Flea Bites on Humans: Symptoms and Treatment

Flea Bites on Humans

Some people can live in a house with a full blown flea infestation and seemingly be immune to flea bites.  Others, it sometimes seems, only have to look at an animal to get covered in itchy, unsightly bites.  If you belong to the latter group, you know the misery and embarrassment of flea bites.  There is nothing worse than going out, particularly to an important occasion, and trying to cover up flea bites.  You need to get rid of your flea bites fast! 

This post is about:

  • The symptoms of flea bites on humans
  • The best treatment for flea bites on humans
Find out more about people and fleas:  Can fleas live on humans?

Symptoms of flea bites on humans

Plenty of insects can bite you, leave a mark and make you itchy.  It’s actually not the bite that makes you itch, it’s the insect’s saliva.  If you are bitten by an insect once, you may become sensitive to that species’ saliva.  Should another insect of the same species bite you again, an allergic reaction occurs.  For most of us, that is an itchy bump or rash; for extremely sensitive people a very painful and itchy reaction may be caused.

Photograph of flea bites on a human leg

Flea bites can generally be distinguished from other insects.  Here are some symptoms:

  • Bites are usually below the knees, particularly at ankle level, or on the forearms.
  • Bites often in clusters or lines.
  • Bites are extremely itchy in those who are sensitive.
  • There is a raised lump with a red area around it.

Treatment for flea bites on humans

If you have an allergic reaction to flea bites you will want to treat them fast.  Not only is the itching unbearable, but repeated scratching, causing broken skin, may lead to infections which require medical attention.

Here’s what to do for flea bites on humans:

Stop Infections Spreading from Flea Bites:

  • Wash the area using cold water and an antiseptic soap.
  • Alternatively, clean the area with antiseptic spray.

Stop the Itching of Flea Bites:

  • Apply an antihistamine or hydrocortisone lotion to help stop the itching.
  • Apply ice cubes or ice packs (placed in a plastic bag with a cloth around) to the area:  the cold will reduce the itch.
  • In severe cases you may need to take an oral antihistamine.

Speed up Recovery from Flea Bites:

  • Up your Vitamin C intake – Vitamin C naturally promotes healing.
  • Dab tea tree oil on the bites – it’s a natural antiseptic and helps healing.
Find out more about getting rid of flea bite marks after the itching has stopped.

Prevention is Better than Treatment for Flea Bites!

Suffering from flea bites is a pretty clear indication that your pet has a fleas.  Remember, if you are itchy, your pet is likely to be feeling even worse.  Do both of you a favour and act to get rid of the fleas.

To prevent a re-occurrence of the problem you should immediately treat your pet to get rid of the fleas;  this is a two-pronged process, involving getting rid of fleas on your pet and in your home.  Treating just your pet, or just your home, isn’t enough. Both need to be tackled together, otherwise you will be treating your flea bites for a very long time.


  • Itchy bites below your knees are quite likely to be flea bites.
  • Keep the area clean and use antihistamines to stop the itching.
  • Get rid of the fleas on your pet and around your home.