What do Flea Bites Look Like?

Fleas are small insects that cause bother to many due to their bites. If you are bitten by a flea, it can lead to irritation and itching which can be difficult to subdue. Fleas may be more predominant in households that have pets, but having no pets does not mean that you are safe from the flea bites. But how will you know if you've just bitten by fleas?

What do Flea Bites Look Like?

Flea bites are distinguished by small red bumps on the body, commonly found on the ankles, legs, waist, breast, groin, armpits, and/or in between the folds of your knees or elbows. Unlike bites from mosquitos, flea bites remain small and do not enlarge. The bites often also appear clustered together in groups, or they may appear in a straight line.

  • The bites are often extremely itchy, which can lead to an infection if you scratch them too frequently and aggressively.
    The skin around the area of the bites can also become sore, and a rash or outbreak of hives may occur.
  • The most common place for fleas to attack is low on the body, such as the feet and legs, due to the fact they are low on the ground, making them easy targets. If you are still thinking – what do flea bites look like? See the 2 pictures on the left.

Telling the Difference Between Different Bites

1. Tick Bites (Lyme Disease): 

Some tick bites can lead to the development of Lyme's Disease, which will likely be accompanied by a red circular rash around the bite. Other symptoms include fever, fatigue, and headache. This is usually successfully treated with a course of antibiotics.

2. Spider Bites

  • Black widow spider bites: When bitten, you may feel a sharp pain, or it may be painless. It may leave one or two red fang marks at the biting site. The bite may also be red and tender with a nodule.
  • Brown recluse spider bites: These bites may be painless, the skin may become red first, then white, then a blister may form.

3. Chigger Bites

If a chigger has been attached to the skin for a few days and it drops off, it can leave itchy red marks on the surface of the skin, or welts. This condition may spread, and you should seek medical attention if it seems to be spreading.

4. Bedbug Bites

The bedbug, or Cimex lectularius, is a small parasitic creature that feeds on blood, its bite leaving small red, itchy marks on the skin (usually on the shoulders or arms). Although these bites are usually harmless, persistent scratching may lead to an infection.

5. Fire Ant Sting

The sting from a fire ant usually causes red abrasions that are often itchy, painful, and carry a burning sensation. In some instances, pus may fill the area of the sting.

How to Deal With Flea Bites

You should now know the answer to the question "what do flea bites look like?" as well as the knowledge to distinguish different bites. If you know that you have been bitten by a flea, what should you do?

Flea bites will often go away on their own, although it is important to try to restrain from itching them as much as you can. If you notice any signs of infection (such as a rash), then you should visit your doctor as soon as you can. There are some ways you can help top treat a flea bite, a few of which are detailed below:

1. Keep the Bite Area Clean

Wash the bite in warm soapy water, but ensure that the water is not overly hot, as this may lead to aggravation of the skin.

Once you have washed your hands, place an ice pack, or something similar (such as a bag of frozen peas), onto the bite to reduce inflammation. Hold the ice on the area for around 10 minutes, and then remove it. Repeat this process twice within an hour to achieve the best results.

2. Try Using Lotion or Cream

Calamine lotion and hydrocortisone cream can both be helpful in treating a flea bite and both can easily be picked up over the counter. Calamine lotion helps to reduce itchiness when applied to the area of the bite, simply place a small amount onto your finger and gently rub over the bite.

3. Speak with Your Doctor or Pharmacist About Further Treatment

In severe cases, the itchiness experienced from a bite can be so intense that you may require medication to resolve the itchy sensation. Your doctor may prescribe you with oral antihistamines to help provide relief from itching. Some medications of this type include diphenhydramine, which is fast acting but has the side-effect of drowsiness; Tripelennanamin hydrochloride, which is similar to diphenhydramine, and hydroxyzine, which is only available via prescription.

4. Home Remedies

There are numerous home remedies that you can try, including:

  • Aloe Vera gel: Rub Aloe Vera gel or leaf onto the bite.
  • Herbal tea: Use green, black, comfrey or fresh lavender tea to soak your bites in (just make sure the water isn't too hot). You can also place teabags onto the bite to obtain relief.
  • Healing plants: Crushing the leaves of calendula flowers or basil and rubbing the crushed leaves onto the bite can be a great natural remedy.
  • Other remedies: Other remedies include coconut pulp, oatmeal bath, and Echinacea.

Preventing Flea Bites

As mentioned, fleas are more predominant in houses with pets. You should always check your pets for fleas. If you believe your pet has fleas then you should remove them from your house and have them treated. Just as there are clear answers to what do flea bites look like, there are also great answers to "how can I prevent flee bites?"

1. Use Lemon

Fleas hate the smell of lemon. Cut six lemons in half and boil them in water, then allow them to sit in the water overnight. Grab a spray bottle and place the liquid within in, and viola, you have a natural flea repellent that you can spray onto your vulnerable areas.

2. Use Essential Oil Diffuser

Placing diffuser around your home containing oils such as lavender, lemon, peppermint, eucalyptus, will help to repel fleas.

3. Use Insecticides

If fleas are present then it may be wise to use insecticides, although always consider the potential hazard associated with this, and always read the label.

4. Ensure to Give Your Pet a Flea Bath

You should regularly wash your pet with shampoo that works to kill fleas, eggs, and larvae. Ensure that you follow the directions carefully, and make sure to wash your pet frequently, as the effect of the shampoo will never be permanent, and further infestation may occur.

 
 
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