Updated On

October 24, 2023

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    ​Fleas are tiny and wingless parasites. But make no mistake, they’re more than capable of making your life a living hell. ​Just like bed bugs, fleas are nuisance pests capable of leaving itchy and sometimes painful bite marks as they feed and grow their population.

    Apart from finding the means of controlling flea population, you would also want to know how long flea bites last.

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    ​How Long Do Flea Bites Last?

    Although fleas prefer getting their blood meal from non-human hosts such as dogs and cats, we are still not an exception. Believe it or not, fleas sometimes go for human blood.

    The duration of the flea bites directly depends on the person being bitten. In most cases, flea bites last only within 24 to 48 hours. In fact, most people don’t know that they just got bitten by fleas.

    But not all of us are lucky enough to overcome flea bites pretty well. There are those who are pretty much sensitive to flea saliva which is considered as the main culprit to flea bite itching.

    People who are very sensitive to flea saliva experience intense itching from flea bites. This rash develops into swollen welts that can last from one to two weeks.

    Did You Know

    Fleas are literally deaf and blind. On the other hand, fleas can accelerate 50 times faster than a space rocket as they jump and can continuously do so 30,000 times.

    In worse cases, flea bites can cause allergic reactions ​and secondary infections. If you feel nauseated with swelling on your face, feel extreme pain around the bite mark, and have difficulty in breathing, it is strongly recommended to seek immediate medical attention.


    What Do Flea Bites Look Like?

    The video below shows ​what flea bites look like on humans.

    ​Prior to securing their blood meal from a human host, fleas inject their saliva ​ to prevent blood from clotting and to numb the bite area so that their presence won’t be detected.

    ​When this happens, the human body’s natural reaction would be to release histamines as a natural defense mechanism. This chemical reaction with the flea saliva causes rash and itching.

    Flea bites look like tiny red bumps that appear in clusters or in patterns. These bites look more like that of a mosquito only smaller. Flea bites are usually closer with each other with a halo-like shape surrounding the bite mark.

    ​In cases where flea saliva triggers allergic reactions, bite marks develop into large welts. Continuous scratching due to extreme itchiness can lead to secondary infections wherein welts develop into blisters.


    How Can You Treat Flea Bites?

    When talking about flea bites, the only main concern would be the swelling and itching on the areas bitten. ​You will want to take proper measures before you get tempted to scratch the bite marks until they become infected.

    The very first thing you can do to significantly reduce itching and prevent the bite area from swelling is to apply an ice pack over it. ​You can also use hydrocortisone topical cream to reduce itching if you happen to have one at home.

    Another natural remedy for flea bites is aloe vera gel which is extracted directly from the plant itself. Aloe vera is well known as a natural skin moisturizer and its gel can effectively soothe the skin from itching.

    Other remedies for flea bites are oral antihistamine medications such as Cetirizine, Allegra, and Claritin. You can also use calamine lotion to help you ease out on itchiness.


    How Can You Avoid Flea Bites?

    ​The best way to avoid getting bitten by fleas is to get rid of them in the first place. Fleas are most likely to infiltrate one’s home through pets. If you happen to have a dog or a cat at home, you need to make sure that they are constantly checked and treated for fleas by a veterinarian.

    If you are faced with flea infestation throughout your house, it is strongly advised to contact a seasoned exterminator for immediate and professional pest control. But there are also some easy and practical measures that can be taken before acquiring professional assistance.

    ​At the first sign of the presence of fleas inside your home, it is best to machine wash all clothing, bedding, carpets, and rugs. Vacuum-clean the entire house from the ground up using all necessary nozzle attachments for a more effective and extensive sweep.

    You can buy household flea spray from your local hardware store and apply it in areas of your home where you suspect the presence of fleas. If flea infestation is heavy, it is best to immediately seek professional assistance from a local exterminator.

    Today’s Homeowner Tips

    Flea bites look like tiny red bumps that appear in clusters or in patterns. These bites look more like that of a mosquito only smaller. Flea bites are usually closer with each other with a halo-like shape surrounding the bite mark.


    Final Thoughts On Bites From Fleas

    Compared to bed bug bites, flea bites develop a rash and itchiness a few hours or even days after you get bit. ​How the bite marks look and its pattern will help you determine whether or not you have a flea problem at home. Although fleas don’t pose a direct and serious health threat to humans, their bites can be pretty annoying and frustrating. Regardless of your sensitivity to flea saliva, it is important to ​avoid scratching the bite areas. Certain remedies are available to ease itchiness and one must immediately seek medical care in the face of an allergic reaction or secondary infection from flea bites.

    Think you might need professional help with your flea problem? Use the form below to connect with local pest control pros:

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    Editorial Contributors
    avatar for Ed Spicer

    Ed Spicer

    Ed has been working in the pest control industry for years helping 1,000's of homeowners navigate the world of insect and rodent management.

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