How to Keep Fleas Off Me - Tips to Prevent Fleas on Humans
Flea bites can lead to severe itching and discomfort, often resulting in skin infections and allergic reactions. More worryingly, fleas are carriers of numerous serious diseases which can negatively affect human health. To prevent fleas and significantly reduce the risk of potentially dangerous health complications, you need to be proactive. In this article, we’ll explain why fleas might be attracted to you, how to prevent infestation, and how to treat flea bites.
What Are Fleas and Why Are They Attracted to Humans?
Fleas are tiny, wingless insects that live as external parasites on mammals and birds. They survive by ingesting the blood of their hosts and are instinctively attracted to warm-blooded animals, including humans. With specifically designed mouths, fleas pierce the skin of the host and feed on the blood beneath.
Fleas can thrive in both the home and outdoor spaces. Indoors, fleas have a higher risk of breeding if there are pets in the home, especially those that spend time outdoors or come into contact with other animals. Poor cleanliness can also contribute to flea infestations. Outdoor areas with high humidity and moderate temperatures provide ideal breeding grounds. The same can be said for areas frequented by animals, such as parks or public gardens.
6 Ways to Prevent Fleas on Humans
Here are the six main methods for preventing fleas, including how to check for fleas, how best to groom pets to prevent fleas, the use of flea traps, and some natural methods for flea prevention.
Wear Protective Clothing
Protecting your skin from fleas is crucial, especially in areas where they’re prone to bite. Opt for long-sleeved shirts and long pants to provide maximum coverage. Also, light-colored clothing can make it easier to spot any fleas, allowing you to take immediate action and prevent them from reaching your skin. Often, fleas target the lower legs and feet. For that reason, protect these areas with long socks under long pants.
Check for Fleas Regularly
Regularly inspecting both your body and clothing for fleas is crucial to prevent infestations and protect your family's health. By being vigilant you can easily identify signs of fleas and take immediate action to get rid of them. First, keep an eye out for fleas hopping around or crawling on your body or clothes. Secondly, look out for flea dirt, which appears as tiny black specks resembling pepper flakes, on your skin or clothing. Lastly, flea eggs indicate that a flea infestation has been present for a while. The tiny, white, oval-shaped eggs are about the size of a grain of sand. Remember, early detection is key in preventing an infestation and protecting yourself from the discomfort and potential health risks associated with fleas.
Regularly Wash and Groom Pets
The rapid spread of fleas from household pets to the home isn’t a coincidence. Flea eggs are easily dislodged from an animal's fur and are the main culprits behind spread and infestation. When a dog becomes infested with fleas, for example, the tiny flea eggs fall onto the ground, rugs, beds, furniture, and even your own person.
Unfortunately, fleas not only cause discomfort and skin issues for both dogs and humans, but they also pose some serious health risks. Apart from itching and skin problems, fleas can also transmit dangerous canine diseases such as tapeworm. Maintaining the cleanliness of our pets with regular washing and grooming – is of utmost importance to prevent the occurrence and spread of fleas.
To ensure that your pets and homes remain safe from flea-related health issues, it’s also crucial to acknowledge the significance of vet-recommended flea treatments such as Frontline or NexGuard. This way, your furry companions will not only be protected against fleas but also their overall well-being and health will be ensured.
Maintain a Clean Home and Yard
Maintaining a clean home environment is crucial in preventing flea infestations. By following a few simple tips, you can ensure that your living space remains free from these tiny pests. Regular vacuuming is essential, as it helps to remove any fleas or eggs that may be hidden in carpets, rugs, or upholstery. Just as importantly, remember to empty your vacuum bag regularly.
Additionally, washing bedding, especially pet bedding, can help eliminate any fleas that may have made their way into your home. Washing all bed sheets, blankets, upholstery, etc., with detergent on a hot cycle and using a dryer right after washing is the most effective method. The reason being, the fleas won’t survive the heat. Also, give your mattress a thorough vacuum, paying close attention to the seams and underside.
Decluttering is also important, as it reduces hiding places for fleas and makes it easier to spot any signs of infestation.
Lastly, don’t neglect yard maintenance. Mowing the lawn regularly and removing any debris or clutter from your yard can stop fleas from taking up residence in outdoor spaces, especially if you have pets.
Use Flea Traps
Flea traps are specially designed gadgets which can be either store-bought or homemade. They catch and trap adult fleas, killing them and preventing them from breeding, spreading, and causing a wider infestation in the home. They attract the fleas with a mixture of light and heat, simulating a human or animal body, and usually have some kind of sticky surface or liquid to capture them. The best places to set such traps are anywhere animals congregate, such pet bedding, where pets eat, and any furniture they might utilize.
Equally, if you’ve noticed a particular area of infestation in the home, focus here. Making a homemade flea trap is as simple as a shallow dish of water with a dash of washing-up liquid, and a candle placed in the middle. The heat and light will attract the fleas and trap them in the soapy water.
Consider Natural Remedies
Some holistic solutions can prevent fleas from infesting your home as effectively as store-bought products. Essential oils like lavender and eucalyptus possess natural insect-repellent properties. Just be sure to check with a vet if you have pets as some essential oils aren’t good for animals.
Herbal flea collars are also available and infused with botanical extracts to protect your furry friends without the use of harsh chemicals. Additionally, incorporating insect-repelling plants such as rosemary, mint, and chamomile into your garden can create a natural barrier against fleas.
Here at NatPat, we have repellent patches for adults and children which help deter fleas from biting. They use natural essential oils to infuse medical grade skin tape which confuses the insects’ sense of smell and encourages them to stay clear of the person wearing the patch. Better still, they’re drug-free.
How to Deal With Flea Bites On Humans
Flea bites can be incredibly irritating, causing intense itching. These bites typically manifest as a red, swollen bump that forms within just thirty minutes of being bitten. As time passes, the bump may transform into a blister. It's worth noting that flea bites tend to occur in clusters, and are commonly found on the feet, ankles, and legs.
If you’ve been bitten by a flea, here are some tips and tricks to help:
- Wash the bites with an antiseptic soap and water to best prevent infection.
- Apply a cold/ice pack to reduce any swelling or irritation in the immediate aftermath.
- Try to avoid hot showers as they can make itching worse.
- If you notice severe swelling that doesn’t subside, an open wound forming from the bites or discharge, seek medical attention as you may have an infection or be experiencing a bad reaction to the bite.
Empower Yourself Against Bugs Naturally
Fleas can cause many problems in the home for both humans and animals. It’s essential, therefore, to know how to prevent flea infestations and provide relief and treatment for any bites that do occur. Although you may be tempted to use highly medicated products to treat flea bites, here at NatPat we offer a range of effective drug-free products to help you. Check out our full range here.
What keeps fleas off your body?
Wearing long sleeves and trousers with long socks, as well as using repellent products like our buzz patches, or essential oils to ward away fleas and other biting insects.
What can I put on my skin to keep fleas off?
Store-bought repellent sprays and creams can contain harsh chemicals. However, using essential oils or other drug-free products like our repellent patches for adults and children are a safer way to effectively keeping fleas at bay.
What scent do fleas hate?
There are many scents that can help keep fleas away from your home and garden. Natural scents such as mint, clove, eucalyptus, lavender, and red sage are all good examples. These plants can be planted directly into your garden or as essential oils in the home.
How do I make fleas hate me?
Using any of the repellent strategies discussed in this article will help keep fleas away from you and pets. Fleas will hate being around your home and there will be far less chance of an infestation.