Preventing Flea Bites
The best way to prevent fleas on people is to keep pets free of fleas. Most fleas in the United States prefer to feed on animals, however, people are sometimes bitten out of convenience when they share space or come into contact with a flea-infested animal.
To protect yourself from fleas:
- Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellentsexternal icon containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone. EPA’s helpful search toolexternal icon can help you find the product that best suits your needs. Always follow product instructions. Do not use products containing OLE or PMD on children under 3 years old.
- Covering skin with long-sleeve clothing and pants will minimize exposure to bites. Flea bites often occur on the lower legs and feet, protect these areas with long socks and pants.
- Treat clothing and gear with products containing 0.5% permethrin. Permethrin can be used to treat boots, clothing and camping gear and remain protective through several washings. Alternatively, you can buy permethrin-treated clothing and gear.
- Do not feed or pet stray or wild animals.
- Always wear gloves if you are handling sick or dead animals.
Additional plague prevention tips are available.