Fleabites will cause you discomfort, allergic reactions, and red spots encircled by reddish bumps. Fleas will attack the whole body of your household pets like dogs and cats.
So, is this the case for humans? Well, in this post, I’ve tackled this highly itchy question “where do fleas bite humans?”
The short answer is, fleas will bite humans on their lower legs, calves, ankles, feet, and (though rarely) the head, groin, and chest area. Therefore, rarely will the bites happen above the human knee unless when you’re laying or sitting on the ground.
Related: How to Get Rid of Fleas.
So, Where Do Fleas Bite Humans?
Fleas rarely bite humans who live in places with infested household pets. But, flea bites on people happen incidentally, and they occur if their primary hosts (dogs, cats) are not available.
1. Feet and Ankles – Regular Flea Bites
Fleas will bite and suck blood from any part of the human body. But, cat fleas will jump a maximum of 5.2 inches -7.9 inches. This height is merely just below the human knees, which means that’s where the fleas will land.
Also, when fleas land on the human skin, the bugs start biting and sucking blood instantly without roaming or moving around carelessly. Hence, flea bites will occur more commonly on humans on the lower legs, calves, ankles, and feet.
– Bare Skin above Sock Line
As a rule of thumb, fleas won’t bite through your clothing – either various fabrics, socks, or jeans. But no too fast! Fleas might actually bite through your thin, loose-fitting clothes like yoga pants, pantyhose, and tights.
Fleas will generally move around while under the clothes and s stay in this hiding situation unless they’re biting your exposed skin.
Hence, putting on pants and socks will block fleas from biting you. But, these nasty bugs may still attack and bite you on any bare skin just above your sock line. You can prevent such flea bites by tucking the pant legs into your socks.
2. Above Human Knees – Rare Flea Bites
It’s very rare that fleas will bite anywhere above the human. Despite that cat fleas can jump about 8 inches, it’s not so high of a jump to reach above your knees.
Therefore, fleas won’t jump enough to reach above the human knee and thus most of the flea bites won’t be found in these areas. You can use flea bombs to control a major flea infestation in your house.
– Upper Body Parts
However, as noted above, fleas’ bites above your knee can be witnesses in cases where you’re lying or sitting on an infested place or near the flea bedding.
If fleas breed uncontrollably, they may spread in many areas and could bite humans on the upper legs, waist, head, pubic area, and the denser parts of their hairs on the chest.
– Human Head
Flea bites on the human head are very rare because this body part is so far from the ground and fleas can’t jump that high. For example, fleas could bite your wrists in some rare circumstances.
Nevertheless, such “high-octane” might still happen when a person is sitting on the floor and thus the fleas will easily reach the upper body parts.
3. Neck and Scalp
Your neck may be bitten by fleas but this only happens in major flea infestations. Again, flea bites on either your head, face or scalp will mainly happen if you’re sitting or sleeping on a flea-infested ground or near flea bedding.
Equally, you should know that sharing your bed or couch will a flea-infested dog or cat may also encourage fleas to attack your head and neck.
Fleas Prefer Cats and Dogs as their Primary Hosts
Fleas bites on human beings will mainly be instigated by human fleas, cat fleas, and dog fleas. Further, the flea bites on your skin will mainly appear in clusters or in large groups. If you’re overly sensitive to flea bites, you might get red bumps or hives.
Cat fleas rarely jump off the bodies of your household pets, including cats and dogs. So, it’s definite that fleas will always prefer biting pets over attacking humans since we don’t have body hair where they can hide.
Thus, fleas will hitchhike onto humans (fleas don’t stay on humans) – during which time they bite the human skin about 2-3 times.
However, whenever disturbed when feeding on your human blood, the fleas will hide under your clothes for a maximum of 24 hours. In addition, when the cat fleas can trace their way out of your clothes, they’ll continue feeding on your blood periodically.
When and Why do Fleas Bite?
Fleas detect the volatile organic compound (VOC) released from the human body, mainly due to body odor and skin flora, and thus are able to readily select their prey.
~~ Fun Facts ~~
– Fleas will suck blood that’s about 15 times their body weight.
– The flea eggs have short spikes that’ll allow the bug to strongly stick on its host.
– After prickling the host’s skin, the flea injects saliva that acts like an Anesthesia. But the saliva may trigger allergic reactions in both humans and pets. Related: Reliable Roach Killers.
Further, adult female fleas require to suck more blood compared to their male counterparts. This is because female fleas require more energy to breed or reproduce.
So, if you’re wondering, flea bites will mainly be small red dots (which may progress into large patches of redness) that arise from skin injury and allergic reactions due to the flea bite.
Definitely, after a flea bite, cat, dog, or human being will scratch their itchy skin and this may result in infections.
- Dermatitis caused by Ctenocephalides felis (cat flea) in human – NCBI
- Insect bite reactions Singh S, Mann BK – Indian J Dermatol Venereol
- Fleas and flea-borne diseases – International Journal of Infectious