As soon as you get a flea bite and discover fleas in your bed, or even suspect a possible flea infestation in the home, action must be taken instantly to avoid worsening of the infestation. However, in order to properly stop the flea problem, effective flea control must begin with the pets because the infestation usually originates from them.
Do you have fleas in your bed?
Here are some signs that indicate you may have fleas in your bed or if you are dealing with something else, like bed bugs:
- You will wake up with bites on exposed parts of the skin.
- Inspect your bed for fleas. Sometimes, you might actually have bed bugs. Signs of bed bugs are different from signs of fleas in the bed. Bed bugs typically leave rust colored markings on bed sheets. The bed bugs also tend to discard their exoskeletons as they molt from one life cycle stage to another. Fleas on the other hand leave black colored debris. You might also see blood stains in your bedding.
- If needed, use flea traps under or near your bed. Traps usually contain sticky papers to trap fleas. This will help you know for sure if you are dealing with a flea infestation. You can also make homemade flea traps using dish soap, vinegar and overripe mashed fruits. The fleas are attracted to the fruit and get drowned in the vinegar and soap solution.
Can you get fleas in your bed without having pets?
If your pet sleeps in your bed, and it has fleas, then chances are that you will have a flea infestation in your bed. Sometimes though, people complain about fleas in the bed, despite having no pets:
- The reason may be that one of your neighbors with pets have treated their premises for a flea infestation. Due to the use of chemicals, all the remaining fleas could then have decided to move to your house.
- If you have recently moved into a new house, then chances are that fleas were left behind by the previous occupants.
- Fleas can also come indoors from raccoons, possums, rodents and even birds. So it is important to remove all clutter from decks, yards and under the patios to deter these wild animals.
5 simple steps to get rid of fleas in your bed
1. Treat your pets for fleas
In order to get rid of fleas in your bed, start by treating your pets (if you have any). If you are unsure about the process, then it is best that your pet is checked by a veterinarian for proper flea treatment.
There are a number of flea treatment products available in the market which are good for use on both cats and dogs. Do note that some products are not safe for cats, so read the label carefully. These flea treatment products are available as topical preparations or for oral use which may be used monthly or with a few months interval. Follow the veterinarian’s advice for optimum results.
Also, beddings of pets should be washed thoroughly with very hot water, as fleas prefer to nest where the pet usually stays in order to continue feeding on him or her.
How to get rid of fleas on dogs and cats
- Bathe your pet thoroughly with a flea shampoo that has been approved by your vet. Leave the product on for at least 10 minutes. This will help you get rid of all flea eggs and larvae.
- After drying your pet completely, administer flea tablets or drops. These products generally offer protection from fleas for a couple of months after which you must retreat.
- Sprinkle Brewer’s yeast in your pet’s food. This will make their blood less appealing to fleas.
- Some pet owners have also added garlic or garlic oil to pet food to repel fleas naturally. Speak to your vet before experimenting with this.
- Add a dash of apple cider vinegar to your pet’s drinking water. This will repel fleas, your pet’s coat will improve and it will have better immunity against flea bites.
2. Wash sheets and other bedding
The moment you find fleas in bed, wash the bed sheets, pillowcases, blankets and comforters with detergent on a hot cycle. After that, run the beddings in the dryer. Fleas will not survive the hot cycle in both the washer and the dryer so this will do the trick. However, if the infestation is not limited to the sheets, when the fleas in bed have reached even the mattress for instance, washing the beddings may not be enough.
3. Vacuum the bed and floor
The next thing to do is to vacuum the sheets, mattress and the pillows. Even the rugs should be vacuumed on a daily basis. Doing this will eliminate not only the nesting fleas in bed, but also their eggs, and thereby interfere with their life cycle. After every vacuuming, vacuum bags must be disposed for proper control of the infestation. If not, the eggs will just hatch inside the vacuum bag and continue the life cycle and thereby the infestation. Know that the vibrations from the vacuum stimulate the fleas to come out of their cocoons, making them exposed to the insecticide to be used.
4. Use flea powder
During vacuuming of sheets, mattress and pillows, the use of flea powder in conjunction may help eliminate bed fleas. It is best to make sure that the flea powder is free from toxic chemicals and safe for use on the bed and pillows. Any toxic chemical is not advisable for use on the bed, like bug sprays for instance, because these may affect one’s health. I am a big proponent of homemade and herbal recipes, so here is a great natural flea powder that is non toxic and yet very effective in repelling fleas.
Ingredients: 1 cup of each of the following dried herbs
How to make and use flea powder
- Mix all the herbs mentioned above in a large bowl.
- Grind the herbs till you get a fine powder.
- Fill up the powder in an empty salt or sugar shaker.
- Shake all over your pets as well as in your bed sheets.
The powder smells amazing and does a great job at repelling fleas.
5. Try flea bombs as the last resort
Flea bombs are the last resort to eliminating a flea infestation, but for a flea infestation that is serious and out of hand, flea bombs may be the best treatment option there is. Flea bombs contain toxic chemicals and may require a number of hours in order to work. When flea bombs are used, the area affected or the entire home must be vacated to avoid exposure to the toxic chemicals.
How to use a flea bomb
- Always keep your pets and children away from the house when treating it with flea bombs. Cover all furniture, bedding etc. with old cloth or tarp.
- Clearly mark your property as being treated with pesticide.
- Inform neighbors about the treatment.
- Follow instructions provided on the product.
- Use gloves, goggles and a mask to protect yourself from the toxic fumes of the bomb.
- It is best to stay away from the treated home for a few days. Make sure you wipe down all surfaces and wash all clothing, linen and utensils before use.
- Air out the house and open all windows and doors to let toxic fumes out.
Preventing new flea infestations
After these steps are done to control the fleas in your bed, prevention of new flea infestations is the next step. Even after treating the bed or the entire home, it is normal to see fleas return days or weeks after. The best prevention methods are regularly keeping the house and yard clean, treating the home and yard with flea treatments regularly and keeping the pets on flea preventive measures.