How To Treat and Prevent Flea Bites

Flea bites can itch and burn, and those varmints hide in places in your home like carpets, in bedding and on your pets. Although fleas may prefer feasting on the blood of animals, having animals in your house can mean flea bites for humans too. Treatment can be as simple as home remedies, or if home remedies do not prove to be effective, medical attention may be necessary. Through proper action, fleas can be prevented on your pets and in your home.

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Causes

Fleas are very small, brown, parasitic (or blood-sucking) bugs that can leave red, swollen, itchy bites behind. A parasite can't live without feeding on a host animal, such as a pet or a human. Animals and humans can also be hosts for the female flea's eggs to hatch. If you have animals in your home, without proper prevention those animals may be carrying fleas in from outside.

Symptoms

Flea bites may cause localized red bumps, but they may also cause allergic reactions in people with sensitive skin. Even their presence may cause respiratory allergies due to the allergens they produce. Flea bites are most commonly found on the feet and ankles. Though they may itch greatly, the pain involved is minimal.

Treatment

Home remedies should be tried first unless there is an allergic reaction present. Home remedies include calamine lotion or homeopathic remedies like arnica montana to alleviate swelling of bites. If a home remedy is not working seek medical advice. Your doctor may prescribe a cortisone cream to reduce swelling or an antihistamine to reduce itching. Scratching the bites can aggravate them and cause infection. If a rash develops, see a dermatologist to rule out an allergic reaction.

Prevention

According to Dr. Heather Aubrey, D.V.M., of the Village Vet in Los Angeles, "The best prevention for fleas is monthly flea prevention on your pets and regular cleaning of the home, especially carpets, as the eggs can live in carpeting." Fleas can be prevented on the animal itself through several methods. These include topical medication, internal medication, a flea collar or other natural remedies. The key is to prevent fleas on the animal so they do not enter the home and nest in carpets.

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