What Are the Signs of an Allergic Reaction to Fleas?

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  • Written By: Jamie Nedderman
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 15 October 2019
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Allergic reactions to fleas typically occur from contact with the anti-coagulant that the flea injects into the bite, or to other animals bitten by the flea in the past. Signs of an allergic reaction to fleas may be a more severe bite, a red rash at the site, or in severe cases, hives and swelling. Bites are located in clusters and may be a white or red bump. Prevention means treating the source of the fleas, and alleviating the itching until the bite heals.

Most people will not see just one bite, but several in clusters. Usually bites are located near where elastic bands rest on the body, such as around socks and underwear. The bite will appear as a a slightly raised bump, with either a white or red tone. There are several insect bites that look like a bite from a flea, but are actually from another bug such as bed bugs and flies.

An allergic reaction to fleas is usually not an allergy to the flea itself, but to chemicals in its saliva, which act as an anti-coagulant to blood flow. In addition, people with allergies to dogs or cats may have a reaction to the dog or cat that was bitten in the past by the same flea. Most likely, allergic reactions will appear as just a larger, itchier bite.


There are other types of allergic reactions than the more severe bite site. Another sign is a red rash at the area around the bite. Extreme allergies appear after the bite with hives and swelling.

Preventing an allergic reaction to fleas involves treating the source. Fleas rarely feed on a human as an initial host, so pets should be checked and treated by a veterinarian. Various methods of treating pets with fleas are available. Extended time outdoors or exposure to other animals may also be the culprit. Fleas can live a long time without feeding, so household items will need treatment once an infestation is known.

Once bites are discovered, treating an allergic reaction to fleas becomes a priority. The bite and the area around it should be washed with water and antibacterial soap. Cold compresses can be applied to reduce itching, as well as topical creams and oral antihistamines. Scratching will lead to the wound opening and possibly an infection, so it should be avoided. Healing generally takes about one week, but may take up to three.


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Post 3

@umbra21 - Well, barring a situation where it's not an option, I would almost always go with the flea repellent that you squirt onto the animal that lasts for three months.

I mean, it doesn't matter if they are in the garden or the house or where ever, if the pet goes there, they will try to bite it and they will be killed. Absolutely the best way to get rid of them.

As for the bites and reactions, I would use a nappy rash cream on them. It's gentle and it'd really good at staving off an infection.

I'm not sure if taking an anti-allergy tablet might work as well. Obviously if you've got a more severe allergy, you

should make sure you keep your medication on hand, because you'll never know when you might encounter a flea bite.

All it takes is one person with a dog at home who carries a flea to work in their wool sweater.

Post 2

@Mor - It's not completely harmless since it can be very irritating to the eyes and if someone is already having an allergic reaction to fleas they might be extra sensitive. I would use it with caution at first.

I've always found mint to be the most effective flea control you can get out of the garden. For a while I was living with my stepmother and she had lots of cats and didn't do much to control their fleas so my ankles were pretty raw from the bites (gross I know). I looked up remedies online and sprinkled mint leaves in my room and they pretty much cleared right up.

Post 1

Something I don't think a lot of people realize is that fleas can actually live in the garden as well. They often infest long grass, so it's a good reason to cut your grass short before letting your pet play in it.

I know a few households where they have completely cleaned the whole house of fleas several times and been re-infested because of that.

If you buy buy diatomaceous earth that is a pretty good way of getting rid of unwanted insects in the garden. Just be careful of where you spread it, because you don't want to decimate the entire insect population in your backyard.

You can use it inside as well, since it's harmless to pets and people, but deadly to insects.

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