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Can Fleas Live on Humans?

Last Updated: 14.07.24


One of the first things you will most probably consider when it comes to keeping a pet is the health risks involved including the danger of infesting your place with pests. The market now offers lots of products to help you rid of such intruders and many reviews of flea traps and flea control solutions portray such formulas as being efficient enough to trigger the desired results.

And still, one question remains: can fleas actually live on humans? While they cannot live on humans for too long because of the lack of hair that would allow them to hide, cat and dog fleas can bite humans and thus feed on human blood alone. What to do when that happens? Read today’s post to find out more about humans and fleas.


Pet fleas and humans

There are several species of fleas that can infect pets and if we are to focus only on the ones that affect cats and dogs, then, as a pet parent, you can experience the unpleasant effects of such pests as well.

Pet fleas are pet fleas for several reasons and one of them is that they prefer furry hosts. While such fleas can feed on a non-furry and, thus, non-preferred host such as a human, they can hardly reproduce under these circumstances.

Female fleas need a few hours of feeding before being able to reproduce and that happens only in laboratories. Without being able to feed freely for so long, the female fleas won’t multiply.

Some fleas such as cat fleas can survive on human blood alone and they can reproduce after feeding freely for a good many hours. Even so, the eggs they would lay would be significantly reduced, yet that hardly happens outside laboratories.

Many flea species including pet fleas have adapted for living and thus feeding and reproducing on furry hosts. It is quite difficult for them to attach to humans and remain so without being detected. When they do manage to get attached to a human, they are often noticed and killed before they get a chance to feed.

Pet flea bites on humans

When your house is heavily infested with fleas, they will compete for your pet as they reproduce and may bite you instead to feed. The human areas usually preferred by fleas are the ankles and the lower area of the legs. Such bites cause red spots that are highly itchy and can even lead to allergic reactions.

If you have been unfortunate enough to get a flea bite, there are some things you will have to do immediately. You will first have to wash the bite and use an antiseptic. Applying an ice pack is also recommended. The thing with such bites is that they are so itchy that it becomes really difficult not to scratch. Try to resist this urge.

The market now offers lotions that can treat flea bites. If you have pets, keeping such a lotion around is a safety measure to take. In case your bite gets worse and it even excretes puss, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.


What about human fleas?

Fleas are divided into many species and the ones feeding and reproducing on your dog and cat are not the only ones you should be worried about. Whether you have pets or not, you can still be affected by fleas, more precisely, human fleas.

Such fleas feed on pigs and humans but they are associated with wildlife and rarely live in homes in developed countries. Farms are more likely to get infested with such fleas as they can live and reproduce on pigpens.


How to get rid of human fleas

What makes things worse when it comes to human fleas is that they can live and reproduce under a human’s skin without being detected, at least for a short time. More often than not, you will become aware of their presence when your skin starts to get itchy. When that happens, there are some steps you need to take to end the unpleasant effects and rid of fleas.

Have a shower to remove the fleas off you and use a flea shampoo for your hair and beard. In case you don’t have one, you should try a dish soap to kill the fleas. This type of product is often used in such cases yet if you are not sure about the soap you have, ask for your doctor’s or pharmacist’s advice.

Another popular solution you can easily prepare at home is a mixture including salt, baking soda, and water. You can also use water and essential oils with antiparasitic properties and apply it to the affected area.

Make sure you clean your clothes thoroughly as well. Plus, clean your entire place with flea products such as sprays. Target all the areas that could have been infested and that could thus help the fleas survive and reproduce.

Other flea species you should be aware of

If you don’t have pets that could be a perfect host for some flea species, there are other fleas that can infest your place and thus affect you, even if that rarely happens. Rat fleas can infest your place if rats are present.

What makes them a species to be worried about is the fact that they transmit harmful microorganisms to humans. Such organisms can cause various diseases. In case you have a farm and you raise chickens, keep an eye on the fleas that affect them as well as they can feed on humans.

No matter the flea species that has reached your home, you need to take action immediately. Don’t expect them to just disappear. Get the right products to kill them and their eggs and thus prevent reinfestation. Plus, whenever you get a flea bite, treat it accordingly. Don’t take such unpleasant events too lightly since your health is directly concerned and involved.




1) Cat Fleas and Humans

2) Is it common for fleas to live on humans?

3) Can You Get Fleas Without Pets?

4) The secret lives of fleas



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