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How to Get Rid of Fleas on Humans: Detailed Human Flea Control Guide

According to the common-spread opinion, these insects are the main concern of cats and dogs. This statement is partly true, as it fails to mention human beings that are exposed to this menace as well. Fleas are biting parasites hard to see and catch. However, there are numerous recipes on how to get rid of them for good. Follow my guidance and stay fleas-free.

As many of you already know, I work as a private consultant and insect inspector. I don’t mind sharing my 25 years of experience in this area with you. I gathered here the most reliable tips that I have personally checked.

How to Get Rid of Fleas on Humans
  1. To get rid of fleas on a person, you need to use:
    – ice pack;
    – Aloe Vera;
    – witch hazel spray or cream;
    – alcohol;
    – white vinegar;
    – tea tree oil;
    – frozen tea.
  2. To get rid of fleas in human hair:
    – flea shampoo;
    – baking soda and water;
    – dishwashing detergent;
    – apple cider vinegar;
    – trim hair.

The Brief Guide on How to Get Rid of Fleas on Humans

A human may suffer from fleas worse than pets. Besides the fact that fleas are terrible, leave marks on your skin, and bite painfully, it is usually quite embarrassing for many people to admit that they have these parasites. So many people prefer to hide it and continue to live with this problem. It is a pointless attitude, and it does not work. You can’t ignore the problem forever, as pretty soon it becomes too big to ignore.

Where Can Humans Get Fleas From?

light brown dog

You may find 2 200 identified species of blood-sucking fleas across the world. Humans are not affected by all of them. We are exposed to attacks of Ctenocephalides canis, or dog flea, Pulex irritans, the human flea, and sometimes Xenopsylla cheopis, the rat’s flea. Rarely can we be attacked by Ctenocephalides felis or cat’s flea. Where can people get fleas most frequently?

The main sources of fleas are our pets. It is your duty to secure your house from fleas and their offsprings that can be hidden across your house. Unlike pets, humans can’t be treated with medicine against fleas. The best solution is to take measures over your pet in advance.

You don’t even have to own a cat or dog, you can get fleas from traveling while touching infested areas. Some farms are also infested with fleas. Not only mammals but also birds can carry the disease.

What Are Human and Pet Fleas Attracted to?

What you need to know is that not all fleas bite all humans, and not all humans can be bitten by fleas. What attracts fleas to humans is the blood. All fleas suck blood, and apparently, some types of human blood are more delicious to fleas than others. This is why it is hard to predict who in the family will be attacked by fleas and who can escape it. Usually, fleas are more attracted to animal blood, so you can co-exist with them without even knowing that there is a problem at your house.

What Are The Signs You Have Fleas?

photo of flea bites on leg

You can easily recognize the signs that you have fleas at your home. The most obvious are:

  • You notice red bites on your skin;
  • Your cat or dog is constantly scratching;
  • You wake up from tiny but painful bites;
  • You feel that something is jumping or crawling on your skin.

What Do Flea Bites Look Like on Human Skin?

The reaction on flea bites can be different for different people. On average, fleas leave small red spots on your skin. They look like irritation, and they’re itchy. Do you think of mosquito bite? Yes, it is quite similar to the feeling.

Some people are more susceptible to these bites than others. They may feel severe pain and irritation on your skin.

Others may simply leave these marks unnoticed. If you want to find out whether you were bitten by fleas, look carefully on your ankles and legs, that’s the fleas favorite spots. You’ll find a narrow red spot with the light center.

Sometimes you may notice blood on the skin from the bite. Fleas leave the sign of bite in the center of the spot, while spiders leave two marks, and bees, mosquitoes, bedbugs, and bees’ bites usually cause swelling of the skin.

Related Post: 7 Best Flea Killers For Yard

How to Treat Flea Bites on Human Skin?

The first thing you need to do once you’ve noticed that you were bitten by a flea is to avoid scratching. Professionals from Better Health Channel of Victoria State Government suggest the following steps, and I can’t agree more:

  • You have to use antiseptic spray or soap to prevent infection. Apply it generously;
  • If you have a swelling on the skin, use the ice pack;
  • In case you can’t stop yourself from itching, I recommend anesthetic cream, but you can always use calamine lotion;
  • If the swelling is still there after a few hours, you have to call your doctor. Ask whether you need an antihistamine pill in case of allergies;
  • Fleas may transmit tapeworm infection to people, so you’d better make sure that you have treatment from it at home;
  • I strongly recommend you to visit the doctor if the swelling or itching continues and getting worse.

How to Repel Fleas on Humans?


There are numerous ways of how to keep fleas off human skin. I recommend you to try home-made remedies first, as they are cheap and can be easily reached. Among the favorite first-aid medicine I suggest to my clients are:

  • Ice packs, as I have already mentioned. If you don’t have ice packs, I advise you to use any frozen meat or vegetables.
  • Put it on the place that was bitten;
  • To ease the swelling or get rid of red marks, use Aloe Vera;
  • Applying witch hazel spray or cream on your skin may reduce any irritation of the skin;
  • If you need to stop itching, you can try to dry the bites by applying alcohol on the red mark;
  • For those who are tired from itching, I also recommend white vinegar diluted with water in the proportion of 1:1.
  • Apply the remedy on the itching spot and wait;
  • Another great remedy that I have found is tea tree oil. However, I don’t recommend you to use it if you have already scratched the bite to the wound, cause it may burn like hell;
  • One of my favorite recipes for itching and scratching is to put frozen tea bags on the swollen place. You will feel immediate relief.

How to Get Rid of Fleas in Human Hair?

fleas on the floor

Fleas can nestle in human hair, and they are incredibly hard to find there. It is harder to notice red marks on the skin of your head. It is hard to find out yourself what do fleas look like in human hair because they are too fast for you to catch them.

But of course, you may still feel them crawling in your hair and biting you. If you feel these symptoms, you have to take a comb with fine-tooth and a white paper or a piece of fabric and brush it carefully. If you wondering how to kill fleas on humans, follow these steps:

  • Apply the remedy. It can be a special shampoo from the drug store or a home-made remedy. This time I suggest you choose anti-fleas shampoos. There are multiple options in every drug store;
  • You can try baking soda and water in case of an emergency. Make the paste and put it on your hair. Wait for 10 minutes and wash out;
  • Dish soap. Dish soap with lemon scent works great for killing fleas. However, it may damage the structure of your hair, so don’t forget to wash it out carefully;
  • Cider vinegar helps not only to relieve the pain from itching, but it also kills fleas. Apply the vinegar on your head and hold it there for 15 minutes. Wash your hair;
  • If you have long hair, you’ll probably have to cut it. Fleas can easily hide in your hair so good that you will not find them or their eggs. Don’t worry, your hair will get only thicker and stronger after you give it a rest from its usual length. The sooner you get rid of these insects, the better you feel;
  • For those people who use a wig, I must remind you that fleas can live in wigs too. Don’t forget to clean it out.

FAQ: Popular Questions and Answers

Dog flea

How Do Fleas Go on Humans?

Fleas usually dwell on the skin of mammals and birds. They are parasites. Fleas drink the blood from these animals. The most widespread type of flea in the USA is a cat flea. When you are in contact with your pet, a flea can easily jump on you. They jump up to 8 inches on average, so usually, they attack your legs and ankles. However, they can also jump to your hair and make a nest in it.

Are Fleas Dangerous to Humans?

Yes, fleas may cause you pain, skin swelling, irritation. They also transport tapeworms and may infest you through their bite. That is why you have to use one of the flea treatment for humans I’ve mentioned above, and don’t forget to sterilize the spot that was bitten. There are no preventive measures for humans like ones for animals, and this is why I recommend you to buy your pet anti-fleas collar or vitamins.

How Do Flea Bites Look Like on Human Skin?

  • Let’s sum up all the signs that you were bitten by fleas:
  • Swelling red dots on your legs and arms;
  • The dots are redder at the edges and paler at the center;
  • There is only one bite mark in the center. Pay attention to it, as other pests who may bite you in the house, like mosquitoes or spiders leave similar, but not exactly the same marks. You have to find out what insect has bitten you before you open your first-aid kit.

Which Flea Shampoo for Human Is Better?

I recommend you to consult your doctor on this topic. There are various flea shampoos on the market. The shampoo does not have to cause an allergy and must be effective. You have to read the instruction before you use it. It must be easily washable as well.

If you don’t want to consult with your doctor, ask the pharmacist in the drug store to help to choose the best option. Check out the best sellers on Amazon as well. Don’t forget to comb your hair to get rid of dead fleas and eggs after you wash out shampoo.

Related Post: 7 Best Flea Bombs (aka Foggers) That Work

Can I Use the Same Remedy I Use for My Cat?

No! You can’t use the same remedy for humans and animals.

There are different requirements to flea spray for humans and cats or dogs. You may hurt yourself with pills or sprays for cats. Even homemade remedies have different recipes for pets and their owners. Cat’s fur and human hair, as well as humans’ and animals’ skin, are different. I suggest you check out collars for cats to prevent fleas, and skincare remedies and anti-fleas shampoos for yourself.

Can I Prevent Getting Bitten?

Yes, you can actually protect yourself from getting bitten by fleas. You can do it in a few simple steps:

  • Keep your house clean. Don’t forget to wash floors and clean all your carpets with a vacuum cleaner;
  • Use the anti-fleas collar on your pet, even if you don’t see fleas on its fur;
  • If you notice that your pet is scratching, call the vet, sterilize the room and its sleeping place. Feed it the pills and try to avoid stroking it for the period of treatment.

How Long Does It Take to Get Rid of Fleas?

With a flea repellent for human skin and proper treatment of your pet, you can get rid of the fleas in a couple of minutes. All you need is to wait until the remedy starts acting. You also have to make sure that you combed out all the fleas and their eggs from your hair. If fleas nestled in your hair, you may have to repeat the procedure again. The eggs may also be scattered at your house. You need to clean everything, and don’t forget to change your sheets and pillowcases.

Related Post: How to Get Rid of Sand Fleas.

Why Are We Afraid of Fleas?

Fleas are not the most dangerous insects for humans. They do not cause allergies and can infect you only with a tapeworm in rare cases. They are hard to remove from hair, but they are not deadly. Yet, they cause incredible discomfort at home and stay with you wherever you go. This is why it is necessary to get rid of all these nasty creatures that may torture you day and night. I gathered here the recipes I checked out. If you have something to add or a story to share, you can do it in the comments below. I also encourage you to share your thoughts on the most reliable remedy from fleas in hair.


  • Human Flea (Pulex irritans):
  • Flea Bites (National Center for Biotechnology Information):


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Nicholas Martin

Nicholas Martin

I am Nicholas Martin, and I am an entomologist. I combine the insect survey work with the consultation for private pest control agencies. My narrow specializations are both urban pests and agricultural pests. I studied their control over the previous 25 years. More about Nick

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