How to Treat Flea Bites

Three Methods:Proven RemediesHome RemediesPreventing Bites

If you have dogs or cats in your home, then you know that fleas can hitch a ride into your living space. Fleas ignore some humans while feasting on others, leaving behind inflamed, itchy red bumps, usually around the the ankles and feet. If you're fighting fleas on your pets as well as flea bites on yourself, try a mix of tried-and-true as well as natural solutions to treat flea bites and find some relief from the itching.

Method 1
Proven Remedies

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    Wash the area of the flea bite with warm soapy water. Apply an antiseptic and an ice pack to reduce the swelling.
    • If you don't have an icepack, just wrap some ice in an elastic bandage or place it in a plastic bag. You can also use a bag of frozen vegetables.
    • Put the ice on for 10 minutes, then remove it for 10 minutes. Repeat this cycle twice over the course of an hour.[1]. Make sure that the water is not too hot as this can actually aggravate the inflamed areas on your skin. [2]
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    Try calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream. Either of these ointments, which you can get at your local drugstore, may ease the itching of your flea bite.
    • Hydrocortisone is a mild steroid cream, while calamine lotion uses ferric oxide to treat mild itchiness. Both are available over-the-counter (OTC) and are safe to use in quantities directed by the manufacturer.
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    Ask your doctor or pharmacist about antihistamines for severe itching. Sometimes, flea bites itch so severely that you need to take an oral antihistamine. Your doctor or pharmacist can provide suggestions for OTC or prescription solutions. Some antihistamines that you might consider include:
    • Diphenhydramine. Diphenhydramine is OTC and provides quick relief for most itching, but often makes users drowsy. Look for the non-drowsy version.
    • Tripelennamin hydrochloride is another OTC drug, and similar to Diphenhydramine. Tripelennamin hydrochloride is taken orally.
    • Hydroxyzine is prescription only. If your itching becomes severe and you need relief that OTC antihistamines can't give you, ask your doctor about Hydroxyzine, which works by reducing the natural histamines in the body.
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    Avoid scratching in and around the affected area. It can damage the skin and allow infection to occur. Use an over the counter itch relief product like Calamine lotion or one containing hydrocortisone to relieve the itching instead.[3]

Method 2
Home Remedies

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    Apply some aloe vera gel to your bites. You can either break apart an aloe vera leaf and rub the gel onto your bites or use a commercially bottled aloe vera gel.
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    Wash the bites with tea. You can wash with green or black tea, comfrey tea or a tea made from fresh or dried lavender flowers. Alternatively, you can place used tea bags directly onto the bites.
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    Crush the leaves of healing plants and rub them on the bites. Try crushed basil or calendula flowers. You can also try just a drop or 2 of basil oil.
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    Take a tepid oatmeal bath. You can make an oatmeal bath on your own, or you can buy the oatmeal bath at your local grocery or drugstore. Tepid water is important. Hot water has a tendency to dry your skin out.
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    Try echinacea. Make or buy a tincture of echinacea and put just a few drops onto the bite. You can also make a skin wash from fresh echinacea flowers and warm water.[4]
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    Use coconut pulp. Mash the coconut up, and then put the pieces in the blender, shell and all. After you blast it, you should have a nice pulp, and this is what you are going to use to treat your flea bites. Rub the paste onto the affected areas, and wrap in a towel for about an hour, and then just wash it off. You should do this about three times and you should notice the swelling of the bites reducing in that time. Then just do it again before you go to bed and you should be almost all clear in the morning. If not, just repeat the process.

Method 3
Preventing Bites

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    Eat a lot of garlic. For some reason, fleas don't relish the taste of garlic. So prepare a your favorite Italian dish, or make Moules Marinieres, and sop up all that garlicky goodness with some garlic bread. Don't give any garlic to your dogs, however, as garlic is toxic to them.
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    Make a citrus spray. Fleas dislike citrus smells. Slice a lemon into thin pieces, add it to some water and heat to a boiling point. Let it sit overnight and, in the morning, spray it onto areas where you suspect fleas hang out (the ankles and the arms especially). This should help prevent future flea bites and make you smell nice in the bargain!
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    Use essential oils to dissuade fleas from biting you. Several essential oils help ward off fleas because of their strong smell. Use this to your advantage. Create tinctures or mix the essential oil directly onto your skin for relief from fleas.
    • Use eucalyptus oil on problem areas. Eucalyptus oil is another offensive smell for fleas. Take a little bit of eucalyptus oil, mix it into a spray bottle with some water, and spray onto ankles and arms.
    • Use lavender oil on problem areas. Lavender oil, like eucalyptus oil, is offensive to fleas. Apply as you might eucalyptus oil.
    • Use cedarwood oil on problem areas. Alternately, sprinkle a few cedar chips in your pillow, at the base of your bed, etc. to discourage the fleas from living in the area.
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    Check out some other ways to fight fleas.
    • Solve flea problems naturally. Click here for an article on how to get rid of fleas naturally.
    • Eradicate fleas in different ways. Click here for an article on how to generally fight fleas.
    • Make a flea trap. Click here for ideas on how to make a flea trap.


  • Dogs are playful animals and are often found sniffing and exploring unusual places. They tend to sniff under the trash bins, below the ledges and mysterious corners of porches and sheds and love digging up the soil. These places are home to a number of insects which will not hesitate to bite the unsuspecting, curious pooch.
    • At one time or another, this adventurous behavior will lead to insect bites on your dog. However, you may think of it as a minor insect bite, many insect bites on dogs lead to numerous reactions and dog allergies. It is important to recognize and understand the types of bites and their possible symptoms.
  • Purchase a flea powder and apply to carpets. Then vacuum It up! Chop up a flea collar into small pieces and insert in your vacuum cleaner bag. This will kill fleas or eggs that hatch in the vacuum cleaner.
  • Vacuum your house and pet bedding often, and discard the bag. It may contain fleas and flea eggs.
  • To calm flea irritation and prevention, apply tea tree oil with tea tree lotion and massage gently onto the irritated skin before going to bed. If irritation continues, place a cold pack on skin.
  • Set off a flea bomb for serious infestation. Be sure to follow package directions.
  • Make a special ointment mixed with lemon juice hydrocortisone cream and hot wet tea bags and put it in a bottle and spray all over your body. Avoid scratching. Only take cold showers.
  • Take your pets to a veterinarian to obtain treatment for flea infestations.
  • If you observe insect bites on a dog's belly, it means that the dog has been bitten by either wasps or ants. Bees also sting on the hairless areas of the dog. The most common place to observe insect bites on dogs is on the face, head or areas around the mouth. Stings and insect bites on dogs results in inflammation and pain. This may take about an hour to subside.
    • In cases where the dog is bitten by honey bees or wasps, there will be redness and the sting site will feel hot to the touch. If the stinger is left behind, it contains muscle tissues that keep contracting and injecting more venom into the dog. The best way to remove the stinger is scrapping it off using a credit card or a similar object. Do not use a tweezers to pull out the stinger as it may cause the stinger to release more venom.
  • Insect bites on dogs are usually due to the sting of bees, wasps, hornets or ants. If your dog is bitten by any of these insects, he may show symptoms within 20 minutes of the bite. You should keep a close watch on your dog as mild symptoms develop after 12 - 24 hours.


  • See your doctor if you see pus oozing from your flea bite. Pus could indicate a secondary infection.

Things You'll Need

  • Warm soapy water
  • Antiseptic
  • Ice pack
  • Calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream
  • Antihistamine
  • Aloe vera gel
  • Black or green tea, comfrey tea or lavender tea
  • Crushed basil or calendula flowers
  • Echinacea tincture or skin wash

Article Info

Categories: Stings Bites and Burns