This Only Seems To Happen To Me
They got me again. I’ve been scratching all night and I feel like I am close to edge. I’ve been hunting these bloodsucking (insert expletive here) all week, but I still can’t find the ones that are shacking up in my bed, or the ones that inexplicably seem to be inhabiting my socks. I check, they are not there, but then I have ferocious bites on my toes. How do they do that? Can they bite through the sock? Anyway these buggers are a major part of my life. I bring them to school and they feed on me while I am teaching class. It’s hard not to scratch in front of a room full of students when my instinct is to gnaw at my own flesh like a rabid dog. When I come home at night, they and their other family members gorge on my blood while I watch T.V. and then it’s off to bed to catch some zzzs for me and a delicious hot dinner-drink for them. I’ve been living with this for almost three years and I know I won’t be able to get rid of the fleas completely, so I’d like to share with you at least a few methods of how to get some relief from the torment of too many flea bites.
So let’s get started:
- Baking soda – Good old baking soda, there are so many uses for this product. Grab a spoonful of this powder, add a few drops of water until it turns into a paste and apply to your raging angry flea bite. It will soothe the area straight away and the effects last over two hours for me. It’s cheap and easily available; the only downside is that it is a bit messy. Once the powder dries it flakes away, but better to deposit powder than to infect your flesh, right?
- Piezoelectric clicker – Got this little fella at the airport. It’s a palm-sized gizmo you place over the bite and click the bejaysus out of it. It gives your skin a small electric shock that suppresses the histamine reaction that normally results in itching and swelling. Try to get the bite as fresh as possible and it relieves the itch fairly quickly. When I am bat crazy with the itch I sometimes overdo it with the clicker, but fortunately it is harmless and doesn’t hurt at all.
- Antihistamine cream – I also use an antihistamine cream to calm the desire I sometimes have to flay myself. The creams are designed to block the release of histamine, but to be honest I find they are slow to work and some of the other methods are more effective. Or maybe it is just that I haven’t found one that is strong enough yet. I find Tiger Balm has a more immediate effect on the itch, but again it doesn’t have great long term results.
Relief from the Torment of Too Many Flea Bites
- Lemon – has anaesthetic and anti-inflammatory properties. Squeeze unto the bite that has now turned into Mt Vesuvius (dormant Mt Vesuvius, you really don’t want to squeeze lemon unto an oozing infected bite) and leave it to air dry. It may be a bit prickly for a few seconds.
- Vinegar – I like using vinegar. It’s cheap, you don’t need to go specifically to a pharmacy, it works immediately and it’s safe to use on your body. It gives you a sting, but this can be positive and a negative experience. The sting is unpleasant, but it takes your mind off the itch and it only stings for about five seconds. The downsides are that it smells strong and the relief you get from using it doesn’t last long. You have to reapply it frequently. I wouldn’t recommend using it on a bite that has opened and festered. That would certainly ruin your day.
- Scotch Tape – Don’t laugh, I am at this very moment wearing several strips of tape on my back, I look a bit weird, but the itching stopped immediately. It has something to do with interfering with vasodilatation which sends messages back down the nerve endings. Go ahead and try it, any tape seems to work. I use regular sellotape and fabric dressing strips.
- Something cold - a damp cloth or some ice wrapped in a facecloth. It eases the itch. Or gently rub a circle with your finger around the bite. You will give yourself some relief, but won’t disturb the bite directly.
He's A Handsome Chap, isn't He?
You Just Can't Help Scratching Yourself, Can You?
After a particularly nasty attack from a bunch of fleas it’s really hard to stay positive. For me the itch lasts 3-4 days and the wound another five days. My worst attack was over the course of a week with a grand total of more than 80 bites. I really hate these little parasites. The bites are disgusting, itchy and downright dangerous. And ironically we don’t have any pets.
So until the day they invent a commercial X-ray that explodes fleas into oblivion after walking through it, I hope these tips help relieve the torment. If you have any other ideas please go right ahead and add a comment below, or to find out how I manage a flea infestation click here.
© 2013 Muttface
Heather on June 28, 2016:
Try to find out how to stop them from biting you while you treat the infestation.
Muttface (author) from Portugal on September 22, 2014:
Hi Dr Thakurta. I do treat my house for fleas. The problem is the source of the fleas. My partner's workshop is near a sheep shed and the fleas hitch a ride with him on his clothes. He has been leaving his clothes outside now for a long time, but one or two still manage to get in. When that happens we vacuum, wash all the bedding and spray the house. This article is more about how to deal with the bites after they've feasted.
Dr Thakurta on September 22, 2014:
Why have you gone 3 years without treating your house for fleas? It would save you so much discomfort if you just did the following:
1. Thoroughly vacuum the carpet, rugs, and all soft furnishings.
2. Wash all bedsheets and clothing at 60 degrees C or higher.
3. Spray every room with Indorex (which you can buy from Amazon for about $12).
There. No more itching.
Muttface (author) from Portugal on September 11, 2014:
I had a visitor yesterday too.
Ashlee on September 10, 2014:
Feel like if I itch shy more my skin is going to fall off
Muttface (author) from Portugal on August 29, 2014:
I hope you've clipped your nails Eva! Yes, being itchy is an effective form of torture because it's never ending. It plagues your mind in the darkest hours of the night and if you manage to get any sleep, there it is again relentlessly clinging to your side in the morning. Getting no relief from it can be very demotivating.
Eva on August 28, 2014:
I feel like the military should adapt this as a torture tactic, because this has to be the worst thing I've ever experienced. Endless nights of itching... Everywhere. Ah, and the itch feels so good
Muttface (author) from Portugal on May 15, 2014:
It's dreadful Brittany, I feel your pain (and your itch!). Being that itchy is torturous, I hope you find a remedy that works for you.
brittany mcneal on May 14, 2014:
Omg im covered in them they are so ........ it don't even have a word for it im itching so much i wish they would go away so bad plz pray me
Muttface (author) from Portugal on March 03, 2014:
Good luck in your endevours Gelf! I had a visit from them last week, I was hopping mad!
gelf on March 02, 2014:
Ive only one cat
but one big big flea.....
just wait til I catch it
Muttface (author) from Portugal on April 11, 2013:
Ha ha! Yeah, can't wait for the mosquitoes to join the party. Should be this month actually. But at least they have the courtesy to die off with the colder weather, the fleas are all year long. Sad face. And bulging angry eye face from bringing one to school today.
Elaine on April 11, 2013:
Oh no are you still getting eaten alive? Bet you can't wait for the lovely summer to arrive and all the insects with it! I think you need to find the source of the fleas and then use some of those torture techniques from your other article to finish off the carrier ha ha