Fleas, Mites, and Chiggers


What are the symptoms of a flea, mite, or chigger bite?

Fleas, mites, and chiggers often bite humans. They may create itchy bumps, but they are not poisonous. It is sometimes difficult to determine which type of insect or mite is responsible for the itchy skin bumps.

The following are the most common symptoms of a flea, mite, or chigger bite. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • Small, raised skin lesions
  • Pain or itching
  • Dermatitis (inflammation of the skin)
  • Allergic-type reactions in hypersensitive children with swelling or blistering

The symptoms of a flea, mite, or chigger bite may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child's doctor for a diagnosis.

Treatment for bites caused by fleas, mites and chiggers

Specific treatment for these insect bites will be determined by your child's health care provider. Some general guidelines for treatment may include the following:

  • Clean the area well with soap and water.
  • Use an oral antihistamine, if needed, for itching.   Be sure to follow the instructions on the medication label. 
  • Cool compresses may be helpful for tenderness. Consider giving your child oral acetaminophen, if needed, for discomfort. Be sure to follow instructions on the medication label. 

When should I call my child's health care provider?

Call your child's doctor if your child has:

  • Persistent pain or itching
  • Signs of infection at the site such as increased redness, warmth, swelling, pus, or drainage
  • Fever

Call 911 or your local emergency medical service (EMS) if your child has signs of a severe allergic reaction such as trouble breathing, tightness in the throat or chest, feeling faint, dizziness, hives, and/or nausea and vomiting.