By the time you’re searching for answers on how to get rid of fleas on humans, you’re solidly in the midst of a flea infestation.
And we feel for you, we really do. Because fleas are the worst. They suck blood and leave insanely itchy bites on you and your beloved furry friends. They jump really high and crawl rapidly away before you can catch and and kill them. Not to mention they breed worse than bunnies do.
So small and yet so massively annoying, fleas are terrible company to have around your home.
Do fleas live on humans?
The good news is that most fleas can’t really survive on human skin, thanks to our relative lack of body hair. That’s why they usually prefer to live on our furry pets (or other pests we have lurking around the house, i.e. rats).
The bad news? There are at least 2,000 species of fleas and at least one of these species find humans to be an acceptable host. And the so-called ‘human flea’ won’t just take a nibble from you occasionally – in worst case scenarios, these fleas may choose you as their new home, living on your clothes and your hair!
It’s not just human fleas, either. If an animal in your house brings in a flea infestation, you’ll also fall on the receiving end of their constant blood sucking attacks. Even worse, if the animal host the fleas were living on suddenly becomes unavailable, they’ll pick up and move to the nearest available source – i.e. you.
Talk about adding insult to injury, right? Not only are you devastated by the loss of a pet, but now you’ve got a flea infestation in your home and in your hair biting you at all hours of the day!
Well, no more. It’s time to unleash the fury on these suckers. And we’re not going for some half-assed approach here – we’re going to pull this problem up by its roots.
How to get rid of fleas on humans
Alright, here’s how you get rid of fleas on humans so they stay away. Permanently.
#1. Run the wash
Before you jump in the shower, the first thing you want to do is run the wash.
When living on a human host, the ‘human flea’ will mostly hang out on your clothing and hair. This arrangement allows them to spend their time close to you so they are in easy reach of their next meal.
This is why the first thing you want to do is to make sure you have flea-free clothes so you’re not slipping on another flea-infested shirt as soon as you wash the fleas off in the shower.
#2. Get rid of fleas in your hair
Most of your body is not a problem – a hot shower or bath and a good soaping will get them off your body.
But if you have a thick head of hair or a full beard, this requires a bit more focused attention. Here’s how to get rid of fleas in your hair.
In the bath or shower, use one of the following to kill the fleas in your hair…
- Flea shampoo: They don’t make flea shampoo for humans so you’ll be using a flea shampoo for dogs. Relax, it’s perfectly safe – especially if you go for a gentle, natural one – human skin is more acidic than dog’s skin which is why you’re not supposed to use human shampoo on dogs (it dries their skin) but you won’t mess up your scalp or hair’s pH by using a dog shampoo a few times. The only downside is that it won’t be formulated for permed or color-treated hair. Richard’s Organics Flea & Ticks Shampoo will get the job done.
- Lice shampoo: Lice killing shampoo will also work – Equate’s is great.
- Dish soap: Dawn dish soap is mild enough to use on your hair and strong enough to kill fleas. Apply it on your hair and leave it in for 10 minutes
- Baking soda and salt pack: This one is not as strongly effective as the others on this list, but it does help. Make a paste by mixing baking soda, salt, and water and then apply the paste to your hair. Leave it for 10 minutes.
If you’re using one of the above shampoos (or the dish soap), take a lice comb and slowly comb your lathered hair from the root all the way out to the tip of your hair. If using the baking soda, rinse it out of your hair before you begin combing.
Keep combing in this way until you’ve removed all the fleas.
After this shampoo and comb session, your hair will be free of fleas – but you’ll want to ensure that it stays that away by switching to a flea-preventing shampoo until your house is clear of fleas.
Or if you prefer to use your own shampoo, add a couple drops of either thyme essential oil or myrtle essential oil into your shampoo bottle. Both of these essential oils have been shown to be effective in repelling fleas.
#3. Keep fleas off your body
You’ve emerged flea-free from the shower and slipped on some freshly washed and dried, flea-free clothes. You’re feeling better than you have in ages – so, how do you stay this way?
For starters, you want to keep the fleas off your body. You can do this by using flea repellent on your clothes and your body. Here are you best options.
Flea Repellent Cream
Sally Ander’s No-Bite-Me Cream is a must have when you’re battling fleas. It uses an all-natural blend of 16 essential oils that does double duty to repel fleas while also stopping the itchiness of already existing flea bites.
You can also get it as a soap and cream set for extra flea bite protection.
Flea Repellent Spray
A flea repellent to spray is a handy option since you can use it on on your clothes as well as your body. Since it’ll be in close contact with your skin, we recommend you get something natural and non-toxic – Amrita’s Bug Be Gone is great and made up of essential oils that repel fleas.
You can also make your own DIY flea repelling spray by getting a spritzer bottle, filling 90% of it with boiled or distilled water and the filling up the remaining 10% with essential oils like thyme oil, tea tree oil, rosemary oil, eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil and citronella oil.
These oils are great for keeping fleas off you and safe enough to use on your skin and even your pets and kids.
If you also suffer from dry skin, another option is Avon’s Skin So Soft – in a study conducted by the University of Florida, using Avon’s Skin So Soft resulted in a 40% drop in the amount of fleas.
#4. Attack the source
Unless you attack at source of the fleas, anything you do will be only temporary. Fleas will continue to breed and multiply in your home and it’ll be a matter of time before you’re back to square one.
If you don’t want to wash your hair with dog flea shampoo forever – you need to treat the source of the fleas. Which will usually be your furry friends.
Here’s how to do it:
Treat all your pets at the same time, even if some don’t show signs of being infested.
#5. Clear your house of fleas
It’s easy enough to get rid of fleas on humans, but if your living environment is infested with fleas that are waiting to jump on your from the curtain, cushions, carpets, and even from your own bed – getting the fleas off yourself will be an ongoing battle…
…unless you clear your house of fleas. Sound intimidating? We got your back and if you follow our free guides, fleas will be out of your life before you know it.
Here’s how you do it:
- How to get rid of fleas on your bed. Human fleas will often hang around in your bed since it’s a convenient place for them to hop on you for their next meal. Even worse – they can lay their eggs on your bed so you want to start here immediately.
- How to get rid of fleas in carpet. Carpet’s another favorite place for fleas to lay their eggs and hang out in – clearing the carpet of fleas will make a huge difference in eliminating the flea population in your home.