Flea bites Can Flea Bites Make You Sick For Long?

Can Flea Bites Make You Sick For Long?

Can flea bites make you sick?

Can flea bites make you sick for long? Yes, but If you wear thick layers of clothes, it will be difficult for the fleas to bite. But if you wear tight-fitting garments like tissue or sticking, tule, it will be easier for the fleas to bite.

Fleas can live on the clothing for 24 hours, and they cannot survive without blood for a more extended period. Apart from this, remember that if they reach your skin, they will bite you, which will not hurt, but you will start itching.

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A little about fleas

Fleas are brownish-black bugs that tend to feed on the blood of pets, livestock, and occasionally, human beings. A fully grown flea is the size of an apple seed and when they feed they turn to a reddish-brown color. They are quick to move and hard to spot on furry animals. Though majorly their feed is dependent on cats, dogs, and other pets, humans are no exception. Flea bites could affect each individual differently depending on they have sensitive skin or on the length and duration of the infestation.

In most cases flea bites can rarely cause major harm, however, in other instances, they could lead to secondary infections and cause health hazards. The real question here is, can flea bites make you sick? And do you need to be worried? To help understand the effects of flea bites, we have categorized fleabites into non-critical and critical types as detailed below:


  • For those with non-sensitive skin, the bites could be painless, last for a day or two, and vanish completely. Most of the time in a situation like this you may not even notice the bites.
  • Fleabites could cause minor sores and mild irritation to the skin for a short period of time. These sometimes are mistaken for mosquito bites due to the similarity in the bites and red bumps on the skin.
  • Rashes, itchiness, and redness around the bites are common with flea bites, and these fade away in a week or faster, especially with over-the-counter creams and medications.

Can flea bites make you sick?


  • In cases where you can’t keep your hands off the bites, which happens a lot, you may end up creating sores that could in turn lead to serious bacterial skin infections and could prolong the recovery time. 
  • Flea bites could cause severe allergic reactions to those who are sensitive to them including skin inflammation, welts, and extreme pain around the bites. These types of cases may be rare but allergies sometimes can be dreadful and get out of hand if not controlled in time.
  • Longer periods of infestations could lead to anxiety and in some cases, depression

Diseases transmitted by fleas

One would never expect anything more than flea bites from fleas. Fleas, however, can be cozy hosts and are also known to be carriers of deadly diseases, which can easily be transmitted through flea bites. Here are some diseases that can be transmitted through flea bites:

  • Bubonic Plague – This is the most widely known disease transmitted through flea bites. Though only a handful of cases are reported each year, this deadly plague was responsible for the epidemic in the 14th century killing almost half of Europe’s population, which was around 25 million people. The plague is usually carried by rodents and transmitted to fleas who bite them & ultimately transfer them to humans and pets through fleabites.
  • Tungiasis – This disease is not common in North America, but with increasing international travel originating from tropical regions one can only be careful. This disease is transmitted by chigger fleas from the sand and affects mainly the feet.
  • Murine Typhus – This again is a rare disease mostly originating in the southwestern states where fleas become infected by rats. Common symptoms include severe headaches, high fever, weakness, chills, and nausea. Thankfully, there is a treatment and patients respond rather quickly to it. 

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Can flea bites make you sick?


Final thoughts

Flea bites are not common and often unharmful. As they say, knowledge is power. It is good to have sufficient knowledge on fleas and flea bites so you know how to identify them, know when their bites could be harmful and cause serious health-related issues. If you feel the bites are not healing fast, visiting a doctor is highly recommended. Taking precautions especially when you have pets at home could help prevent and eradicate infestations. Regular grooming of pets, thoroughly cleaning floors, surfaces, couches, cushions, and your backyard are some preventive measures you may want to start with. 

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