Does Vacuuming Kill Fleas?

“Does vacuuming kill fleas?”

We get asked this question all the time by people who want to know how to get rid of fleas. They have heard of other people who vacuum up fleas and say that a vacuum cleaner really works. We researched this topic and here’s what we found.

Yes, vacuuming does kill fleas and is effective at flea control! Scientists found that vacuuming kills fleas in all stages of their life cycle. Adult fleas that were vacuumed from carpets were killed 96% of the time, while flea pupae and larvae were killed 100% of the time. 

These findings are significant for anyone who wants to get rid of fleas in the quickest way possible with the least amount of effort.

How Long Does It Take To Get Rid Of Fleas?

Depending on the severity of your flea problem it can take anywhere from 3 to 8 weeks to end an infestation. However, you will see and feel a noticeable difference the first time you vacuum for fleas. So don’t let this long treatment window discourage you.

The purpose of the three to eight-week treatment window is to make certain you kill adults, eggs, larva, and pupae throughout all phases of the fleas life cycle.

Will Just Vacuuming Get Rid of Fleas?

No, just vacuuming alone will not get rid of fleas entirely.

Vacuuming is a good start and can help you control the fleas you already have in your home. However, the most effective way to remove fleas is to take an integrated pest management approach.

You would first have to treat all pets in your household for fleas and then tend to your house as well. Doing either treatment without the other is less effective. Therefore you should remove the fleas from your pets first then tackle the job of getting your home flea free next.

How Often Should You Vacuum?

The most popular question we are asked is how often should you vacuum. This is a great question. There is no hard or fast rule but for the best results, we do have a recommendation.

For flea control, you need to vacuum every other day, through the early part of a flea infestation.

This recommendation is based on the fact that flea eggs hatch 2 to 3 days after being laid. Thus vacuuming more frequently will allow you to pick up and remove more eggs before they hatch and become more problematic.

Do You Need A Special Vacuum?

If you have watched TV commercials or seen brochures or advertisements for pest control companies you see that use special vacuum cleaners.

These vacuums have extra extenders and attachments which are designed with a special purpose in mind. They suction, remove, and eradicate common household pests like ants, bed bugs, fleas, ticks, and dust mites. Pest control companies can afford to buy these special vacuums since they use them on a regular basis.

But I’m happy to report a special vacuum cleaner is not needed to get rid of fleas in your home. Your home vacuum should work well enough as long as it has a beater bar or powered head. To reach crevices, cracks, and corners you’d need a Hand-vac or extension wand attachment.

Empty the cleaner itself or its bag as soon you ‘re done vacuuming into a sealed plastic bag. Tie the sealed bag tightly and dispose of it immediately in an outside garbage container.

One final note.

It’s important to point out that in most cases using a vacuum cleaner alone will not eliminate all of your flea problems. Remember what I said earlier?

The most effective way to get rid of fleas is to remove them from your pet first and then go after them with the vacuum.

How Can You Tell If You Have Fleas In Your House?

If you have dogs or cats, it won’t be too difficult to tell if you have fleas.

Your pet will likely be scratching, licking, and or gnawing at their bodies on a regular basis. You’ll also be able to see unusually red patches and bumps on their skin in areas such as the belly, inside ear, and backside near the tail.

You should also check pet bedding and other upholstered furniture that your animals use. Look closely at your carpet too. Watch the video above to learn how to inspect your home for fleas in 4 easy steps.

Where Do Fleas Hide In Your House?

If you have fleas you might be trying to figure out where do fleas live in and around your house. They like warm, dark, or moist places. Fleas will likely be anyplace you or your pests like to be. You can find fleas in a number of places including but limited to…

where fleas hide in your home

So keep these locations in mind as you vacuum to remove fleas. You’ll want to add in your extra attachments and suck or vacuum fleas from each of these areas.

What Kills Fleas In Carpets Naturally?

Using a vacuum cleaner can be effective in reducing and eliminating fleas. However, there is a more effective way to vacuum for even better results.  You can sprinkle baking soda, salt, or diatomaceous earth down before vacuuming to get rid of fleas faster.

Natural Remedy How Long Before Vacuuming
Salt Sprinkle on the carpet. Let the salt sit for 1-2 days
Baking Soda Sprinkle on the carpet. Rub in with a hard brush. Then vacuum.
Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth Wait 2 days before vacuuming

Use a broom, carpet rack, or brush to rub these ingredients nicely into your carpet. Wait the recommended time and then vacuum thoroughly.

I Do Not Have Pets! How Did I Get Fleas?

If you are a non-animal owner with fleas, you might be wondering how fleas were able to get into your home. Your problem is unlikely the case of a single flea hitching into your home on you or something else.

There is probably a more likely scenario that you may have not considered.

I have worked with many wildlife professionals who specialize in removing critters from homes. Animals such as opossum, raccoons, skunks, and squirrels have been known to all carry fleas. These animals can possibly be the source of your problems.

Listen and look around your house for signs of these flea harboring animals. If you find them they may be the source of your fleas. Unless you have experience in trapping and removal, in most cases, you should hire a wildlife or pest management professional for this situation.

Related Questions

Are fleas different on cats and dogs? They are two species of fleas that infest cats and dogs. You have Ctenocephalides felis (cat flea) and Ctenocephalides canis (dog flea). Cat fleas are the most common and can be found on dogs and cats.

How do I keep fleas from biting me? Here are two easy ways to keep fleas from biting you. First, use a diffuser to dispense essential oils throughout your house.  Essential oils such as cedarwood, eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, and peppermint repel fleas like crazy. Second, just spray lemon spray around your house. This is easy enough to make homemade using lemon essential oil. Fleas do not like the scent of lemon so you can spray this stuff on your outer clothes to keep fleas away so they won’t bite.

What will kill fleas in the carpet? Salt, baking soda, food-grade diatomaceous earth are three ingredients that will kill fleas dead in your carpet. Each can be sprinkled over your carpet, rubbed in, and allowed to do their job. After some time you should vacuum your carpet thoroughly to remove the powders along with the dead fleas.

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Lynn Edwards

I founded DIY Pest Control Guide with the intention of sharing practical, user-friendly pest control strategies. If you need assistance, reach out to me at - I'm here to help you reclaim your peace of mind.

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