Flea Bites on Humans

What are fleas?

Fleas are very tiny reddish-brown parasites that are equipped with incredible jumping ability. These parasites are hard to see due to their small size and are found not only on pets but humans as well, feeding on their blood in order to survive.

Ctenocephalides felis, cat flea or flea, isolated on a white background

Fleas carry different types of bacteria and diseases; thus, just one tiny bite from them can commonly cause the victim’s body to experience allergic reactions and rashes.

What do flea bites look like on humans?

Although often found on pets, fleas do not limit themselves to attaching and feeding themselves from your pet. In fact, if you have a pet with fleas, even you are exposed to the risk of being infected with them. This may not be that common of a case compared to pets, but it definitely happens.

Flea bites on humans can be identified through the appearance of red bumps, which are commonly seen in clusters, on the skin. Due to the small size of these bites, they usually remain unnoticed unless one starts itching.

Flea bites vs. bed bug bites on humans

Bed bugs and fleas are not that quite easy to identify since they posses a lot of similarities with one another. For example, bed bugs, just like fleas, are also tiny nocturnal parasites that are reddish-brown in color. However, the difference between them is that bed bugs are larger in size compared to fleas and they do not posses incredible jumping ability.

Just like with their appearance, you may also find it confusing to differentiate between flea bites and bed bug bites on humans.

Here is how you will be able to identify flea bites from bed bug bites:

Flea bites are small clusters of dots resembling mosquito bites, except that they have a dark red center that come from the single bite of the flea when it was sucking blood.
Flea bites become swollen in less than an hour and immediately start to itch. In about one or two days, those bites can turn into an open sore or a blister.

Bed bug bites, on the other hand, often appear in a straight line that usually consists of three to four bites. These bites are flat red welts that seem to appear raised because of the anesthesia and anticoagulants found in the parasite’s saliva.
Unlike flea bites, bed bug bites mostly take a week to show up and gradually start to itch more and more as the anesthesia found in their saliva wears off.

Flea bite symptoms

There are several symptoms of flea bites. One of the flea bite symptoms is a sore and painful feeling in the skin where the bite is located. There’s also a persistent itchiness, with the appearance of small red bumps that can be usually found around the ankles or legs.

No matter how much you scratch and scratch the affected area, the itchiness just doesn’t seem to go away, hence leading to skin damage and a secondary bacterial infection. Hives and rashes can also be experienced.

Treatment for flea bites

In order to get rid of flea bites, here are some suggested treatment for flea bites:
1. Before anything else, clean the affected area of your skin with warm soap water. After that, in order to lessen the amount of swelling, use an antiseptic and apply an icepack, leaving it on for not more than 10 minutes. Then repeat after taking a short break.
2. Consult your doctor about which antihistamine to use in order to get rid of the itching. There are a lot of over-the-counter medicines for you to use, but just to prevent any side effects, it is best to consult your doctor.
3. Stop scratching your skin. Infestation can easily happen and if it does, your skin will become itchier.
4. Break off a small portion of an aloe vera leaf and rub it onto the affected area.
5. If you have a pet such as a dog or a cat that is infested with fleas, bathe your pet, apply calendula ointment or aloe vera gel, or feed it with oral flea control tablets such as Comfortis.
Fleas can easily spread and though flea bites might seem harmless, they can cause serious problems if left untreated. Remember that it is best to thoroughly get rid of them first before proceeding with the treatment for flea bites.