Flea Bites

By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor


What are flea bites?

Fleas are tiny bugs. They don’t have wings so they get around by jumping from place to place. Fleas mainly feed on non-human animals but can bite and infect humans. They can be difficult to remove from the home and can survive for more than 100 days without a host.

How common are flea bites?

Flea bites are very common. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.


What are the symptoms of flea bites?

The common symptoms of flea bites are:

  • Bites that appear as small, red bumps
  • A red “halo” Around the bite center
  • Bites in groups of three or four, or in a straight line
  • Bites that appear around the ankles or legs

Flea bites are very itchy, and the skin around each bite may become sore or painful. And you may experience hives or develop a rash near the site of a bite.

Additionally, excessive scratching can further damage the skin and a secondary bacterial infection can develop.

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

You should contact your doctor if you have any of the following:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Nausea
  • Swelling of the lips or face

A flea bite may also become infected. If the affected person has swollen glands, extreme pain around the bite, or excessive redness, they should speak with a doctor.

In some cases, fleas carry diseases that can be transmitted through bites, such as flea-borne spotted fever, plague, typhus, and cat scratch fever.


What causes flea bites?

Flea bites are caused by fleas. Humans are often the secondary options when it comes to fleabites, as they do not make good hosts. They tend to become targets for hungry adult fleas who have not yet found the family pet or another, more suitable host.

If an adult or child happens to walk or crawl past an adult flea that has just emerged from its cocoon, they may be the first option for a meal.

Risk factors

What increases my risk for flea bites?

Owning a pet increases the risk of a flea infestation, but it is not only pet-owners who are at risk. If you don’t have a pet, your fleabites could be coming from your yard or another person’s animal.

Fleas prefer tall grass and shaded areas near decks, woodpiles, or storage buildings.

Diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How are flea bites diagnosed?

Most of the time, flea bites don’ t require medical attention. However, you still need to keep an eye on the bites to look out for signs of an allergic reaction or an infection such as white-topped blisters or a rash.

How are flea bites treated?

Treatments for fleabites can range from simple home remedies to over-the-counter (OTC) medications. These include:

  • Tea tree oil
  • Calamine lotion
  • Cortisone
  • Vinegar
  • Anti-histamine medications

To avoid a secondary infection, it is important that people do not try to scratch fleabites. Treating the bites will help reduce the itching. In most cases, fleabites will resolve without treatment.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage flea bites?

The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with flea bites:

To find out if you have a flea problem, check your pet. Move back their fur to look for fleas or fleabites on the skin. Also, if they have been scratching more frequently, this may be a sign they’ve got fleas.

Take your pet to the vet, and then have your home treated professionally by a pest control expert. Only then can you control your fleabites and prevent further itchy, scratchy bumps. To prevent your dog from being reinfested, try a flea collar.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Review Date: August 24, 2018 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019

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