Why Do Flea Bites Itch

Why Do Flea Bites Itch? How Do I stop it?

The legs of fleas have strong claws and proboscis (tiny needles) that’ll help the pest bite the skin of the hosts such as cats, dogs, and even humans.

Why do flea bites itch? Well, fleas will bite humans and pets where they’ll secrete some saliva into the blood – which the host’s body and blood take as an allergen.

The immune system will send histamine to counter the allergen (flea saliva) and thus the chemical triggers itching and swelling. 

Details: Why Do Flea Bites Itch?

The flea saliva will be taken like an allergen triggering your immune systems to release histamine that will irritate your skin and trigger itching.

But how will flea bites appear on humans? You’ll notice the flea bites are discolored, small bumps that could be in the form of a cluster or line.

  • Flea bites will likely be on the human ankles, calves, and feet. So, rarely will the flea bites be found above the human knees unless the person is lying down or sitting down.

Itching & Scratching – How Else Can you Identify Flea bites

Fleas bites are unlike other insect bites – I’ve noted above that they’ll be discolored (small) bumps on your skin that’ll be itchy, and may trigger scratching. 

  • Further, you may see come discolored rings that could develop around the flea bite area.
  • However, flea bites won’t cause swelling like other insects bites such as by mosquitoes. 

Also, the location and pattern of the flea bites will be unique compared to other insects – the flea bites appear in a cluster or on some straight line.

  • On location, flea bites largely appear on the human ankles, calves, and feet – below your knees.

Thus, I would recommend you inspect for flea on the pets including cats & dogs. Check if the pers are restless or scratching – this could be indicators of flea bites. 

Related: What Do Flea Eggs Look Like on a Dog?


Flea Bites Won’t Stop itching; What Should I do?

First, I must say that it isn’t advisable to see those flea bite areas. This could lead to skin breakage and may trigger further infection.

  • However, if you break the skin, I advise you to clean the area using some soap & water and finally cover the bite area using a bandage.

Further, a doctor can help in easing the pain or itching caused by flea bites.

  • Despite that flea bites will raim just a number of days. You may use home remedies and OTC products to help in stopping the itching.

Although some DIY fleabites treatment options could work well, you should counsel the healthcare professionals prior to using such products to avoid allergic reactions.

1. Hydrocortisone – The corticosteroid Hydrocortisone when mixed with some anesthetic will help relieve the pain from flea bites. 

  • Also, the Hydrocortisone combination will relieve the swelling. I advise you to apply that combination on the flea bite like an ointment or cream. 

2. Antihistamines – An antihistamine, as noted earlier, will help ease the pain caused by flea bites.

  • The immune systems will release the histamine chemical (which causes itching) once it reaches an allergen – the flea saliva is taken like an allergen by the immune system. 
  • Thus, the antihistamine drug or pill will counter the histamine (once applied on the flea bite).

3. Chamomile tea – Using some chamomile flowers that are dried will have flavonoids and terpenoids that will work as a natural antihistamine or antioxidant.

  • Further, a DIY technique that you can use is to add the tea bag (with chamomile) into some water.
  • Allow that teabag to settle for about 20 minutes up to the right color (gold-brown).
  • Next, get that teabag out of the water and squeeze all the water from that teabag.
  • Finally, press that tea bag onto the flea bite allowing about 10 minutes before wiping the flea bite clean.

3. Ice – Presing ice packs on a flea bite (or any skin locations) will cut the blood volume that flows to that location. This reduced blood will reduce itchiness, swelling, inflammation, and pain.

  • You should cover that ice pack with a light towel before placing it on the flea bite for about 10 minutes – this will provide excellent relief. 

Use the ice pack or some towel-wrapped frozen vegetables wrapped to help ease the skin numbness, relieve swelling, and soothe your skin irritation. 

4. Oatmeal – Oat flakes and oatmeal have long been used for soothing itching, rashes, and skin irritation – and it’ll be helpful with flea bites. 

  • You can use a number of products that contact oat flakes or oatmeal; these include products like shampoo, body wash, and lotion. 

Otherwise, for oatmeal, mix some warm water with 1-2 tablespoons of the oatmeal before soaking your lower legs or feet in that solution for about fifteen minutes. 

  • Also, you may grind the oatmeal into some colloidal oatmeal (fine powder) using some appropriate food processor such as a blender. 
  • Then create some sticky (thick) oatmeal mixed with water and the colloidal oatmeal. 
  • Finally, cover the flea bites using the colloidal oatmeal mixture – and allow about ten minutes before wiping off that oatmeal mixture from the flea bite. 

5. Aloe vera – Aloe vera is widely used as a DIY treatment for sunburns but it’s also an important remedy to treat flea bites.

  • You’ll simply apply the alow vera gel onto the flea bite to ease the discomfort, itchiness, and redness.

The succulent Aloe vera gel has salicylic acid – this is what will reduce pain and itchiness when applied on the flea bite.

6. Honey  – Honey is also a popular product in DIY remedies and it has antimicrobial properties that will help ease pain and itching.

  • The catalase enzyme in the hone will help ease the pain and skin inflammation.

I recommend using unprocessed honey onto the flea bite – and you may put some bandage on the flea bite as not doing it may cause messy stickiness.

Preventing Fleas Bites

You can stop flea bites on both humans and pets using a combination of techniques. But first, you may examine the fur on your pet’s belly, back, neck, and ears. 

1. Vacuum  – Flea vacuuming your space will help clean the fabric furniture, rugs, and carpets besides removing the favorable conditions for the living of fleas. 

2. Wash Pet bedding – Next, you can prevent flea bites by cleaning the spaces that act as their rearing ground – this includes the pet bedding. 

  • Thus, the fleas will be cleaned from the bed bedding and thus won’t bite pets or get to you or other pets that they can bite. 
  • Ensure that the pet bedding is adequately cleaned and dried using the heat setting being at its highest – disposing of the allowable temperature for the fabric. 

3. Flea Shampoo – Further, you can flea comb your pets including brushing the fleas’ fur as this helps remove fleas.

Read Also: Collar for Dogs


Fleas will be attracted to your spaces (and bite you or your pets) by a number of factors such as vibrations, movement, breathing (CO2 – carbon dioxide), and body heat.