How to Get Rid of Fleas on Humans

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.


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.

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. How to 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:

  • Kill the lice. 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. Troipiclean’s 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.

You can, again, use a flea repellent shampoo for pets – it’s only for a short while, so it won’t damage the pH of your scalp or hair.

Or if you prefer to use your own shampoo, add a couple drops of tea tree oil into your shampoo bottle – this stuff is anti-microbial, anti-parasitic and will do its part to keep fleas away.

#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 getting a flea repellent to spray on your clothes and 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 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:

How to get rid of dog fleas

How to get rid of fleas on cats

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.

Leave a Comment:

7 comments
Madie says February 27, 2018

Tea tree oil is toxic to dogs and cats. You can use a small drop in the pet’s bath water. I use tea tree shampoo on myself and my dogs are fine. Don’t use tea tree oil on your pets. It keeps bugs away, but it may hurt your pets.

Reply
Jorge cruz says April 14, 2018

Turpentine, it is amazing in getting them away. I repeat, Yes turpentine.

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julie says November 5, 2018

I’m a human and i very thick hair I’ve had fleas for quite awhile iit sucks my house is clean give me tips or anything help me please I’m tired of getting my mom to buy dawn dish soap its a waste of money might do it for pets but ive tried it don’t help

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Joseph Baldwin says November 6, 2018

Pulex irritans or house fleas are very small. They transmit tape worm, typhus and the plauge having killed more people killed in all the wars throughout history, look it up. This species of flea being 2mm max for a full grown female with males being smaller coupled with the spongy texture of human skin and the fleas natural instinct to pull itself in to a host’s skin allows them to pull themselves inside our skin and move freely about your body to any part of the skin touching air. They will form circle shapes from tiny to two inches in diameter sometimes with larva in the center of the circle sometimes around the outside of the circle in between the layers of skin. The Also sometimes forming straight lines in the skin. They love the feet, hands, and anywhere with hair, but will thrive everywhere on the human body inside the skin, mucus membranes included. I am serious about this subject. I have had these fleas on me fighting them for going on 7 months. Most people don’t think fleas can live in human skin, if you are one of the non-believers you are welcome to look me up on Facebook Joe Baldwin joelinnlama@gmail.com friend request me I have pictures from every month I have been hopelessly infested with pulex irritans. I have been to two hospitals the first one they wouldn’t even get close and absolutely didn’t believe I have fleas. Grady hospital in Atlanta knew I had flea along with a tapeworm aquired from them but had no real solution. Just a giant bill. At this point I would do almost anything to get rid of them and do quite a lot to do so. I only wish that before someone else tells me that fleas can’t live in human skin they might educate them selves because no matter what anyone believes about the nature of pulex irritans I know and can provide several forms of concrete proof that everything I have said above is100% truth. No joke.

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    Barb says December 10, 2018

    I’ve been dealing with them off and on for over 3 years I get rid of them but the nasty things always seem to come back I’m tempted to move to a new place

    Reply
Marty says November 20, 2018

How do keep fleas off a human

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Anonymous says December 10, 2018

This is the umpteenth dozen time that I’ve had fleas all over my body including in some areas that I am totally freaked out about I seem to get rid of them for a few months and then I only notice that I have them again when they get really bad my animals are always flea treated so is my house yet I’m always getting them nobody else does and I’m always called crazy or accused of being on drugs I’m so tired of dealing with this and I don’t know what to do to keep them from coming back HELP!!!!

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