Fleas (Pulex irritans) are biting insects that live on the blood of humans and animals. Although we commonly think of fleas biting our pets and causing them to scratch, humans are not immune as a target for fleas. If you are outside a lot or have pets, you may need to use a natural flea repellent for humans to protect yourself.
We find fleas outdoors, where they thrive in warm environments, making them a pest in the summertime for most of the United States. It’s easy for fleas to hitch a ride on your pet’s fur or clothes to make it inside your home.
Humans dealing with fleas is not as commonly discussed as we are not the ideal target. Compared to a dogs coat that offers fleas a place to hide and burrow, adult fleas have less protection to feed and lay eggs if they feed on humans.
- Homemade Flea Repellent for Humans
- Do Clothes Protect Us from Fleas?
- Can Fleas Live on Humans?
- Passively Repel Fleas by Eating Garlic
- Neem Oil: A Natural Flea Repellent for Humans
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Essential Oil Flea Repellent for Human Skin
- Basil Essential Oil
- Repelling Fleas with Rosemary
- Homemade Lavender Lotion
- Keep Fleas Away with a Flea Bracelet
- Control Fleas with Rosemary Oil
- Cedar Oil for Flea Control
- Homemade Flea and Tick Repellent
- Flea and Tick Home Spray
- Natural Coconut Oil Spray
- The Danger of Flea Bites
- Repelling Fleas Outside the Home
Homemade Flea Repellent for Humans
Using a flea repellent you make at home involves ingredients that fleas don’t like and avoid. Many plants contain essential oils inside their leaves that repel fleas due to their strong smells. Lucky for us, these smells have a pleasant scent despite being repulsive to fleas.
While it’s pretty easy to make a dog shampoo for fleas and ticks for our furry friends, what about us? We don’t want fleas either.
Do Clothes Protect Us from Fleas?
If you have a flea infestation in the house, covering as much skin as possible seems like the obvious way to avoid flea bites. While covering up with clothes provides some protection from fleas, it isn’t a perfect defense against insects like fleas and ticks.
Fleas can’t burrow through most clothing items, but they can get through thin fabrics, and once underneath a material that is tight to the skin, the pressure keeps fleas in place, allowing them to bite continuously. For the best protection against fleas, wear long pants with the ends tucked into your socks around the house.
Can Fleas Live on Humans?
While the types of fleas that live on dogs and cats aren’t likely to live and thrive on humans, another type of flea is known as the human flea. The chigoe flea, is well-suited to live on humans.
Fleas can find their way inside if you have a full beard or dense hair. Despite fleas having a food source of blood from humans, our blood does not provide adult fleas with the proper nutrients to lay flea eggs.
Passively Repel Fleas by Eating Garlic
If you’re dealing with an infestation of fleas in or around your home, try increasing your garlic intake. The smell of garlic is harsh, and many insect pests dislike it.
Many gardeners plant garlic around their homes to ward off insects like mosquitoes, but eating garlic is one way to keep biting insects like fleas from feeding off you. Consuming garlic, or garlic capsules, causes your body to emit a scent that fleas avoid.
Neem Oil: A Natural Flea Repellent for Humans
Like garlic, neem oil has a strong smell that various insects dislike. Neem oil is a cold-pressed oil from the seeds and fruit of the neem tree.
To use neem oil as a homemade flea repellent for humans or as a chigger repellent for humans, rub a few drops of the oil onto exposed skin. Neem oil is also effective when used with a carrier like almond oil. If diluted with water, use neem oil as a flea treatment for dogs in place of commercial flea shampoo.
Neem oil also makes an effective bed bug spray for furniture, bedding, and carpeted areas.
Apple Cider Vinegar
When it comes to scents that fleas hate, vinegar is among the most accessible, as many homes have a bottle in the kitchen. White distilled vinegar works fine to repel fleas; however, apple cider vinegar has a more pleasant scent for skin application.
Using a funnel, pour water and vinegar into a spray bottle, followed by the neem oil. Shake well to combine before spraying on clothes and exposed skin to protect yourself from fleas.
Essential Oil Flea Repellent for Human Skin
When it comes to home remedies for repelling fleas, essential oils are among the best options. The oils come from various plants and combine well with other ingredients to make them safe to use.
Basil Essential Oil
Basil plants produce one of the most effective oils for dealing with fleas. The essential oil comes from the buds and leaves of the plant and, when used with water, creates a handy flea repellent.
Add the basil oil to a spray bottle with water and spray it onto clothes you plan to wear outside. The basil spray is safe enough to use around your home, but it is not safe near cats.
Repelling Fleas with Rosemary
Rosemary is a plant well-known for its smell, but fleas hate it. When avoiding chemical repellents, rosemary is a natural flea deterrent for humans. To create a spray using fresh rosemary, steep it in water to create a floral spray.
Heat rosemary leaves in water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and steep rosemary leaves for half an hour. Remove the water to cool before straining it into a spray bottle. Spritz your clothes with the rosemary spray before heading outside or working around the house.
Homemade Lavender Lotion
Lavender oil is beneficial for humans to help with skin problems. The smell of the oil also helps to reduce anxiety and stress. When applied with a carrier oil or base, lavender oil helps repel fleas.
To create a safe lotion against fleas, mix ten drops of lavender essential oil with lotion to apply to your arms and legs. Try using unscented lotion to avoid overpowering the lavender oil with other scents.
Keep Fleas Away with a Flea Bracelet
For a dog or cat flea problem, pet owners are familiar with flea collars that emit chemicals to keep fleas from targeting their pets. An alternative for humans is rubber bracelets packed with essential oils for flea and tick control. Create a homemade version using essential oils and fabric.
Fill a wide container or bowl with water and add five drops of essential oil. Stir well before soaking a bandana in the mix. Let the bandana dry before tying it to your ankle to keep fleas away.
Control Fleas with Rosemary Oil
Like many essential oils, rosemary oil is highly effective for repelling fleas. Citrus smells like lemon and oranges are good at keeping fleas at bay, too.
To create an overnight flea spray, cut one lemon into thin slices and stuff them into a jar. Add drops of rosemary oil along with warm water to fill the jar. Cover and leave it sitting overnight. Strain the jar contents into a spray bottle the following day for an essential oil flea repellent for human skin.
Cedar Oil for Flea Control
Cedar oil, steam-distilled from wood chips, is a wonderful tool against fleas. The natural chemicals inside cedar keep fleas away, and the oil is non-toxic, making it safe to spray on your skin.
Mix a few drops of cedar oil in a water bowl to safely dilute it. Use a cloth or paper towel to dab the essential oil onto your skin in areas where fleas might jump onto you. When walking outside, treating your ankles and feet with oil is ideal.
Homemade Flea and Tick Repellent
To protect yourself from biting insects, combine the power of several essential oils with a carrier oil. Using a suitable base allows you to safely apply essential oils for flea prevention anytime you plan on going outside.
Applying a homemade flea repellent for humans is beneficial if you are working on getting rid of a flea infestation in your home to avoid fleas jumping on you during the process.
Add your oils to a bowl and mix well. Apply the oils to your exposed skin with a cloth or with your hands to keep pests away. Peppermint oil also keeps bed bugs away as well as mosquitoes and gnats.
Flea and Tick Home Spray
Eucalyptus oil effectively repels and kills biting insects like fleas and ticks. The oil is safe enough to use on your skin and at home. Be mindful when using eucalyptus oil around pets because it is toxic to cats.
Combine water and oil in a bottle and shake well to make this homemade flea killer and deterrent. Treat your clothes and shoes with the eucalyptus oil spray and areas throughout your home to keep fleas away.
Natural Coconut Oil Spray
Coconut oil has a growing list of uses. For fleas, coconut oil is one recommended carrier oil to use with other essential oils for safe flea treatment. Because coconut oil is gentle, it is safe to use on pets to treat fleas and soothe their skin from bites.
Add water and coconut oil to an eight-ounce spray bottle and shake to combine. Add clove oil to the bottle and shake again. Treat your clothes with this spray or spray it onto your pet’s fur and use it with a flea comb to pick up flea larvae.
The Danger of Flea Bites
The first concern with flea bites is the dermatological effect. Flea bites itch and leave red spots behind. The itch is not severe, but continuous bites could worsen an allergic reaction. Because flea bites itch, it’s almost natural to scratch them; however, because bites are an open wound, scratching may lead to infection.
Repelling Fleas Outside the Home
Like bed bugs, the best way to deal with fleas is to avoid them altogether. Keeping fleas off through natural methods is crucial, but so is keeping fleas out of your house to avoid infecting your pets.
Lawn Care for Flea Prevention
If you have tall grass and debris around your house, you create an environment where fleas thrive. To deal with a growing flea population, regularly cut your grass and dispose of cluttered debris.
Don’t leave grass clippings, as fleas use this to hide before seeking new shelter. Rake clippings and leaves into lawn bags for proper disposal.
Use Cedar Chips Outside
Cedar oil effectively repels fleas, but the cedar wood chips that produce the oil are equally effective. The ingredients for various commercial flea repellents show that cedarwood is common in flea repellents.
Add cedar chips to your regular lawn care to keep fleas away. Sprinkle cedar chips around your lawn, specifically around entryways, windows, and nearby areas your pets visit.
To create a barrier around the house, consider using cedar chip mulch in your landscaping. Spread cedar chips under bushes and near flower beds to repel fleas.
Every pet owner knows the problems fleas cause for their pets; however, when treating your pets and home for fleas, protect yourself with natural solutions for flea control. Although humans aren’t the ideal feeding ground for fleas, their bite carries the same risk of infection.
If you learned about effective natural flea repellent for humans, please share our guide with your friends on Facebook and Pinterest who need advice on making an essential oil flea repellent for human skin.