In this article, we will talk about ways to treat flea bites. Do you realize that there are tiny little creatures everywhere around you, waiting to relish your blood? Well, it’s neither any vampire nor any mosquito. For people who have pets, they must be aware of the menacing bugs called fleas.
These are creatures, which commonly feed on the blood of other creatures, mostly animals. They don’t affect humans normally but only when your household pets have been infected. Their bites are painful and itchy in nature. If you are one of the sufferers of their bites, we provide you tips on how to treat flea bites. Before we begin, let’s look at some of the common symptoms of their bite:
Symptoms of Flea Bites:
- Redness on the skin.
- Inflammation of the skin.
- Constant feel to itch.
- Rash or infection.
Do You Have Fleas?
You have witnessed bites on your legs, ankles and maybe even your arms. But you are not sure if these bites are from fleas or any other insect. In case if you have not actually seen any fleas in your home, it can be a possibility that the bite is from any other insect but it is important and also very difficult to determine which type of insect which has bitten you.
We know one thing for sure that if you have a flea infestation in the house, you will get to know it. You might even witness a few of the fleas passing by unnoticed, but if in case their population gets out of control, you will not be able to walk through your carpet or even sit on your couch without getting bitten by them.
Check Your Pets for Fleas
If you have pets in your house, always check their coats for the fleas. Pets are the most vulnerable being to these fleas. This is because of the favorable temperature which they get within the coat of your pets. They will tend to hang around the head area and even the hind quarters. If your pet is easy to handle and will let you easily look for fleas, please check its belly for any signs of fleas.
These fleas like to scurry through the warmer parts of your pet’s body. They are basically on their way up to the neck or down to the tail. Also, the belly area has less fur and will make it easier to spot these tiny pesks. Just a simple word of caution: Cats may not easily let you check their bellies. They will tend to be very sensitive about letting you touch this area. So, avoiding this, your best bet would be to check behind the ears or near the tail base. You can also try checking the restricted area only if you don’t mind getting into a scratching fight with your feline friend.
If you do not witness any signs of fleas on the belly, try to check underneath the ears. Here by, you will have to first part your pet’s fur and then look for tiny black specs or red spots on the skin. If in case your pet has any signs of fleas, one or two will probably jump off onto your skin at some point during the inspection. This will give you surety that you are dealing with fleas and they have already attacked you fur baby.
Pets that have fleas will also have the “flea dander,” or their dirt. Flea dander are basically tiny black specs that can easily get underneath your fingernails while petting or checking your dog or cat for fleas. And for your information, these tiny black dots are actually the flea poop, which consists of dried blood. Another sign of fleas on pets is when your furry baby scratches too much that usual.
Perform the White Socks Test to Check for Fleas
Fleas will tend to hop onto the nearest warm body that they find. This will usually be a human if no other pets are around. But the fleas can sometimes also be hard to see, even on your bare skin.
An easy way to check for fleas is to put on a pair of white socks and then walk through any carpeted areas of your house. If you have a pretty good infestation, you will clearly be able to see at least a few fleas on your socks. And with a really severe infestation, you will probably see quite a few of them on your sock. The good news is that wearing socks will protect your feet and ankles from being bitten while checking for any signs of fleas in the house. And obviously the bad news is that you have a flea infestation.
Some people also claim that they found flea eggs when trying to check for the flea infestation in their house, but that is highly unlikely to witness unless you have an amazing vision and your pet has really dark fur. Flea eggs are considered really hard to spot with the naked eye.
What Do Flea Eggs Look Like?
Flea eggs typically appear white or transparent in color. Some of the people even say that these eggs look like dandruff flakes. The flea eggs are incredibly small which actually means smaller than 0.5mm in size. Unlike the usual flea dirt or the dander, the flea eggs do not stick to the fur. The eggs often tend to roll down onto the carpeting in your house, which also serves as a favorable environment for them to thrive.
Can Humans Get Fleas?
Technically, yes, we humans have the possibility of getting the fleas from our pets or maybe someone else’s pets. After all, we are warm-blooded mammals and our blood is basically what these fleas thrive on. But these pesks tend to be a much bigger problem for our pets than us. Want to know the reason? Well because our pets have thick coats of fur over the skin that provides an ideal hidings spot for these blood sucking fleas. Their thick and furry coats also provide a moist, dark and warm environment which is quite favorable for the fleas to thrive. And because humans are lacking the body hair that creates this favorable environment, so fleas are less likely to stick around on humans than the animals.
Our pets are usually the primary reason why we have fleas infestation in the first place. There are basically three types of fleas that commonly bite humans other than animals. These include cat fleas, dog fleas and human fleas. What a joke isn’t it? Basically all the fleas tend to bite humans as well. And more often than not, humans are bit by the critter fleas because your pet is actually the target or maybe the host itself.
Do Flea Bites Itch?
Yes the area bitten by the fleas itch a lot but it also depends from person to person. Humans usually do not realize that they have been bit by a flea until it is too late and the bite starts to show some signs. Now, this is because the saliva in these tiny fleas contains an anesthetic effect which allows them to latch onto your skin undetected. The ninja-like skills of the fleas may help them attach to your legs, ankles any part of the skin which is accessible. But that same anesthetic effect in their saliva is what makes your bites so itchy and inflamed.
Do Flea Bites Hurt?
No, these bites will not really hurt at the initial stage. You will not feel even a twinge of pain when the flea bites you. It is similar to any other insect bites but other that the severe ones. Fleas are incredibly tiny, so their bites are not painful to humans at all. On the other hand, the anesthetic effect we discussed earlier helps to prevent you from feeling anything until the bite starts itching or shows adverse effects.
Flea bites can become painful if you scratch them incessantly or pick at them for no reason. In order to prevent this from happening, it is best to resist the urge to scratch or pick the bite. Always remember before using your fingers for this, your fingernails contain a lot of bacteria and so, scratching the bitten area may only worsen the pain or prolong the inflammation.
What Do Flea Bites Look Like?
The Flea bites are basically similar to any other insect or mosquito bites. Although, they tend to be slightly smaller in size that other insect bites. Most of the flea bites are raised and red in color. They are usually surrounded by a reddish-colored halo.
Because of the fact that flea bites can be incredibly itchy, most of the people cannot resist the urge to scratch and end up making the bite more severe. As a result, the bitten area usually swells up temporarily. Scratching can also lead to further irritation, inflammation and infection in severe cases.
Are Flea Bites and Bed Bug Bites the Same?
Flea bites and the bed bug bites appear the same but they are actually not the same. Bed bug bites often appear similar to the mosquito bites. These bites can be red, firm and there may be some slight swelling around the bitten area. Flea bites typically look like small clusters of red spots.
On the other hand, Bed bug bites often appear in linear rows and can appear anywhere on the body. Whereas, flea bites tend to be witnessed in clusters often on the feet and ankles.
Bed bugs are considered nocturnal and they often like to make their home in your mattress. So, the bites from bed bugs usually occur at night when you are sleeping. On the other hand, Fleas are also nocturnal but tend to cling to pets more than humans. They are found on furniture, drapery and carpeting.
Bed bug bites may take several days to show effects and will start to itch gradually whereas; the flea bites tend to start itching immediately. The bitten area will swell up and appear red within an hour after the bite. Both the flea bites and the bed bug bites tend to itch and can also cause allergic reactions.
Remedies to Treat Flea Bites Naturally:
1.) Aloe Vera to Treat Flea Bites
When it come to skin treatment, aloe vera is one of the premier products for the same. It is because of its healing properties that make it anti-inflammatory and antiseptic in nature. Aloe vera gel can be used for the same purpose. You could either purchase it at your local store or could follow the steps below to prepare it at home:
- Take a few aloe vera leaves and mash them.
- Collect the gel that is prepared and apply it directly on the bites.
- Continue the process till the allergy subsides.
2.) Eat Garlic to Treat Flea Bites
If the product above has two properties then garlic has three. It is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antioxidant in nature. It is a herb that has been used for centuries to get rid of all kinds of health problems. There are several ways by which you can use garlic to utilize it as a remedy for flea bites. One of the best ways is to incorporate it into your diet. Make sure to cook dishes in which garlic can be added. It will not only enhance the flavor but also promote good health.
You can also consume it raw if you can bear the taste.
3.) Coconut to Treat Flea Bites
Coconut has been used since earlier times as a means to treat different problems. To use it to treat your flea bites problem, all you have to do is use any of the following techniques:
- Apply coconut oil directly on the affected skin and keep applying it for a week for relief.
- Alternatively, you could mash up a fresh coconut pulp to make a paste.
- Apply the paste all over the bites. Keep it there for 30 minutes.
- Wash it off after some time and there will be relief.
4.) Lemon Power to Treat Flea Bites
Lemon is known to repel fleas because of their intolerance to citrus acid. It is known to react with their skin, leading to an allergic reaction. Just follow the steps below to prepare an effective flea repellent:
- Squeeze some fresh lemons and collect their juice.
- Mix the juice in boiling water.
- Spray the mixture directly on your skin, by adding the solution in a sprayer.
- There will be no more flea bites.
5.) Lavender Oil to Treat Flea Bites
Essential oils are known for their healing properties. They contain all the essential nutrients which are beneficial for a healthy radiance and skin enhancement. Any good essential oil would work but here we are suggesting you to use lavender oil for it is easily available. Massage the flea bitten area with lavender oil on a regular basis. As it soaks into your skin it will heal your skin and get rid of the itching sensation.
6.) Tea Bags to Treat Flea Bites
Tea bags acts in the form of a warm compress. Moreover, tea bags because of their content have antioxidant properties. These can in turn help you to get rid of inflammation and redness. To use it to treat your flea bites problem, follow the steps below:
- Put a tea bag in boiling water and allow it to warm down, till it can be applied to the skin without burning it.
- Apply it carefully on the skin where the bites are and keep it there.
- Keep pressing it gently on the skin and continue the treatment for a few days.
- There will be relief soon.
7.) Apply Calamine Lotion to Treat Flea Bites
Calamine lotion is one of the premier products when it comes to skin treatment. It can get rid of burns, allergy, and redness. The best thing about it that it is safe on the skin. You can find calamine market in a good shop near you. Most probably it should not cost you much. Just apply calamine lotion on the bite affected skin directly for a few days. It will start showing its effects soon and you will be free of the bite marks.
8.) Cold Treatment to Treat Flea Bites
At times, cooling treatment can do wonders for you. Cooling the flea bite area can get rid of the inflammation and redness of the skin. It will even remove the sense to itch constantly. Just follow the steps below and you are good to go:
- Prepare an ice pack by adding ice in a Ziploc or a clean cloth.
- Apply the pack directly on the bitten skin.
- Dipping the area in ice cold water can also be beneficial.
9.) Oatmeal to Treat Flea Bites
Oatmeal if not directly beneficial for you skin, can still be used as an exfoliator. Follow the steps below, to use it to treat the flea bites problem:
- Mix oatmeal and water to form a paste.
- Apply the paste on the bites and keep it there for 20 minutes.
- Wash it off later and you are done.
- Continue for a few days till they completely disappear.
10.) Don’t Scratch to Treat Flea Bites
I understand, that there is a great urge to scratch the bite infected area. You may think it may relieve you, but you are wrong. Scratching the skin to itch the area can lead to infection. As the infection spreads the whole condition can worsen at most. The worse thing that can happen is that it can leave permanent marks if the swelled area bursts up. Therefore, it is recommended to try out all the remedies listed above and get rid of the problem.