How to cure flea bites

Updated March 23, 2017

The itching, swelling, painful bites that fleas leave are difficult to get rid of. Without treatment, they can be bothersome. Scratching the itch can lead to infection and scarring. Fortunately, there are several expensive commercial cures for flea bites. However, there are also more affordable treatments that work just as well.

Keep the area clean. Use the soap, water and wash cloth to frequently cleanse the bite area. Keep your hands clean as well--scratching with unclean hands may lead to an infection.

Use the hydrocortisone. Apply it sparingly over the bite area. Hydrocortisone will reduce swelling in and around the bite. It will also help with the itch. Take as directed.

Take the oral antihistamine. The most severe bites are usually aggravated by an allergy to fleas. The antihistamine will reduce these symptoms, but they may also cause drowsiness. Oral antihistamines brands include benadryl and Chlortrimeton. Store brands work just as well. Take as directed.

Call your doctor if the bite shows signs of infection (severe swelling, pain, oozing or fever) or if the itch is too severe to stand. Most doctors will prescribe antibiotics for infection or a steroid shot to relieve these symptoms.

Mix one part apple cider vinegar to two parts water. Pour mixture into a spray bottle, and use to saturate the flea bites. Do not use on open sores, as the vinegar will sting.

Boil a cup of water. Place the lemon peel from one lemon in the water. Cover and steep overnight. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and saturate the bite. You can also dab the mixture onto the bite with a washcloth.

Make a paste with baking powder and water. Cover the flea bite with the paste. It will relieve the pain of the bite and some of the itching.


Between treatments, wash the bite with soap and water to prevent infection. Do not use acidic remedies such as the apple cider vinegar and lemon water on a flea bite that has broken the skin. Adhere to the instructions on the antihistamines, cortisone and steroids to prevent damage from overuse and overdose. Consult a veterinarian for severe flea infestation and bites in pets. See your doctor for severe infestation in humans.

Things You'll Need

  • Soap
  • Water
  • Washcloth
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Oral antihistamine
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Lemon peel
  • Baking powder
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About the Author

Jonita Davis is freelance writer and marketing consultant. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications, including "The LaPorte County Herald Argus" and Davis also authored the book, "Michigan City Marinas," which covers the history of the Michigan City Port Authority. Davis holds a bachelor's degree in English from Purdue University.