If you’ve found yourself on this page, we hardly need to explain what fleas are. But if you are wondering if fleas are the cause of your problem, let’s jump into the nitty gritty. They are small, dark bugs excellent at jumping and painfully biting, and who cause a lot of trouble for many people and their pets. Here, you’ll learn how to get rid of fleas. There are different ways and products to get rid of fleas in a house and yard.
They won’t leave your house if you don’t drive them out, so you’ll have to take serious measures in order to get rid of fleas.
Well, we’re going to honestly warn you: You’ll need a lot of time and effort. But it is surely worth it. We’ll tell you how to get rid of fleas quickly, effectively, without expensive exterminators, and once and for all.
In order to eliminate them effectively, you have to know where fleas come from and thus, you’ll be able to identify the main reasons and sources of fleas in your house.
As you can see, fleas can appear absolutely everywhere, so you need to eliminate the causes of their possible appearance step-by-step. The most obvious step is to first make sure that your house is not infested with pests and that you do not need to get rid of rats . You should also check whether your neighbors have any fleets.
After that, you can start! Choose a day during the weekend and begin eliminating fleets. You have already understood that you’ll have to clean out all of the rooms, haven’t you? This is the first and most essential step when getting rid of house fleas. So, you’ll have to:
1. Wash your bed sheets, blankets, curtains, all of your pet’s bedding, toys, pillows and blankets. It’s even better to dry clean them. This measure will help identify not only fleas, but also bed bugs , which are more visible on mattresses and upholstery. Wash everything at a temperature of at least 130º F or 50ºC (the higher, the better as the fleas are very tenacious). It is important to dry your clothing on a high setting as well.
2. Clean the carpets and furniture. Did you know that most often fleas bite your legs? That happens because most fleas live and breed in the carpets – which you walk over daily – and on the furniture where you sit, so you have to ensure they are always clean. Pay special attention to front door mats if you have any. Also, do not forget to vacuum the bathroom mat as well. Once you’ve finished, put the contents of the vacuum cleaner in a sealed plastic bag and throw it in the outside trash immediately, so that the nimble fleas won’t have time to come back. For better removal of fleas from the carpet, use diatomaceous earth, chemical insecticide sprays with IGR or concentrated IGRs. Repeat vacuum is required some time after such treatment.
3. Wash the floors. We hope that you do this regularly without our reminder but it is useful to repeat it again: Fleas scatter their eggs around, which is why the floors in the house also require frequent cleaning. Do not neglect the corners, skirting boards and the areas under cabinets and other furniture. When washing, you can also add clove or peppermint oil in the water. If possible, spread diatomaceous earth over the floor, in the corners and any cracks after washing or apply a natural spray.
Helpful tip: Fleas are put off by the smell of many aggressive chemicals and chemical compound products, such as glue, paint, cement and putty. So it might be a good time for carrying out some repair work!
4. Throw things away. If you find that your mattress is full of dust, dead bugs and eggs of different origin, you’d better throw it in the trash, because you won’t be able to clean it properly by yourself. Of course, you can use a professional service for that, but trust us, you can get rid of fleas in the house on your own and buy a new mattress with the money saved. ☺
5. Wash your street shoes. As we have already mentioned, your street shoes can be a great “transporter” of flea eggs into your house. It is therefore necessary to wash everything you’ve lately worn outside in order to prevent further infestation.
6. Treat your pets. If fleas have infested your cat or dog, then your house will be permanently occupied by these insects until you kill them all. You can choose from a variety of means of controlling the fleas at your disposal, from auxiliary tools such as special combs and collars to powerful long-acting flea drops. Using the same products for cats and dogs can be dangerous for their health, so we have covered them separately in our following Guides:
After the complete clean-up, it’s high time to use some serious “weapons” such as home flea control products. The list of such items for killing fleas can be very long. The main types of such products are traps, sprays and bombs ( foggers ).
In the majority of cases, fleas infest houses because of the pets that live there. That is why any treatment you begin at home or in your backyard must be accompanied by the treatment of your pet.
Efficiency Scale: 1 being the least, 10 being the most efficient.
|area||method||How Does It Work?||Features|
|Carpet, Floor and Furniture||vacuum cleaning. |
|Removes fleas from the carpet at any development stage.||Will remove most adults, 30-60% of eggs and only 15-30% of larvae.|
|Homemade flea killers. |
|Can kill adult flesh on contact.||Unpleasant odor can remain. Kerosene-based killers may be dangerous.|
|Natural powder – D.E. |
|Dehydrates adult flushes to death.||The method is effective but messy, requires repeat use.|
|Washing the floor and street shoes. |
|Remove eggs.||Requires thoroughness, repeat use and frequent mop change.|
|Washing and drying bed sheets. |
|High temperature of 120 F kills adult species, larvae and eggs.||Does not reduce insect population significantly.|
|Chemical sprays with IGR. |
|Remove adults on contact quickly and IGRs gradually destroy eggs and larvae.||The most effective home method.|
|Concentrated I.G.R. |
|Slow action: block the development of eggs and larvae.||Are very effective, work best when combined with fast-acting insecticides.|
|natural sprays for home. |
|Can kill adult flesh on contact.||Best for in-house use, little effectiveness on animals.|
|Rooms||Flea bombs. |
|Kill on contact only those insects that were attacked with poison.||Poisonous fog drops hardly reach inaccessible spots where fleas hide.|
|Flea traps. |
|They attract and trap adult insects.||Cannot fully eliminate house infestation, but are a good means of monitoring.|
|Outdoors||Natural sprays for the yard. |
|Can kill adult flesh on contact.||Natural sprays are safe for outdoor use near pets, unlike permethrin-based ones.|
|Removing wild rodents (disease vectors). |
|The fewer rats there are, the fewer chances that they will infest your house with fleas.||A preventive measure.|
|pet treatment||Spot-on & systemic pet treatment. |
|This combination removes fleas at any development stage.||Additional house treatment is required.|
Fleas prefer to live in carpets, where they can hide in the pile and where there are always someone’s delicious feet. If you take a magnifying glass, you’ll be able to see some adult species on brighter carpets and some scattered eggs and flea larvae on the darker ones. However, we do not recommend that you waste precious time and stare at the carpet with a magnifying glass, and instead we advise you to immediately begin eliminating the fleas. These insects multiply rapidly, so every day is at stake.
Clean the carpet with a vacuum cleaner. This is the first and most important step which will help to assess the problem and sometimes even eliminate most of the fleas’ eggs and larvae. After cleaning, dispose of the contents of the container in a thick plastic bag and throw it directly into the garbage outside. (Not in the garbage bin inside the home!)
Use natural or chemical fleece carpet powder. You should then apply special fleece control products. Various flea sprays and flea powders, both industrial and homemade liquid ones, are most suitable for exterminating the fleas in the carpet. Such products are:
This is a natural insecticide powder that is safe for humans and pets. According to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences(Arizona), it is nevertheless fatal not only for fleas, but also for “anything with an exoskeleton. This means insects (anything with six legs) and non-insect arthropods (eight or more legs).”
Price of Safer Brand DE (4 lb): Check current price
If the infestation is not large-scale, we have a decent option for Check current price. Adams Powder’s active ingredients are bio-insecticides linalool and pyrethrins and Nylar (IGR). Biological components will kill adult fleas and bed bugs on contact. However, they don’t have any residual action, and that is why this powder contains an IGR that will break the cycle of the eggs and larvae growing into adult biters. The manufacturer also promises that the powder will control re-infestation for up to 365 days.
Price: (16oz) Check current price
Use Concentrated IGR (Insect Growth Regulator). This is a rather powerful type of control product, which is supposed to be dissolved in a strict proportion in water and then sprayed on the carpet. Sometimes they come in the form of complete spray. As its name suggests, these types of sprays inhibit the multiplication of fleas, usually for several months.
Use Killer Sprays with IGR . Such sprays kill adult insects when they come in contact with them and usually have a wide range of “victims,” including bed bugs, fleas, spiders, and others. They also ensure that adults lay eggs that will never hatch. We recommend using proven products such as methoprene-based Raid spray.
This Raid Spray is aimed at indoor treatment of carpets, upholstery and pets’ bedding. The aerosol has a wide spraying angle, allowing reach to even the least accessible places.
The manufacturer promises that the product will protect you from fleas for four months. It seems like it’s true. users love this spray and it’s efficacy! Almost all of the customers who bought it were satisfied with its action. It looks like one bottle will cover one room. You need to abundantly spray all the contaminated surfaces and carpets, shut the door and leave the room. Some people complain of the spray’s strong smell but add that this inconvenience is a trifle in comparison with the results it yields.
Price: (2-pack) Check current price
|Product||type||Active Ingredients||Where and How to Use|
|Safer Brand Diatomaceous Earth||Organic Killer.||100% Diatomaceous Earth.||Only indoors: carpet, floor, cracks, furniture. Don’t treat pet bedding as the animals can lick off diatomaceous earth.|
|Pest Pistol (R) Mini Duster||Powder Duster.||None.||Fill the duster with DE and spray it in cracks, on furniture and surfaces.|
|Adams Carpet Powder||Flea powder.||Linalool, pyrethrins, nylar.||Spray it indoors: carpet, floor, cracks, furniture, upholstery.|
|Vet’s Best Flea & Tick Pet & Home Spray||Natural Spray.||Peppermint oil and clove extract.||Spray it Indoors (pet bedding, pillows, blankets, upholstery, carpets), but you may use it outdoors too.|
|Vet’s Best Flea & Tick Yard & Kennel Spray ||Spray it outdoors: on the area of the yard and kennel, including lawns and asphalt tracks.|
|Raid Flea Killer Plus, Carpet & Room Spray||Chemical IGR Spray.||Pyrethrins, tetramethrin, Methoprene (IGR).||Indoors, spray abundantly over any contaminated surfaces, furniture and carpets.|
|Zoecon Precor 2000 Plus Premise Spray||Permethrin, Phenothrin, Methoprene (IGR).|
|Precor IGR Insect Growth Regulator 1 oz bottle||Concentrated IGR.||Methoprene.||Dissolve with water and apply everywhere you need, but only indoors.|
|I.G. Regulator, 4 oz||Pyriproxyfen.||Dissolve with water and apply everywhere you need, both indoors & outdoors.|
|Hot Shot 20177 No-Mess! Fogger||Flea Fogger (Bomb).||Pyrethrins||According to the scientists, bombs are not very effective because very little insecticide penetrates into cracks and hidden places.|
|Raid Fogger||Pyrethrins, Methoprene (IGR).|
|Victor M230 Ultimate Trap||Flea Trap.||Glue surface and baits.||Only for indoors use. Plug it in at night (insects are attracted to the traps while foraging at night).|
|Aspectek Sticky Dome Trap|
|Bayer Advantage II for cats||.Spot-on Drops||Imidacloprid, pyriproxifen (IGR).||Drop on the withers. The effect will last for up to a month.|
|Bayer K9 Advantix for dogs||Spot-on Drops.||Imidacloprid, permethrin, pyriproxifen (IGR).||Drop on the withers. The effect will last for up to a month.|
Long years of eliminating fleas bore a number of DIY treatments for carpet, house and yard. Most of these methods are quite cut-rate, but are they safe? Let’s find out what the scientists think about such homemade killers and their effectiveness.
Kerosene used to be one of the most popular yet dangerous control methods. It was first mentioned as an effective flea treatment back in 1935 in the Michigan State College of Agriculture and Applied Science bulletin: “Kerosene fortified with pyrethrum gives excellent results where it is possible to use kerosene without injury to the finish or where the odor is not objectionable.” Previously, such recipe was also used for killing bed bugs.
Modern carpet treatment recipe is as follows: dissolve 100 ml of kerosene in a bucket of water and spray this devilish mixture over carpet, leave the room and let it act. Some wet cleaning is recommended afterwards in order to remove any dead fleas from the carpet. FYI! Kerosene is flammable, so use safety gloves, don’t smell it and don’t smoke when you are near it!
The scientists from Michigan recommend dissolving summer (horticultural) oil in water and nicotine sulphate in the same bulletin. The latter substance is considered to be extremely toxic nowadays so don’t follow this obsolete recommendation. However, summer oils are still effective against yard fleets. If you spray the ground and grass with dissolved oil, fleas will literally suffocate. Concentrated oil by Bonide is available on for: Check current price
Scientists suggest that DE is a great natural flea insecticide for indoors. Experts from Penn State Extension explain that it “kills insects [fleas] through desiccation: they abrade the wax and oil on the insect’s outer covering, leading to dehydration and death.” Spray the dust over the carpet (you’d better use a powder duster) and leave for a few hours. Vacuum clean after.
FYI! Diatomaceous earth is only effective indoors with minimal moisture. That is why you should only treat dry carpets and not combine diatomaceous earth with sprays.
The scientists approve of using borate products for killing parasites at home. Thus, the specialists from the Alabama A&M University and Auburn University state that “Work borate products registered for fleas, including boric acid and borax, into carpets as an effective treatment.”
FYI! “Boric acid may discolor some carpets, so be sure to test a small area first. Do not use these borate products outside around plants because boron compounds are non-selective herbicides.” Remember that borax powder is more harmful than the DE and thus it is not recommended to use it if there are children or pregnant women around.
If you still decide to use it, dissolve some borax in some warm water and treat the carpet with this solution. You can also use it as is, as you would use Diatomaceous Earth . Finish your work by vacuuming the carpet after a few hours.
This isn’t the most effective homemade treatment. The scientists never directly recommend cleaning the carpets with alcohol or its derivatives. However, many of them, including the Texas AgriLife Extension Service specialists, recommend using alcohol when combing fleas off the pets . “Dip the comb frequently in soapy water or an alcohol solution to kill any fleas removed from the pet.” We can conclude that alcohol is therefore capable of removing fleas, so you can mix some alcohol and water in a spray and spray the carpet just like you would do with other homemade treatments.
Baking soda has been used as a fungicide for over 80 years, but it has poor insecticidal action. The scientists do not recommend using it. Despite this, the following homemade treatment is very popular: “Mix some salt and baking soda in an equal proportion (add about 2-3 tablespoons of each). Carefully rub it into the carpet, then leave for the night and vacuum it.” You can try it if you want.
The following homemade flea repellent recipes are popular online: Mix some brewer’s yeast and garlic mush and apply the mixture on the carpet. Give it some time to work, though – clean the carpet from organic residues and flea eggs a few hours later. But, according to the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine experts, this method is completely useless: “Electronic flea collars, brewer’s yeast, garlic, vitamin B tablets, and extracts of eucalyptus or pennyroyal, are not flea repellent.”
Conclusion: Not all homemade recipes are equally effective and safe. It’s up to you to decide whether you should use them.
Final tip: If you see that you have tried everything, and that there is no salvation for your carpet as the fleas continue to inhabit it, roll it up tightly and throw it in the garbage. It’s better to buy a new one rather than waste your time and effort on trying to revive the old one.
We come across this question so often that we’ve finally decided to answer it. Fleas do not live on humans. Humans have lice or other insects. It would be more correct to say that a human can be subject to flea bites, but fleas do not inhabit their victims (be it a person, a cat or a dog) constantly. They get enough blood after the bite and then they jump off. The life cycle of the flea does not involve its constant dwelling on the body of the victim, and their larvae develop outside the warm-blooded body as the insects usually lay their eggs at a high speed everywhere around themselves.
So you should get rid of fleas on cat or dog and around your house.
Remember that the flea bites are an important signal of the future increase of fleas at your place, because according to the National Park Service US, “Females deposit eggs in groups of 1 to 18 on the host after a blood meal.” That’s why you shouldn’t neglect the issue and proceed to exterminating the fleas immediately after the first bite.
If you decide that you have been bitten by fleas, you should ensure that it was them and not mosquitoes or bed bugs, and then consider proper treatment of bites. Our review “Flea Bites on Humans: How to Identify and Treat” will help you cope with this task.
As we have mentioned earlier, house fleas may appear if they have already settled in your backyard. As you know, dealing with nature is more difficult than controlling your own personal “climate” in the house, but is still possible. Your primary goal is to destroy fleas outside so that neither you nor your pets could accidentally bring them home.
So, in order to get rid of fleas in the yard, you need to be persistent:
Cats are generally sensitive to pyrethroids and permethrins. According to the BBC, they can even die if permethrin-based products designed for the dogs are applied on them. That’s why we do not recommend using such sprays inside the house, on the porch or in the yard, if you have a cat.
It’s better to use natural oil-based sprays such a Vet’s Best Easy Spray that contain clove oil extract and peppermint oil. It kills fleets on contact. Vet’s is a good option for using next to cats and dogs. It would be particularly useful when you have a lot of pets at home that spend time on the street and you do not want to get fleas in your house again after their treatment. The price of it is: Check current price .
It is important to take a complex approach to the issue of getting rid of fleas in the yard, because a single measure won’t be able to solve the problem. Fleas multiply rapidly and won’t leave your house and yard until you eliminate them.
Organic methods of getting rid of fleas have been used for over 100 years. Many of them are effective enough to compete with industrial chemicals and are suitable for getting rid of the insects both indoors and outdoors. Here are some of these treatments:
It is easier to prevent flea infestation than to get rid of these blood-sucking insects. Preventive methods are fairly simple and only demand that you have the following qualities:
1. Clean your house more often, vacuum the carpets, floors and furniture, maintain a clean porch.
2. Do not enter the house while wearing dirty shoes, wash your last season shoes and do not store them dirty.
3. Wash your pets’ paws and inspect their fur after taking them for a walk. Replace their flea collars regularly.
1. Don’t pat street animals; they might share some of their fleas with you.
2. Don’t visit dirty, desolated places as you can also bring fleas’ eggs or adult species from there.
3. When camping, make sure you wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants in order to avoid getting flea bites on your legs and ankles (fleas rarely bite the upper body since they can’t reach it). Use repellents which have a high concentration of DEET, such as Repel 100 Insect Repellent Pump Spray ( Check current price ).
4. Control the rodents and bats in the house, as they are potential flea carriers.
5. Be wary of the things and furniture bought at garage sales, fairs and second-hand markets, as they can be infested with fleas.
6. Mow your lawn and take care of the garden. Plant some natural repellents, such as garlic, citronella, lemongrass, tansy, tarragon and thus reduce the likelihood of fleas’ appearance in your backyard.
7. If your neighbors have flea infestation, don’t waste any time and begin using such safe products as Diatomaceous Earth for protecting your house in order to prevent a sudden invasion of these nasty insects.
As you can see, you can get rid of fleas on your own, without an exterminator if you know some basic elimination methods and a couple of tricks. Be persistent and the fleas won’t have a choice but to leave your house forever.
Also read: Top-12 Flea Killers: Sprays, Traps, Foggers
Need to hire an exterminator? Find the best licensed professionals in your area.
as my experience has shown, it is very easy to fight fleas with natural means. I do not know why to apply chemical products if the fleas are sensitive to various flavors, for example, essential oil of citronella. Or you can use products with natural constituents. And it will be safe for you, your children and pets
How to get fleas out of carpet and not damage it? These nasty bloodsuckers swarm there as if it was a flea capital, and vacuum cleaning doesn’t help much. New larvae keep appearing, I’ve seen. I’m afraid of using insecticides as they could damage the carpet. What should I do?
Try using the gentlest insecticides, such as natural sprays. They contain clove oil extract, which will kill parasites on contact. Since they lack residual action, repeat treatment frequently. If you notice that fleas in the house are not gone, you’ll have to resort to a more powerful chemical spray. If you are worried about the carpet, first give it a try on another side to make sure it won’t fade. You’re welcome to use this life hack:)
Guys, how to get rid of fleas in the yard on my own?
I know for sure from my experience that it is easier to control fleas in house than in the yard. I was afraid of using chemicals and used Vet’s Best Yard and Kennel Spray. I sprayed everything including the doghouse, porch and trails. Everyone recommends a thorough clean-up beforehand, but I was too lazy so I limited my actions to spraying. In my case the fleas were caused by wild rats which settled near my house, so I had to get rid of those as well.
I disagree (or maybe I had the most desperate fleas in my backyard). I tried dozens of natural treatments, but in the end it was IGR called pyriproxyfen that saved me. My wife has found out that it can be used outdoors, so we dissolved it in water and sprayed everything on our way. That’s why I think IGR is the best way to get rid of fleas. By the way, it’s better to carry out the treatment in the spring, when the flea season just begins a IGRs act slowly.
If anyone has had this problem, help! How to get fleas out of carpet with IGR?
Once I figured I had a flea nest in my carpet at home, I didn’t have much time to look for the best way to get rid of fleas. As I knew that IGRs work slowly, I bought a chemical IGR spray rather than a concentrate. A spray like that will kill adult bloodsuckers soon enough and break the cycle of egg development. I liked this combo-effect: I bought one spray, treated my carpet with it and had no more worries. It looks like it worked on the first try; so far there has been no need in repeat use. Treat once more if you notice any fleas later on.
Someone is actually looking for a universal method? I have once read online that the best way to get rid of fleas in house is to cure your pets from parasites. The idea seems right but I’d rather combine treating the pets and the house. By the way, I was too lazy to mingle with the infested carpet so I just threw it away (it was old anyways).
We have moved into a new apartment that we rent and found out it is infested with fleas. What is the best way to get rid of fleas in house? We have a cat, so we would like to know which method is the safest.
It’s not easy to get rid of fleas, so you need to take a complex approach rather than a single best product. Fleas in the house can survive without food for a long time (for instance, when nobody lives in the house) and attack suddenly afterwards. The least you must do is vacuum clean the carpets, floors, furniture and treat them with insecticides. If you have cat, watch out for the treatment not to contain permethrin as it is very dangerous for cats. You can opt for diatomaceous earth which is cheap and natural. Don’t treat pet bedding with it in case the cat licks it off.
I’ve heard a lot about Diatomaceous Earth, but didn’t realize it could remove fleas. How to get rid of fleas in the yard with DE?
The article says that diatomaceous earth can’t be used outdoors as it loses its effectiveness. Honestly, I didn’t know about that. I use natural sprays for my backyard as I dislike chemicals.
for DE to be effective outside it must be dry conditions, but be careful using it as it harms beneficial insects as well
Flea collars are worthless unless your using one of the Seresto collars that last 8 months. The best thing to use on your pets is the topical drops
Can I spay my carpet in house with apple cider to get rid of fles
Help! I want to know how to get rid of fleas on my dog with the help of Diatomaceous Earth. Is that possible?
Yes, this is a potentially useful method, moreover, this natural insecticide is harmless both for animals and people. Just spray D.E. on the dog’s fur, avoiding eyes, nose and ears and carefully rub the powder into the fur. Repeat this procedure up to three times per week... However, you shouldn’t forget about the rest: not only your clean dog, but also your house, and your yard if required.
Please tell me how to kill fleas with boric acid?
It is possible, but only partly. The scientists from the University of Tennessee confirm that boric acid products can help to get rid of fleas – but this works only on larvae. They eat an insecticide as feed and die. But on fleas, boric acid has no effect, as they only eat blood and nothing else interests them.
I have picked up a stray cat – and it appears to have fleas. I have bought a flea collar, but the fleas have already spread around the whole house. And now, there’s heaps of them in the carpet! What is the cheapest method for getting rid of fleas in a carpet?
Perhaps one of the low-cost products to kill fleas - is a jerry can with insecticide by Hot Shot. It kills on contact and fleas have no chance of surviving. But be careful: don’t breathe the smell of the chemical and you must use protective gloves when cleaning a carpet.