Can Dog Fleas Live in Human Hair?

Fleas from dogs and cats are a plague that many pet owners have had to deal with. Dog fleas in human hair are also a common problem.

Can Dog Fleas Live in Human Hair?

Can Dog Fleas Live in Human Hair?

Fleas from dogs and cats are a plague that many pet owners have had to deal with. The tiny bloodsuckers are widespread. What many do not know: animal fleas can also pose a health hazard to humans. Dog fleas are often found in human hair; the best protection is to keep pets and households flea free.

Dog fleas are in season all year round. The four-legged friends often catch the pests outside in the open air. And once fleas are in the house, a constant flea cycle begins, in which the various development stages of the fleas spread wherever pets like to be. Then the dog fleas to the human hair are not far.

Can Humans Get Fleas From Dogs?

We regularly hear about the consequences that fleas can have on the health of our canine friends: itching allergies. But what about humans? Can we also get fleas?

Humans Can Fall Victim to Fleas Too.

Yes, we, too, can be bitten by fleas; however, these cannot survive in our bodies. The fleas that take up residence in dogs feed mainly on the blood of dogs or cats.

Also, we are not hairy enough to host these parasites. This is because fleas thrive in warm, humid, and dark places, such as in our pets’ fur. This is why the hair is where they find solace for the few dog fleas that make it to the human body. So, if dog fleas were lodged in human hair, a hot shower would be enough to eliminate them.

However, if you usually sleep with your dog or are allowed into living rooms, it is still better to ensure that you administer pest control regularly. Indeed, you may be devoured by several hungry fleas, especially in the legs. In this case,  small pink or red pimples will appear, accompanied by itching.

Also, it is good to know that among all the hundreds of species of fleas that exist, there is one (Pulex irritans) that can live on humans. But in this case, it cannot be transmitted to dogs.

Fleas in Humans: Are There Risks?

Fleas are clever little ones! Fast and tiny, they can sometimes go completely unnoticed. Fleas are small insects, ectoparasites, that live on the surface of the skin of other mammals and feed on their blood. Everyone knows the expression “jump like a flea” or “be excited like a flea,” and for a good reason! Fleas can leap up to thirty centimeters high. They use this asset to their advantage to serve their opportunism. Yes, fleas can change hosts very quickly. That’s why, in just a leap, they can end up from your cat to you. So, is a flea infection dangerous for humans?

Are Dog Fleas Dangerous When in Human Hair?

In dogs, a flea infestation can cause severe damage. Indeed, they cause intense irritation, but they can also cause anemia, particularly in already weakened dogs, such as puppies, elderly or sick dogs.

In humans, the only risk is that the bites will become infected. Indeed, fleas can contain parasites (tapeworms) or bacteria inoculated directly into humans or through contact with dogs, and these bacteria can cause serious illnesses, including murine typhus. For this reason, cleaning the bites well with soap and water is essential, then disinfecting them with an antiseptic lotion. And also, do not scratch it.

Dangers of Living With Fleas.

Human fleas were responsible for transmitting the bacterium Yersinia pestis in the Middle Ages, and this caused the notorious bubonic plague in humans. The “Black Death,” as the plague was called, killed around a third of the European population in the 14th century. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 1000 to 2000 cases of plague occur worldwide annually – mainly in Tanzania, Madagascar, parts of the USA, and Mongolia. You can now treat the disease with antibiotics.

What Diseases Can Fleas Transmit to Humans?

When fleas sting people, it usually becomes noticeable through itching and characteristic skin changes: punctiform redness or blemishes. Several stitches are usually in a row and form the so-called “flea stitch chain.” In addition to the annoying itching sensation, various pathogens can be transmitted to humans when fleas bite.

Human health risks from cat fleas.

Cat fleas, also found in dogs, transmit the bacterium  Rickettsia felis, which can cause fevers with nodular, blotchy skin rashes in humans.

Cat fleas can transmit bacteria of the genus Bartonella henselaeand cause so-called cat scratch disease in humans. A red-brown papule often forms at the flea bite site, which causes swelling of the lymph nodes. The infection usually subsides without any consequences. People with impaired immune systems are particularly at risk.

Fleas can infect people with the cucumber seed tapeworm (Dipylidium cranium) and, in rare cases,  dipylidiasis trigger. What is unique about this is that the cucumber seed tapeworm is not transmitted via a flea bite but through accidental oral ingestion by fleas that harbor infectious worm stages. Children in very close physical contact with their pets are particularly affected. The disease usually remains asymptomatic; occasionally, digestive tract disturbances appear. Symptoms are more muscular only in the case of a massive infestation. The disease in humans is treated with drugs against worms. To avoid infection with cucumber tapeworms, hygiene is essential when dealing with pets. On the other hand,  consistent flea prevention for dogs and cats is helpful.

Fighting Fleas Effectively – for Humans and Animals.

People are mainly attacked by fleas when there are many fleas due to a substantial infestation. Various pathogens can be transmitted to humans and cause health problems. Experts speak of zoonoses in such cases.

To rid pets of pests and thus prevent fleas from attacking humans, all animals in a household should be treated with suitable antiparasitic drugs. In the event of a flea infestation, the control should take 2 to 4 months, which applies to dogs and cats.

However, to make the home environment flea-free again, it is usually not enough to act against fleas that live on the animal. These only make up about 5 percent of the total flea population! The other 95 percent comprises eggs, larvae, and pupae and are located in the vicinity of the infected pet. Therefore, this must also be treated, especially in the favorite places of your four-legged friends. The armchairs, sofas, baskets, or favorite blankets should be thoroughly vacuumed or washed. Also,  treating the area with a fogger or spray may be necessary if the infestation is severe or recurring.

How to Remove Dog Fleas in Human Hair?

All animal fleas, including dog fleas, are known for jumping into human hair when close to animals that have them. Do you want to know how to remove fleas from human hair? Read on and find out how to do it.

What you need

  • Cortisone cream or calamine lotion
  • Lice or flea comb
  • Tea tree oil
  • Shampoo

Steps to Remove Dog Fleas on Human Hair.

Look for flea bites on the scalp and apply a cortisone cream or calamine lotion to them, whichever you prefer. Both options are equally effective.

Pass the comb through each section of the hair. Its fine teeth will catch any fleas that are in your hair. It must be a flea or lice comb. You can find it in any store specializing in pet products or the lice comb in a pharmacy.

Add five drops of tea tree oil to your regular shampoo. It is an oil that is highly effective in fighting, controlling, and eliminating fleas. Wash your hair and let the mixture work for 5 minutes before rinsing it off, rubbing, and massaging well.

Use the comb again after those 5 minutes, and then rinse with plenty of water.

Once the process is finished, wash the comb with hot water mixed with a few drops of tea tree to eliminate any trace of fleas.

You recommend this disinfection with all the combs and brushes used since the fleas reached your hair. Also, wash your bedding to kill any larvae that may have lingered.

Dog Fleas Killing Shampoos for Human Hair.

The fleas usually on human hair are generally the ones that feed on dogs and cats. When people lived on farms, the pig flea had the most affinity for humans in the past. Unlike lice, fleas are not interested in living off you; all they want is to drink some blood and fall again for a walk around the house. Flea-killing shampoos can be dangerous and are not necessary to control fleas.


Most flea-killing shampoos are designed for pets and use an insecticide as an active ingredient. These insecticides are also used on humans to control lice. The two most commonly used in flea-killing shampoos are pyrethrin and permethrin, reports the University of California. The other insecticide found in human shampoos is lindane. All of these agents kill fleas.

Using the Shampoo.

Using flea and lice shampoo with great caution would be best. Even transient contact with the skin causes a certain degree of absorption. Wash your hair in a sink to avoid contact with the shampoo with other body parts. Do it quickly and rinse it off entirely after application. In half an hour, all the fleas or lice should die. Then wash your hair with a non-toxic shampoo and comb through the product before rinsing it out. Although fleas are unlikely to lay eggs on the scalp, pyrethrin and permethrin do not kill the eggs, but a fine comb will remove them.

Toxins and Allergens.

Flea shampoos that use pesticides are toxic and sometimes allergenic to you and your pets. Because these are coved over your entire body, fleas can inhabit them and move between absorbs of blood. For humans, this is more difficult because a simple hairstyle will cause fleas to jump off the scalp. Lice, however, live on the scalp and flea shampoos are effective against them. Do not use flea or lice-killing shampoos on children without first consulting a doctor.

Aromatic Alternatives.

If fleas are the only problem, consider some alternatives to pesticide shampoos. Scents repel fleas, so you can use peppermint, citronella, or lemon with your shampoo to create an aromatic barrier on your scalp.

Besides Shampoo.

Shampoos attack only part of the problem. If a flea bites you, there are many more in the environment, and each one lays about 60 eggs per day. According to the Earth Easy website, these eggs hatch every 90 days, ensuring a steady and increasing rise if left untreated. Measures to control fleas in the environment include washing bedding in hot water, putting flea-killing powder on carpets, and then vacuuming several times to remove dead fleas and eggs. Place a bowl of soap and water near your pet’s bed to attract and drown the adult fleas at night. Diatomaceous earth is a natural product that controls fleas, and you should only leave it in the environment, such as in your pets’ beds.

Frequently asked questions

How Do I Know if I Have Fleas?

First of all, it’s not a myth; flea bites are very itchy. So the little phrase “stop scratching, do you have fleas?” is amply justified. Flea bites appear as bumps. Papules are solid pimples, and that is, there is no flow of fluid. The bumps are pink or slightly protruding read; you can’t miss them! These small bumps appear in privileged areas such as the ankles and legs.

What Are the Complications of a Flea Bite?

Flea bites can lead to complications if you become super-infected, and this is because the skin lesions can worsen and appear with more severe symptoms than the itching, such as fever or anemia. Many infections can be transmitted by fleas, which pass from host to host, such as plague, typhus, or even intestinal worms. To avoid this complication, remember to monitor your bedding closely; minor blood stains reveal clues.

What to Do Against the Invasion of Fleas?

There is no choice when the fleas have invited themselves and recreation on your body: a treatment is needed very fast! Treatment depends on the individual and the degree of infestation. In fact, in all cases, consult your doctor. But you can disinfect the bites with an antiseptic solution. For people with allergies, antihistamines are strongly recommended. Finally, flea bites can lead to bacterial infections. In this case, you’ll need antibiotics! Remember to consult your doctor.

What Is the Most Common Type of Fleas?

The most common flea in pets is the cat flea, and it has no unconditional host specificity and can pass from animals to humans. However, the natural human flea (Pulex irritans) has become rare in Central Europe.

We hope you’ve learned one or two about dog fleas’ infestation on human hair. Do you have any questions? You can ask in the comment section. Also, don’t forget to like and share the article.