Table of Contents
- 1 What are fleas?
- 2 Human fleas vs. pet fleas
- 3 The dangers of fleas to humans
- 4 Signs that you have human fleas
- 5 How to get rid of fleas on human body
- 6 How to deal with human flea bites
- 7 How to prevent fleas from getting into your skin
- 8 What to consider when buying a human flea repellent
- 9 TOP 2 HUMAN FLEA SPRAYS
- 10 RUNNER-UP:
- 11 Skedattle DEET-Free Natural Bug Spray
- 12 Final words
Fleas? On humans? This may sound impossible, but the pest that once infested your pet can actually give you itchy bites. Also, since there are over 2,000 flea species, there are some that can survive on human skin. For this post, we will tackle some methods on how to get rid of fleas on human body together with flea repellent recommendations.
|Sawyer Products |
Insect Repellent with
|Skedattle DEET-Free |
Natural Bug Spray
What are fleas?
Typically, fleas are your pets’ worst nightmare. These insects are bloodsuckers, and if not controlled, they can wreak havoc on your pets’ skin and overall health.
Dog and cat fleas can also bite humans. It will leave itchy and swollen red spots that may take a few days to heal. But since we’re not as hairy as our furry friends, pet fleas won’t survive in our skin.
So is there such a thing as human fleas? Yes. It’s called the human flea (Pulex irritans).
The tricky part here is that cat, dog, and human fleas all bite humans. If your dog is infested with fleas, you might overlook the possibility that you’re actually harboring a different species on your body.
You can get human fleas while traveling or if your pet has it. Regardless of what of fleas your pet has, you’ll always be caught in the crossfire of itchy bites.
In this video, pest expert Michael Piacenza tells us about fleas on humans and what you can do about it:
Human fleas vs. pet fleas
Human and pet fleas look similar. Still, human fleas are larger. Not to scare you, but unlike pet fleas, human fleas can transmit communicable diseases like Yersinia pestis. In layman’s term: the plague.
The thing about human fleas is they’re not present in most first world and highly industrialized countries like the United States. Still, you shouldn’t put your guard down against these bloodsuckers.
There are three flea species that could bite humans. It includes the following:
*Human fleas or Pulex irritans
*Dog fleas or Ctenocephalides canis
*Cat fleas or Ctenocephalides felis
These species can also bite your pets interchangeably. With this, it could be challenging to pinpoint which species are pestering your skin.
The dangers of fleas to humans
The prominent health risk of fleas to humans is usually dermatological. First, the itchy bites will leave unsightly red spots with possibly dark centers. The itch of these bites is unbearable, not to mention that it can branch out to bigger health problems if not treated right away.
Here are the other potential risks that human fleas may bring to its host:
For those with severe allergies, flea bites could be a trigger. Continuous bites will worsen the attacks, which will impact the overall health of the person.
Flea bites are open wounds. If you scratch this often, it will lead to various infections. The wounds may also worsen and become infected with various irritants.
In worse human flea infestation, health complications may occur, more so if the person has an underlying condition. Some individuals may experience swelling lips, difficulty breathing, and nausea. If you’re experiencing pain around bites for days, you should consult a doctor right away.
As we said earlier, human fleas could be carriers of dreaded diseases. Some would have Murine Typhus, tapeworms, and other parasites that will compromise your health.
Signs that you have human fleas
The symptoms of flea bites are almost the same across the three main species that could feed on humans. If you have the following symptoms, you’re probably infested with fleas:
-Swollen red bites with a dark or white center
-Mild to severe itching
-Red bites from the ankles up
Some people with adverse reactions to flea bites may experience worse symptoms, including the following:
-Difficulty in breathing
-Swelling of the tongue or lips
If you observe these symptoms in yourself or other members of the household after flea bites, it’s best to see a medical professional.
How to get rid of fleas on human body
If you suspect that your skin is harboring fleas of any species, you can perform the following steps to mitigate the problem. This will also reduce the bites and possible health risks. Here’s how to get rid of fleas on human body:
*Wash your clothes
Human fleas can harbor on human clothes. If you happen to confirm that your house has this species, it’s best to wash all your clothes, sheets, and other fabric that you’ll be in contact with.
Take note that you should do this in line with a flea extermination effort. If not, the pest will just re-infect your clothes.
When taking a bath, run the wash first before hopping to the shower. This way, you can clean the infested clothes while avoiding the spread of the pest. You can add a cup of bleach to kill the fleas as long as it won’t affect the colorfastness of the fabric.
*Use lice shampoo for fleas on your hair
If you have human fleas on your scalp, you can use a lice shampoo to eradicate the pest. It will take a few days to remove the fleas on your head using this method.
Some recommend using a dog flea shampoo for guaranteed effects. We see no problem here as long as you’re using a dog flea shampoo with a gentle formula and human-grade ingredients.
*Remove the source and harborage
While treating your body with the human fleas, you should also target the source and harborage of the pest. You should also treat your pet from fleas. This way, you can eradicate the flea population and prevent it from biting you further.
You can sprinkle diatomaceous earth on the spots where fleas tend to hide. Aside from that, you can use leave-on flea sprays on your pets, couch, sheets, and other surfaces.
How to deal with human flea bites
Flea bites can be extremely itchy. If your skin has multiple bites, it could become infected if not treated properly. Here’s what you can do:
*Wash the bites
The first thing that you need to do is to wash the bites with running water and mild soap. This will lessen the chances of infection and it will also remove some of the substances that the flea probably left on your skin. Also, don’t scrape or try to poke the bite with anything.
As much as the itchiness could be unbearable, avoid scratching the affected area. Your fingernails have microscopic dirt that will infect the open wound.
If it itches so bad you should use the next step instead.
*Apply calamine lotion
Calamine lotion is your best friend in the event of any insect bite. This topical medication is a common treatment for various insect bites like bed bugs, ticks, and even mosquitoes.
If calamine lotion isn’t handy, you can use Aloe vera lotion or fresh Aloe vera gel from the garden.
*Use an ice pack
To relieve the swelling, you can use an ice pack if you’re yet to purchase any calamine or Aloe vera lotion. This will also help numb the itchiness temporarily.
If the calamine lotion isn’t enough to relieve the itching, you can consider asking a pharmacist to prescribe an antihistamine for you. Medical professionals can also prescribe other oral medications to ease the swelling and itchiness of the bitten area.
*Consult a dermatologist if the itching persists
If the bite symptoms persist for over a week without abating, you may need to seek the help of a dermatologist. The bites could’ve been infected, which results in prolonged healing and the possible worsening of the condition. Dermatologists know how to get rid of fleas on human body safely.
How to prevent fleas from getting into your skin
If you haven’t been bitten by fleas yet, you can protect your skin by using the following steps. It will also help those who are in the middle of an infestation and on how to get rid of fleas on human body.
*Keep your area clean
Vacuuming carpets, rugs, and hidden crevices on your home will help in eliminating a portion of the flea population. Also, it will help a lot if your bathe your dog regularly to kill the fleas harboring on its fur.
*Act upon the first sign of infestation
Whenever you spot the signs of a flea infestation on your dog or your skin, you should act right away. Use flea removal products and clean your home. If the infestation is becoming worse over the weeks, you can also tap the help of a professional flea exterminator.
*Use a repellent product
A repellent product is your go-to solution for temporary protection from the bites. Flea repellents usually come in spray and lotion consistency. If you’re buying one, look for a formula that’s safe for kids and pets.
What to consider when buying a human flea repellent
Before you purchase a flea repellent, make sure that you consider the following points first:
Most flea sprays will use active ingredients like Picaridin. This is a typical ingredient and deemed safe if used properly. Also, some products will use various natural oils like cedar and mint.
Is your choice of flea repellent suitable for kids and all ages? The suitability of the repellent will allow you to make the most out of the purchase.
Flea repellents come in different repellency levels. Most will last for up to 11 hours while others will only protect your skin for a maximum of 4 hours. If this is the case, you’d have to re-apply as a way on how to get rid of fleas on human body.
*Insects it repels
Most insect repellents will repel other insects aside from fleas. This is added benefit for you if your home is also a magnet to ticks, mosquitoes, and bugs.
*Allergies of the users
Always consider the allergies of the users. Some would have adverse reactions to certain substances and chemicals.
TOP 2 HUMAN FLEA SPRAYS
OUR TOP PICK: Sawyer Products Insect Repellent with 20% Picaridin
Product Name: Sawyer Products Insect Repellent with 20% Picaridin
Product Description: Our top recommendation for the best flea repellent is the Sawyer Products Insect Repellent with 20% Picaridin. It repels fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes that carry various diseases. This Sawyer Product repellent is equipped with Bag-on-Valve (BOV) dispensing system that lets you spray the repellent evenly on any orientation. This is DEET-free, fragrance-free, and non-greasy for your total comfort. It’s also safe to use on kids and will give up to 12 hours of protection against the pesky insects.
Offer price: $$$
Value for Money
The best thing about this repellent is Consumer Reports review it and guaranteed to be a Fisherman’s Formula. It won’t harm fishing lines and other bodies of water.
This comes in a 6-ounce spray, which is more than enough for the whole family. You can use this at home or during your travels so you’ll be flea-free all day long.
✔️Bag-on-Valve (BOV) dispensing system
✔️Up to 12 hours of repellency
✔️Safe to use for kids
❌You need to apply it lavishly for added protection
Skedattle DEET-Free Natural Bug Spray
If any of your family members have allergic reactions to Picaridin, you can consider the Skedattle DEET-free Natural Bug Spray. It’s made of citronella oil, lemongrass oil, and peppermint oil that repel insects for hours.
Since this has an all-natural formula, it’s safe to use on kids and even pets. It repels fleas, ticks and mosquitoes for up to 16 times better than DEET products.
Also, this formula won’t damage fishing lines and is safe to use directly on the skin. And if you’re not satisfied with the results, you’re entitled to a full refund.
What we really love the most is that this is cruelty-free and suitable for sensitive skin. It’s a great alternative to chemical sprays.
Knowing how to get rid of fleas on human body takes a little patience and the right products. Although the bites could be itchy and unbearable, you can make use of our tips and suggestions here. Our top repellent picks are also helpful.
Do you have something to add? Have you experienced being infested with human fleas? Feel free to share it with us below!