Before getting into how to get fleas off of you while you sleep, it is important to make sure that you are actually dealing with this kind of pest. If you are instead dealing with another itchy bite like one from a bed bug or a mosquito, the plan of action going forward might be different.
Here’s what to look for and what to do about it:
How To Know If Your Pet Has Fleas
There are a few major warning signs to look for when it comes to a flea infestation. Know that having a furry friend can increase the chances of these insects calling your house their home. Fleas will happily feast on whatever mammal they can sink their teeth into, but furry pets are some of their preferred targets.
Fleas target pets because the pests can hide inside dogs’ and cats’ fur. This creates a hospitable environment for the fleas, all while living on their main food source.
If you have one or more pets, keep an eye out for several warning signs.
Here are some common indicators of fleas in pets to look out for:
- Patches of fur around the house
- Your pet has “random” hairless patches
- Excessive scratching/grooming
- Red bumps
- Dry skin
How To Know if Fleas Are Biting You or Your Kids
Unlike our pets, our kids can (and will) tell us when they feel itchy. This takes out a lot of the guesswork and hopefully means that we can sort out the problem sooner rather than later. Still, you have to determine if the problem results from an insect bite (and if so, which), a sting, an allergy, or another kind of rash. Keep in mind that kids are especially prone to bug bite allergies — a two-for-one deal that no one likes.
If fleas are targeting your family, there are some distinct signs that set these bites apart. First, you will notice that the bites become itchy shortly after initial contact, sooner than a mosquito bite would. Next, you are likely to find these bites around the lower legs, feet, and ankles.
Fleas target these spots in particular because they are easy to jump to, and they are often exposed. Flea bites also tend to appear in either clusters or a line. Lastly, a discolored ring might appear around the small, slightly raised red spot.
If your family displays one or more of these indicators, it is entirely possible that you have fleas on your hands (or your legs).
Why Do Fleas Bite Us in Our Sleep?
Mattresses provide a cozy oasis for us humans at the end of a long day or even during a midday nap (when we are lucky enough to get one). We aren’t above snoozing on the couch, but a nap on a bed is a different level of luxury. Unfortunately, we are not the only ones who recognize the comfort of a mattress.
Fleas also like to spend time on mattresses and other upholstered surfaces. From there, they can easily leap onto hosts, whether they are humans or animals. Since we are asleep during this time, there is also no way for us to unconsciously fight back or swat at them.
For our kids who sleep in onesies, we have some good news: First of all, you are adorable, and you totally rock that look. Second of all, those of us who have our whole bodies covered are in much better shape to protect against flea bites.
Fleas are so small that they can’t bite through clothing. For those of us who go to sleep in anything less than a onesie or colonial woman garb, this can make for a rude awakening.
How To Repel Fleas While You Are Asleep
At this point, we understand fleas. So, how can we get them to buzz off?
Fleas don’t have wings, so we are purely speaking in the metaphorical sense. Luckily, there are some natural ways to keep fleas away while sleeping.
Create a Natural Flea Trap
Avoiding harsh chemicals is a goal that many of us dream about. Going chemical-free is especially worthwhile when considering both our kids and our pets. It’s no secret that we don’t like DEET on people, but it’s also a huge danger to our precious pups.
Being exposed to these chemicals is bad enough for adults, but it can pose serious risks. This has led many to pursue more natural methods of dealing with fleas.
These methods are safe for humans and pets alike; they’re just definitely not safe for fleas. Isn’t that kind of the whole point?
Put Out a Bowl of Soapy Water
This should surprise no one, but fleas are tiny. If you needed more proof, they average between .039 and .13 inches in length. For such little creatures, fleas can be a huge pain (or itch).
Since they are so small and agile, they are actually capable of jumping off of water's surface. No use trying to make them walk the plank; we’ll just look like fools when they Peter Pan and jump away.
Instead, we have to get a little more crafty to sink these pests once and for all. We have to add an agent to prevent them from jumping off of the water without issue: This is where dish soap comes in.
Choose a shallow bowl that you don’t mind making into a flea graveyard. Your kids might not want to eat ice cream out of it after it has seen such carnage. Actually, this bowl might just be better off as the designated flea bowl from now on.
Then, fill it most of the way with water. Lastly, put a few drops of dish or liquid soap into the water. It should be enough to largely cover the surface since this is what will trap the fleas.
Point a Lamp at the Bowl
Like many other bugs, fleas are attracted to sources of light. A lamp pointed a few inches from the bowl filled with soapy water should trigger their instincts, encouraging them to approach.
If a lamp is not your style, you could also opt for a candle. The key here is just to have a light source nearby that will lure in the fleas.
Place It in a Room That Fleas Frequent
Of course, this solution will not do much good if the bowl and light are not near the fleas already. Although fleas are accomplished jumpers, they are unlikely to travel large distances to politely fall into your trap — yet another way that fleas make everything more difficult.
You could put the bowl of soapy water and lamp into a room where your pets like to hang out. To get them away from you while you sleep, consider placing the bowl near your bedside. This will encourage any and all fleas hanging out in your bed to get lost.
Feeling Cozy Again
Since bedtime is meant to be a period of total relaxation and calm, it is really distressing when it’s interrupted by pesky bugs. Understandably, this can be jarring for many people, so getting to a place where you feel comfortable can take some time.
If you are spending your nights worried about little critters jumping about, you probably are not going to get the best night’s sleep.
As parents, we all know how crucial a full night’s rest is. After all, nothing shows you how important sleep is, like not getting any for years. We love our kids, but a few extra hours would be nice. The last thing we need between work, errands, and being our kids’ personal chauffeurs is to stay up worrying about bugs.
It is one thing to have done everything we can to take care of the infestation, but it is something else entirely to get back into the normal swing of things. If you want to feel more tranquil to get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer, know that you have natural options.
Use a Natural Sleep Aid
At The Natural Patch Co., we believe that there is a natural solution for many of life’s problems. Getting a full night’s rest is absolutely no exception. That is where the SleepyPatch Sleep Promoting Stickers work their magic.
So many sleep aids rely on harsh chemicals that leave you feeling groggy or come with a whole host of unpleasant side effects. The SleepyPatch never does that and will instead leave you feeling rejuvenated and ready for the day when you wake up. This sticker uses a special blend of essential oils to gently lull you to sleep.
Mandarin, Sweet Marjoram, Lavender, and Vetiver essential oils are all utilized to perfect effect, making sleep easy to come by. The best part? These patches work wonders for both kids and adults alike, so you and your little ones can rock matching stickers to go along with your matching pajamas.
Goodnight, Don’t Let the Fleas Bite
In case your family is already dealing with flea bites, there is a natural solution that can help you rest easy. MagicPatch Itch Relief Patches help to relieve itchiness quickly and all-naturally. Once you have an itch-free night’s sleep, you’ll be even more ready to get rid of these pests for good.
Signs of Fleas in Bed: How to Find and Remove Them | Healthline
flea | Definition, Size, & Natural History | Britannica
How do I know if my dog or cat has fleas? | Animal Hospital of Clemmons