How to Kill Household Fleas in Three Easy Steps

Updated on May 16, 2019
Flea infestations are a real pain.
Flea infestations are a real pain. | Source

I Have a Flea Problem!

Anyone who has ever dealt with a flea infestation knows that it can be a real pain. Fleas are also the cause of several well-known diseases that can be transmitted to humans, such as cat-scratch fever, typhus, and plague.

Fleas need to find their host within seven days or they die. They will wait for their prey to walk by and can jump up to seven inches high to reach them—that is the equivalent of a human jumping 110 yards high!

We will explore three critical steps that can be taken to reduce an infestation. If an attempt to eradicate the infestation is done incorrectly, the fleas will continue to repopulate.

A 3-Step Approach to Eradicating Fleas

You will need to treat these three areas at the same time:

  1. Your beloved pets
  2. Your house (every room)
  3. Your yard

Treating your pets with monthly topical or oral flea preventatives is the best way to avoid an infestation.

Step 1: Bathe Your Pet

If you want to use as few chemicals as possible, wash your pet with shampoo. It doesn't have to be a special flea shampoo. My wife, for example, swears by baby shampoo.

Let's Talk About Controversial Flea Products

The opinions about flea products vary widely among people. Some consumers are for flea products, and some are against them. While the comb offers a natural, mechanical option for reducing adult fleas, collars and powder products contain potentially carcinogenic components. Determine whether or not you feel comfortable using the common products listed below:

  • Flea Combs: A comb can help to remove 10-50% of the adults from an animal's fur.
  • Flea Collars: Some say collars are poison on a rope. Even if you do not share this opinion, keep in mind that flea collars only work from the neck of the animal to the head. You still have to find a solution for the body (like the aforementioned comb).
  • Flea Powder: Flea powder is effective, but it can also dry your pet's skin.

It is up to you to decide what you prefer to use here. If you are in doubt, ask your veterinarian. If you do go for a specific flea product, make sure you follow the instructions as stated on the box.


Step 2: Prepare and Clean Your House

Wash and Dry Fabric: One of the most popular places for fleas to hang out is in your carpet or rug. You will also find them in your pet's bedding. You need clean all locations where they like to hang out. Gather all of your pet's belongings (blankets, pillows, cushions, and plush toys), and put them in the washing machine. Do this every other day.

Vacuum: Vacuuming every other day will get rid of the majority of the adult fleas but not those in the egg stage.

Fleas need food in order to survive, so the trick is to break their food chain. If you are really thorough with the vacuuming and get in all of the corners, under and behind all of the furniture, and in your pet's favorite hangouts, you will remove any habitable environments.

Manage Heat and Humidity: Fleas need and prefer high heat and humidity to develop well (they do not like temperatures above 103 F degrees). Consider drying out the air (and eggs) with a dehumidifier. You can also section off a room on a hot day and add dry heat to achieve inhospitable conditions.

Dehydrate With Borax

Borax laundry detergent doesn't kill fleas directly, but it deprives them of moisture. As you learned earlier, moisture is essential for survival. This treatment will also help dehydrate the eggs.

Apply Borax as follows:

  1. Remove uncolonized belongings from the room you want to treat.
  2. Cover the remaining items.
  3. Make sure that your pets are out of the room (they can step on the Borax and lick it off of their paws).
  4. Throw some Borax on the floor and vacuum it. It may sound silly at first, but by doing this, you will have some Borax in the vacuum bag for the fleas you vacuum up.
  5. Vacuum your carpet. This way, you get the carpet fibers to stand up so that the Borax will penetrate the carpet.
  6. Sprinkle the Borax evenly and massage it deep into the carpet by walking over it or using a broom.
  7. Let the Borax work overnight, but not longer than 24 hours to prevent carpet fading! Keep the room shut.
  8. Vacuum the carpet thoroughly the next day.
  9. Repeat this technique in the next room.

Wash everything in your house to get rid of fleas.
Wash everything in your house to get rid of fleas. | Source

Step 3: Treat Your Yard

You can try using diatomaceous earth or DE in your yard. Diatomaceous earth is 100% organic and kills household and garden pests like cockroaches, ants, slugs, fleas, beetles, and many other crawling insects within 48 hours of contact. You can apply it with an old flour sifter. Be aware that it washes away after a strong rain, so reapply after.

You may have to treat your yard to be completely rid of fleas.
You may have to treat your yard to be completely rid of fleas. | Source

Rinse and Repeat

Fleas will likely reappear after your first cleaning session; don't be surprised, as most of the eggs and larvae may not have been eradicated the first time. Surely, you reduced some of the population already. Simply vacuum the spot where you discovered the new fleas and retreat your pet and any household areas. Continue doing this for a month or more if necessary.

The Life Cycle of the Flea

When you discover fleas in your house, you have to act fast. On average, you will have one week before the next generation emerges. Understanding the life cycle of the flea is key to successfully eliminating them and reducing your chances of exposure to disease.

There are four stages in the life cycle:

  1. Egg
  2. Larvae
  3. Pupae
  4. Adult

If you are able to stop or interrupt any part of the cycle, you will be successful in inhibiting the population. You need to prevent the fleas from developing into the next stage. After laying about 20 eggs, a single flea will reproduce and lay another 20 eggs. Development between each life stage takes two weeks. That means you will have 8,000 uninvited guests in your home within a month! After two months, you will be hosting a mind-boggling 3.2 million fleas.

The life cycle of the flea.
The life cycle of the flea. | Source

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2014 TheAndy


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      Pat Mele 

      8 months ago

      Shampoo your pet with Dawn dish detergent leave on for ten minutes and rinse them well. Dry and comb and should take care of the fleas.

    • profile image

      Deepi Dm 

      2 years ago

      Nice articles.We have controll all types of pest in our services chech out this :

    • zeinab ali 25 profile image

      zeinab ali 25 

      3 years ago

      Thank you for the excellent article and great information we have a fight against insects in Riyadh to eliminate all kinds of insects

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      I will try the baby shampoo!



    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)