Can Fleas Live in Human Hair?

In this article, we will cover whether or not fleas can live in human hair, how humans get infested by fleas, how to get rid of them, and how to prevent future infestation.
Phyllis McMahon
Phyllis McMahon
Research Writer
Phyllis teaches English Literature at a local college and loves writing in her free time. She’s also a great cook – her British beef Wellington is something the best res read more
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Chas Kempf
Chas Kempf
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Chas works in a professional pest control company and knows all the nuances of this job. Also, he’s a fantastic tennis player and loves to organize BBQ parties for his fam read more
Last updated: September 07, 2023
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Fleas don’t just live anywhere, they take pleasure living on animals with fur. They make hairy animals their host and that’s why you’ll see them mostly on your pets. To make matters worse, they don’t respect humans as a higher animal class – those tiny creatures hunt humans too. Hence, the question: can fleas live in human hair?

But before answering that question, here is another question to be answered: how far can fleas jump? Fleas can jump up to 13 inches, so it’s not difficult for fleas to live in human hair scalp as long as they are in close proximity.

However, in this article, we’ll shed light on what really happens when they make their way to human hair and how to get rid of them. It’s going to be a worthwhile read. Stay tuned!

Can Animal Fleas Live on Humans?

A frequent question people ask is: can dog fleas live in human hair or can cat fleas live in human hair? People are fond of asking about the effect of these two kinds of fleas because they are the most common. Well, they cannot! Pet fleas cannot live in human hair, but they should be prevented.

There are over 2,000 kinds of fleas, but fortunately, humans can only be affected by one kind – the Pulex Irritans Trusted Source ADW: Pulex irritans: INFORMATION . Unlike other fleas, it is capable of surviving in human hair. The Pulex Irritans aren’t picky about which species’ blood to feast on. They feast on the likes of dogs, cats, bats, monkeys, rats, birds, and rodents in addition to humans. The only luck in this kind of flea is that they cannot breed on humans.

Other kinds of fleas use humans as a means of transportation rather than a permanent residence. They don’t spend as much time on humans as they do on animals, even when they are deprived of sucking cat or dog blood, they don’t feast on humans. They cannot live on humans, but they bite the ankle and cause a lot of irritation and itching while traveling through the human hair.

Furthermore, all other types of fleas can only jump on humans when they are careless with their pets.

How Can You Get Fleas?

Most people who have flea problems are those who have been exposed to animals. You can get fleas from your pets’ fur. As previously stated, fleas can jump very high, so they can jump on you when you move close to your pets or when you lay on where your pets have recently laid.

This means that you shouldn’t allow your pets into your bed or couch. It’s understandable that you might not want to be apart from them, but it’s worth it if they have fleas.

On this note, the primary way of getting fleas is going close to an infested pet or lying in the same place an infested pet just got up from.

How Long Can They Live on You?

Another set of questions that are worth getting an answer to is: Can fleas get in human hair and how long can fleas live in human hair after they have jumped on you?

Fleas (apart from the Pulex Irritans) cannot survive on humans, so they leave almost immediately they have bitten your ankle region. But on other animals, they use quite a lot of time. Adult fleas Trusted Source Flea and Tick Control - Kentucky Pesticide Safety Education love to stay with their host for the rest of their lives. They won’t leave unless the animal brushes itself or when a repellant is used on them.

Fleas will bite humans who share an environment with them, especially if they can’t seem to find a preferable host nearby. A flea will usually bite two or three times before fleeing. If it is not disturbed, it can suck human blood for up to seven minutes.

If you’re worried that fleas will choose to live in your hair if they get close enough, be rest assured that it is exceedingly improbable. Fleas are only attracted to animals with densely packed fur. Humans don’t have fur or feathers that permit fleas’ growth and reproduction; in fact, you would have washed them away or scratched them off before they lay eggs.

Are They Dangerous for Humans?

Animal fleas cannot live in human hair, but their bites can cause intense scalp itching, as well as the formation of red welts, lumps, or pus-filled blisters (typically on the scalp). It can cause irritation, redness, and inflammation of the scalp.

Without a microscope or a thorough understanding of fleas’ anatomy, distinguishing between human and animal fleas is impossible. As a result, if you have any of the symptoms stated above, you should get treated before it endangers your health more. You’ll have to consult your doctor if the discomfort and redness persist for more than three days.

How to Get Rid of Fleas

Depending on the host of the infestation, you can take a variety of methods to get rid of fleas such as IGR for fleas. A simple means pet lovers use to get rid of fleas is the use of vet’s best flea and tick home spray – it can be used for an active infestation or prevention.

However, the overall first step to getting rid of fleas is figuring out where they came from. This is not far-fetched as fleas are almost certainly from pets. While you search for signs of fleas throughout the house, confine your pet to a room and attempt the following approaches.


Can Fleas Live in Human Hair?

To get rid of fleas from your pets, do the following:

  • Consult a veterinarian for the safest and most effective flea eradication approach.
  • Wash your pets with a flea comb and leave the soap on them for at least 5 minutes.
  • Use a flea-killing treatment recommended by a veterinarian.
  • Read and carefully follow the instructions written on over-the-counter flea products.
  • When grooming your pet, ensure that the flea removal doesn’t enter into your pet’s mouth, nose, ears, or eyes.
  • Always put on a glove and other protective clothing when grooming your pet.


Can Fleas Live in Human Hair?

While rare, fleas can get in human hair. When there are no domestic pets to feed on, fleas may turn their attention to humans as their next blood meal. To get rid of fleas in your hair, do the following:

  • Wash your hair with shampoo. Ensure you do it right by gently massaging the shampoo into your hair scalp. Having someone by your side when you are washing your hair may also help as there will be an assurance that the shampoo will get to every point in your hair.
  • Tea tree oil, on the other hand, might offer your shampoo an extra push when it comes to getting rid of fleas in your hair. Make sure your pets are kept away from the tea tree oil shampoo if you have them at home.
  • Also, wash your pillows as well as any other household or fashion items that come in contact with your hair regularly.
  • Lastly, if you have a pet at home, there’s a good chance the fleas came from it. It’s critical to conduct a thorough check of your pet every time it returns from a walk in order to avoid additional hair flea infestation.

Your Home

Can Fleas Live in Human Hair?

To get rid of fleas from your home, do the following:

  • If you suspect that fleas are on your bedding, pet, or other household objects, wash them right away.
  • Use a vacuum to remove fleas from your floor and throw the bag away once you’ve finished. You put yourself in danger of future infestations if you retain a flea-infestation bag in your vacuum.
  • Clear the debris from the area around your home.
  • After your cleaning efforts, get a flea trap to see if any new fleas have hatched or developed since your last cleaning. Also, fill up any hole that wild animals might use to gain access to or around your home.
  • Lastly, if the infestation continues after all your efforts, call for the help of a pest control professional. He will assist you in identifying the cause of infestation and developing an efficient treatment strategy to keep them out of your home.

How to Prevent Flea Infestation

You’ll need to take a number of strategies to prevent flea infestation.

Fleas prefer hairs that are thick and unkempt. A flea is more likely to be in your hair if you have a bushy beard, dreadlock, or rough thick hair. As a result, it’s critical to keep your hair clean and combed at all times. A nice idea is to smooth back your hair in a bun so that fleas won’t be able to lodge in.

Also, you can use flea repellent shampoos that are composed of tea tree, rosemary, and eucalyptus – they chase off fleas.

You can also fight off fleas by washing your beddings, towels, and blankets regularly. Fleas can be stopped in their tracks if you wash your clothes after wearing them around your dog and keep your dog away from your clean clothes. Flea prevention requires a high level of cleanliness.

The cleaning doesn’t just stop at you cleaning yourself, towels, bedding, and blackest. You’ll also have to ensure that your floors are vacuumed very well and after every cleaning session, throw the vacuum bag away so as to prevent the fleas from spreading. Fleas break free from their hiding places whenever there is vibration, believing that the vibrations are indicators of nearby hosts, only to be sucked by the vacuum cleaner. You might have to vacuum frequently to suck up all the fleas.

Vacuuming is an excellent approach to prevent fleas, but you’ll also have to deal with soft furniture and textiles that can’t be vacuumed.

Another critical factor that determines how well you are prevented from flea infestation is how well-groomed your pet is. Your pet, unlike you, is the ideal breeding habitat for fleas. They might not be as evident in your dogs as much as how they will be in your hair, and you might not notice until they will jump into your hair. But one simple strategy many dog lovers have used to fight off fleas is the use of Secresto Flea and Tick Collar while cat lovers use Cheristin Flea Treatment.

Petting and combing your pet’s hair can also help you in the early detection of fleas and prevention before they spread.

Another strategy is to isolate your pet from other animals that are already infested.

Finally, going to the veterinarian is a strong strategy to prevent flea infestation; it aids in the early detection of adult fleas or flea eggs. If your pet appears to be scratching excessively, it’s worth taking a closer look at them, either by yourself or a professional.

Final Thoughts

This article dwelt richly on fleas and how they affect humans. It answered the question: can fleas live in human hair and explained how to get rid of them if they come near your dwelling.

Fleas don’t live on humans, but they make use of the body (skin and hair) as a means of transportation after they might have bitten the skin a couple of times.

Fleas can only be gotten from infested pets, so to prevent them, the first thing you must do is to always watch out for your pets. Other prevention strategies were explained in the article.


ADW: Pulex irritans: INFORMATION
Flea and Tick Control - Kentucky Pesticide Safety Education
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