and tick protection for your dog and cat online, through your veterinarian, or at most pet supply stores.
If you’re not sure which products would be best when it comes to pet protection and preventing fleas on humans, we recommend the ones listed below.
Seresto Flea and Tick Collar
Seresto Flea and Tick Collars are quite popular and very well known. They provide long-lasting protection for both dogs and cats and can be ordered in packs of two for up to 16 months of use.
This collar prevents pests like fleas and ticks from becoming an issue on your dog or in your home and may not only prevent your dog from developing a serious illness or allergy due to flea bites but perhaps even reduce the chances of you having to deal with fleas on humans or fleas in your home.
PetHonesty Flea & Tick Defense Supplements
If you prefer to use more natural methods to protect your pets and family from fleas, you can try supplements like the PetHonestly Flea and Tick Defense Supplements listed above.
These supplements provide flea and tick protection using natural ingredients that are healthy and safe for your dog, including coconut oil, sweet potato, and B Vitamines. The flea and tick supplement comes in a bacon-flavored soft chew and naturally helps your pet’s body fight off ticks and fleas without the use of medications, pesticides, or harsh ingredients.
Have You Encountered Fleas? Signs Of Fleas On Humans
Flea bites are itchy and often leave rashes, though they may not be where you think.
If you don’t know much about fleas, you may assume these pests are similar to lice and infest your hair or body. The truth is, fleas don’t tend to cling to humans in the way lice often do. This is good news, but it can also make for a bit of confusion and uncertainty when it comes to fleas on humans.
We should also note that seeing a flea does not mean you’ve been bitten or “have fleas”. Remember, fleas are a common pest and live in most regions and areas throughout the United States.
Fleas are especially active during warmer weather, but in states where weather is warm year-round they are much more than a seasonal problem.
Below are a few things you can look for that could be a sign of fleas on humans.
As we’ll discuss further down, many people don’t react to a flea bite the very first time. This is because our body’s histamine has not recognized this bite as something foreign being introduced, and the histamines are not rushing to actively stop that foreign substance in the flea’s saliva from entering your system.
This means you could be bitten by fleas or even experience having fleas on humans initially and not even know it.
However, once you’ve been exposed to a flea bite more than one time, you’ll likely have a reaction immediately after the bite occurs.
Symptoms Of Flea Bites From Fleas On Humans:
Though the initial flea bite may not hurt, you may notice redness, swelling, itching, and pain immediately following the bite. Remember, when it comes to fleas on humans, most bites occur on the lower extremities like the legs, feet, and ankles.
Fleas bite in a succession of three, so bites are often clustered close together in tiny triangle shapes.
Other symptoms of flea bites when it comes to fleas on humans are going to be itchiness, redness, pain, mild swelling, irritation, and inflammation at the bite site.
Physically Seeing Fleas In Your Home Or Yard
Seeing fleas could be a good indicator that you may be heading towards having fleas on humans or pets. If you do see fleas, it’s important to implement some form of protection for your home and pets as well as a pest control regiment for your yard.
Seeing Fleas On Your Pets:
If you find fleas on your pets and your pets have been in and out of your home, they could have brought fleas inside. Keep an eye out for fleas on pets when grooming or bathing them. While you can see fleas with the naked eye, you’ll often first notice bites or “flea dirt” (aka flea feces) between your pet’s fur and on your pet’s bedding or near his toys.
Flea dirt is often described as looking like flakes of salt and pepper. If you find that your pet is itching excessively or seems uncomfortable, give them a good once over with a thin comb. Part their fur and check areas of their skin for redness, inflammation, signs of flea bites, and flea dirt.
If you do find fleas on your pet, you can remove them by bathing them gently in warm water. You also have the option of purchasing a flea shampoo from your local pet supply store to kill the fleas.
Your next steps should be to check for fleas on humans and ensure you don’t have fleas in your home.
How To Get Rid Of Fleas On Humans
Getting rid of fleas on humans means also getting rid of fleas on your pets and in your home.
Since fleas don’t generally cling to humans the way they cling to animals, it’s not too difficult to get rid of fleas on humans.
Generally, a shower or rinse in hot water will do the trick. However, getting rid of fleas in your home is another thing entirely.
Fleas can burrow down into carpets and rugs, and they are known to get into the bedding. They will also find hiding places in pet bedding, kennels, toys, and furniture.
Some experts suggest that while a pet may carry fleas into the home, only about 5% of those fleas will remain on the dog. The other 95% of fleas often fall off and infest the home.
Luckily, there are plenty of products you can use to get rid of fleas on humans, on pets, and in the home, and we have listed some of our favorites below for you to consider.
Best Products For How To Get Rid Of Fleas On Humans and in The Home
Cleaning is an important part of getting rid of fleas in your home, but it’s also important to use products like pest repellents that are safe to use inside.
Protecting your pets and keeping your home and yard clean are a few ways you can promote a flea-less property. Of course, we also recommend you invest in products that are specifically designed to get rid of fleas in the home.
We especially recommend investing in these products if you know you do have fleas in the home, if your pet was recently diagnosed with fleas, or if you are concerned about fleas on humans.
Let’s take a look now at some of our favorite products to get rid of fleas on humans and in the home below.
Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Home Spray
We’re starting with Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Home Spray because it is safe to use on dogs and cats and also works as flea protection and removal spray for inside of your home.
The product includes natural ingredients like peppermint oil and clove oil, as well as other ingredients like baking soda to naturally and effectively kill and prevent fleas.
The spray works by killing fleas and ticks on contact. It also works on their egg as well. You can use this spray directly on your pets, as we mentioned above, but you can also use it as a cleaning agent for keeping your home flea-free.
Spray it on surfaces, use it in your yard and garden, and even spray it on furniture or carpeting to get rid of fleas. This product is gentle and safe for puppies over the age of 12 weeks. It is also safe to use around children.
Adam’s Home Spray
Another product you might consider investing in to prevent fleas on humans and pets is Adam’s Home Spray. However, unlike the above Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Spray, Adam’s Home Spray is not designed to be used directly on pets.
It is specifically designed to be sprayed directly on furniture and around the home to kill pests like fleas.
This spray also works on ticks, bed bugs, roaches, ants, spiders, mosquitoes, and other biting pests. The product uses Methoprene, Etofenprox, Piperonyl Butoxide, and other ingredients to kill fleas on upholstery, in bedding, carpets, in rugs, and in other areas where fleas may be lurking.
Ultrasonic Pest Repellent
Ultrasonic Pest Repellents can help to remove fleas and keep them from coming back to your home, though they should not be used on their own if you know you have fleas on humans, on pets, or inside your house.
Still, we do like ultrasonic pest repellents for flea control and prevention, as they work without the use of chemicals, sprays, or odors. They are environmentally friendly and kid and pet safe as well.
These products work simply by emitting ultrasonic sounds and vibrations that are highly irritating to pests but harmless to people and pets.
Not only will this product help reduce flea activity in your home, but it will also help repel other pests like spiders, roaches, ants, earwigs, and even smaller rodents like mice and rats.
PetArmor Carpet Powder
If you do find that you have fleas in your home, one of the most difficult places to get rid of them is on the carpet. That’s because carpet fibers tend to be plush and deep, allowing for fleas to burrow in and hide.
This is where carpet powder comes in to help kill fleas hiding in your home. The powder is designed to be applied directly to your carpet and can protect your home from fleas, lice, and dust mites for up to 7 months.
Along with working to kill fleas and prevent fleas on humans, PetArmor Carpet Powder also works against ticks.
Wondercide Flea and Tick Control
Last, we recommend the product above called Wondercide to anyone passionate about organic pest control and using products that contain all-natural ingredients. Wondercide is a proven pest control spray that comes in many forms, and this specific spray above is designed to get rid of fleas on humans and pets, and even in the home.
The spray is made with essential oils like lemongrass, rosemary oil, cedar oil, and peppermint oil. It is at least 98% to 100% effective against fleas and ticks, as well as flea eggs and larvae.
You can spray Wondercide Flea and Tick Spray directly on dogs and cats, and you can also spray it around your home and in your garden. It is free of any harsh ingredients or chemicals and is also completely kid-safe and environmentally friendly.
Best Products For Soothing Flea Bites ON
Flea bites can be painful, and getting rid of them requires the use of over-the-counter creams and remedies.
Not everyone reacts to flea bites the same way, and some people will have little to no reaction at all. Oftentimes the first time you are bitten by a flea you may not notice.
Fleas bite in a succession of three, and many people refer to this as:
- And Dinner
This is even though these bites occur within the same period. Prolonged exposure to these bites can lead to more serious reactions in people, and if people are sensitive or have flea allergies, some of these reactions can be severe.
For serious reactions to flea bites with fleas on humans, it’s important to consult your doctor right away. Though rare, some flea bites have been known to cause anaphylaxis. This is a life-threatening allergic reaction that can come on suddenly and lead to breathing difficulties, nausea, swelling, trouble swallowing, collapse, and loss of consciousness.
If you experience any of these symptoms from a feal bite from fleas on humans, contact 911 immediately.
Otherwise, for more mild or average flea bites, you can often use over-the-counter medications and ointments to soothe the bite and relieve the itch.
Benadryl Anti-Itch Gel
When it comes to fleas on humans, the reactions to their bites are caused by our body’s histamines working to protect us from foreign properties found in the flea’s saliva.
When our histamines react to a bite, this causes itchiness, inflammation, burning, and sometimes discomfort.
Benadryl is an antihistamine that can help block an overaction of histamines in your body and reduce itching, inflammation, and pain. It works on anything from flea bites to poison ivy rashes, so we highly recommend it.
After Bite Itch Relief
Another product that works well for flea bite relief is a product called After Bite Itch Relief. This product uses a combination of ingredients that are free of parabens and are safe for people of all ages. There is even an After Bite product specifically designed for children.
This product helps soothe the itching and discomfort from flea bites as well as bites from other pests like flies, fire ants, and mosquitoes, and it can even help alleviate pain from bee and wasp stings.
BuzzPatch Magic Patch Itch Relief
We adore the idea of a “Magic Patch” to help stop itching from flea bites. This product is safe for adults and children and not only helps reduce itching using natural ingredients, but it covers the bite to stop you from itching and lowers the chances of infection.
The patch works by reducing pain, redness, inflammation, and burning. It is free of chemicals and only contains natural ingredients to soothe bites from not only fleas on humans but also ticks, midges, sandflies, and mosquitos.
Tips For How To Prevent Fleas On Humans In The Future
When you protect your pets from fleas, you can also help prevent fleas on humans.
Although fleas are common throughout the United States and even the world, there are several steps you can take to prevent fleas on humans and protect your pets from these pests as well.
Remember, fleas can be dangerous, so it’s important to be proactive when it comes to flea bite control.
We have listed some of the best tips for flea prevention according to experts below:
Make Sure Your Pets Are Protected
First and foremost, make sure you have your pets protected from fleas. As we mentioned above, fleas are most commonly introduced to homes and humans via pets. You have many different options when it comes to protecting your home from fleas and preventing fleas on humans, including flea collars, supplements, natural ointments, or home remedies.
Keep Your Yard Landscaped
Keeping your yard and garden tidy and your lawn trimmed is a great way to reduce fleas on your property. Fleas prefer overgrown lawns and grassy areas where they can have something to cling to while they wait for their next host to pass by.
These pests will be less likely to jump on your pets, or on you for that matter if your yard is not as hospitable to them.
Pick Up Fallen Fruit Or Vegetables From Your Garden Or Fruit Tree
Fruits and veggies commonly attract wild animals, especially if they have become overripe and are now laying on the ground in your yard getting smelly and soft. To prevent attracting wild animals to your property and in turn bringing fleas, it’s best to harvest fruits and veggies in your garden as soon as they are ripe.
Store Your Garbage Properly
Another important way to prevent fleas on humans is to store your outdoor garbage properly. Invest in garbage bins with sealed lids and take steps to cover odors from old foods that might attract wild animals.
Remember, where wild animals linger, so do fleas.
Last, Clean Your Home Often
Fleas can hitch a ride into your house via a human or animal host. Fleas can lay hundreds of eggs in their lifetime, and it doesn’t take long for a home to become infested with fleas if measures aren’t taken early on.
Vacuuming often, washing bedding and clothing in hot water, and ensuring you keep your eye on your pets while grooming them can help catch fleas early before they get out of control.
We hope this has been a helpful guide when it comes to how to get rid of fleas on humans, and we hope you’re able to tackle this problem right away using some of the tips and products listed above.
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.