We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Are the Signs of an Allergic Reaction to Fleas?

By Jamie Nedderman
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

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.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By croydon — On Jun 09, 2013

@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.

By umbra21 — On Jun 09, 2013

@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.

By Mor — On Jun 08, 2013

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.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.