Can Fleas Live In Human Hair?

Fleas will mainly bite the humans on their feet, lower legs, ankles, and calves. They will cause distress, pain, itching, and irritation in humans. 

So, can fleas live in human hair? Well, most fleas (apart from human fleas) won’t live in human hair. However, most fleas can hide in human hair temporarily – but won’t lay eggs or molt while there. 

  • The fleas species (including cat fleas) will leave the human hair within a short time to suck blood from warm-blooded hosts like cats and dogs. 
  • So, from the 2,000+ fleas species, only the chigoe/human fleas can live in human hair. The human fleas will suck human blood, lay their eggs in your hair.  

Here’s where some specific flea species live;

  • Cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis) will live and feed mainly on cats while Dog fleas (Ctenocephalides canis) prefer hosts like dogs, livestock, raccoons, cats, and opossums. 
  • However, Xenopsylla cheopis or Oriental rat flea will mainly live on rats but they’ll also feed on the blood of cats and dogs. 

Related: Can I can fleas to another house

Pulex Irritans (Human Fleas) Can Live in Human Hair 

Pulex Irritans will live and thrive in human hair – but the dog or cat fleas will hide temporarily in human hair. Thus, it’s critical to take steps to prevent the fleas from getting to your hair.

  • However, you may also find these Pulex Irritans (also called house fleas or human fleas) on animal hosts such as dogs.

Other fleas species like the dog fleas (Ctenocephalides canis) & cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis) will also bite humans but they won’t live in human hair.

  • But since the fleas won’t lay eggs or breed in your hair – they won’t cause massive fleas to outbreak as it would happen with lice.

The fleas will hide for a few hours in your hair – but it’ll be evidence of their presence through their biting action – which humans can feel.

  • Fleas will largely bite the human ankles and feet – but these areas don’t have much hair and hence they can’t live there – just like on your beard.

How Do Fleas Get in the Human Hair?

Human hair can temporarily host most fleas. However, the bug’s eggs become more suitable and viable if the fleas feed on blood from hosts like cats or dogs.

  • So, only the Pulex irritans (human fleas) will live in human hair as fleas in this species need human blood for their survival. But rarely will you find these human fleas in the United States.

On how the fleas will get to your hair, well fleas will jump about 8 inches in a horizontal distance and can also make a maximum 19-inches leap. 

Fleas have a length of about ⅛ inch and they’ll jump a distance that is roughly 7.9 inches. So, it’s impossible for fleas to jump from the ground to your hair (while you’re upright).

  • Therefore, fleas only reach the human ankles when they leap around 8 inches.

However, fleas can move from the ankles to the hair – after hatching they’ll also crawl towards hiding areas like carpet, and outdoor grass or yard. 

So, fleas won’t climb up the human body and legs – the bugs will only get to your hair through pet lays (flea-infested) or while you’re laying down on the carpet or bed that’s flea-infested. 

  • Therefore, fleas won’t settle and live (permanently) on the human skin and hair – even when they’re starved of blood from dogs & cats. 

How Long Can Fleas Stay in Human Hair?

Humans are not one of the fleas’ preferred hosts. So, fleas (except the human fleas) won’t stay long as they would do with furry mammals, dogs, and cats.

If fleas land on hosts like cats and dogs plus warm-blooded mammals – these bugs will feed, breed, and reproduce effectively.

So, if you share surroundings with pets that are flea-infested – then such humans may get bitten – when flea molt from their cocoon they’ll feed even on human blood.

  • Fleas will stay on the human and leave only after biting their skin about 2 to 3 times – this may be for about 7 minutes provide there is no disturbance.

Fleas are adapted to live for long in dense fur (such as in dogs or cats) and they won’t live comfortably in human hair. This is because fleas are evolved around furry hosts. 

  • However, people living in tropical areas (the US is not), may experience the “chigoe flea” or “human flea” and hence such fleas will live and reproduce on human blood. 

Thus, if any human has a matted beard or full and frizzy hair, “chigoe flea” or “human flea” may live and hide there. 

Do Fleas Lay their Eggs in Human Hair? 

We’ve concluded that humans are bad hosts for most flea species – human blood may help most fleas survive but these bugs won’t lay eggs or reproduce on this blood only. 

  • Notable, the female fleas will require to consume blood from specific hosts continually to enable them to lay eggs – due to their complex metabolic process. 

The fleas’ fertility (of female fleas) drops significantly when they feed solely on human blood, and they may eventually not lay viable eggs. 

  • Generally, fleas will lay roughly 30 eggs daily – and so most of these fleas won’t lay eggs on your hair – they’ll seek to jump to their favored host.

But, when fleas lack their loved hosts – the bugs will hide in the human hair for some time and feed but they won’t be well-nourished or fertile to lay viable eggs.

How to Stop Flea From Jumping on your Hair

Despite that most fleas won’t live on human hair – if these bugs lack pets that they can invade, they’ll still bite humans. 

  • Removing the fleas from your residence will require a multi-prong technique towards your home-flea treatment and personal hygiene. 

For fleas that will hide in human hair – they’ll mainly be on dense hair, dreadlocks, or bushy beard – and thus you must strive to keep your hairs clean and short. 

Therefore, to prevent fleas from living in your hair – either for long or temporarily, you must maintaining the hair clean and greatly combed. 

  • I would recommend that you tighten up the hair while you’re handling fleas or you’re around your pet’s sleeping areas. 

Also, you may repel the fleas by using shampoos that are strong-smelling and which may also include rosemary, eucalyptus, and tea tree – plus various flea repellents. 

Further, for your furry pets – you’re to flea-treat these animals to mainly cut the adult fleas and also the various stages. Also, flea-treat the wood cracks and carpets. 

  • Also, flea-treat the carpets (carpet fibers) and floors to remove the flea larvae and eggs. You should also vacuum the spaces – the vibrations will eject the fleas.

Flea-vacuuming the hard floors requires that next, you’ll flea-treat the textiles and soft furnishings that may not be vacuumed.

  • Remove the cushion covers, pet bedding, pet toys, and bedding and wash those at high temperatures as this will assist in killing eggs and adult fleas.

In addition, a steam cleaner – you can use it to remove and kill fleas from furniture and carpet – will help with most flea stages.


On the question – can fleas live in human hair? Well, most flea species (save for human fleas) can’t live in human hair.

  • Most of the flea species will bite and flee from the humans – so they won’t live your body or hair.

Once they jump-off, the bugs find their suitable hosts – which include cats & dogs. They’ll suck blood, hide and reproduce (lay eggs) on these animals.

  • The human blood isn’t nutritious enough for the fleas to lay eggs after sucking it – and thus they require blood from suitable hosts to gain excellent fertility. 

However, it’s critical to keep great home and personal hygiene so that you can easily control fleas.


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