Some people just spray fleas to death. But it’s the smart people who go looking for the best flea trap.
But wait, why does a flea trap matter, you ask.
Well, you know how in the movies, the bad guy often has the good guy at his mercy? And instead of finishing him off when he has the chance, he goes on to explain his master plan?
It might seem silly, but only if you’ve never had your own lair/home invaded by an outside force. If you have, you’ll understand the irresistible desire to do a little gloating.
Most of us don’t have to deal with suspiciously good-looking secret agents infiltrating our homes on a regular basis. But unfortunately, lots of people will have to deal with fleas at some point in their lives. Yes, even those of us without pets.
And if it happens to you, you’re going to want to kill. But also, you may want to trap them first.
There are a huge array of flea traps available on the market. Like any good trap, they rely on an understanding of flea biology to catch the little suckers. Generally, they consist of a bait that is attractive to fleas, combined with a sticky surface to hold any fleas that land on it.
Since fleas are such notoriously good jumpers, sticky glue is one of the best ways to keep them in place until you find them.
But how do you bait a flea? These creatures feed only on the blood of mammals, and it’s neither practical nor advisable to keep large quantities of blood lying around in your house to entice them. You don’t want to attract vampires.
Luckily for the purposes of trapping, fleas are also attracted to other things. Especially light. Many flea traps rely on this attraction to lure these insects to a sticky end.
Types of Flea Traps
Essentially, there are two types of flea traps. Let’s go over them and what they entail, shall we?
Glue Flea Trap
The first is as simple as can be: a sticky pad or line of tape that will trap and hold any fleas that land on it. These traps have the advantage of being cheap and easy to use, and they also work on other pests beside fleas.
However, this kind of passive monitoring relies on fleas happening to land on the trap by chance. Still, these simple traps can be useful. You could use them close to your pet’s bed or other areas where fleas are very likely to be.
Effectively, you will be using your dog or cat as the bait in the trap. Just don’t tell them that’s what you’re doing, or they’ll give you that look. You know the one.
Flea Light Trap
The other type of flea traps are electric. These traps use heat or light or both to draw fleas towards the trap.
Adult fleas are attracted to light once they emerge from the cocoon, and they readily mistake the heat of an electric bulb for the body heat of warm-blooded animal. It’s like a dinner bell to them.
Electric traps are generally more effective at catching fleas. They are also more expensive, and require a power source, whether it’s batteries or an electrical outlet. But they justify their higher cost by being that much more attractive to fleas and thus, more effective.
Do Flea Traps Work?
Flea traps do work, but it’s important to understand how to use them correctly. If you have fleas in your home, trapping by itself is not going to get rid of them. This is because only adult fleas are attracted to light.
Juvenile fleas, or larvae, are actually repelled by it. And flea eggs, of course, are immobile so you won’t find any of those jumping toward a trap.
So a flea trap that uses light as an attractant will only catch adult fleas. And this is a problem. Why? Given that fleas are such prolific breeders, adults may make up only 5% to 10% of the population at any given time.
That leaves a lot of fleas still hiding in the carpet or elsewhere in your home. And some of these fleas will grow up and mate and lay eggs of their own before they find their way into a trap.
So you’ll never break the flea lifecycle simply by trapping. That being said, flea traps still serve a very important function.
What are Flea Traps Good For?
So if even the best flea traps can’t get rid of a flea infestation, why use traps at all?
Well, flea traps serve a couple of different functions that help you combat an infestation as well as prevent one from happening in the first place. Here are the top reasons why flea traps are a good idea when you’re trying to get rid of fleas.
Helps You Detect Fleas
Fleas are small and fairly good at staying hidden. Often, the first sign that you have fleas is that you or your pets start getting bites.
But in the summer, when fleas are most active, there are lots of other bugs around that can also bite. Flea treatment can be a lengthy and exhausting process. You want to be sure that fleas are actually the source of the problem before you spend time and money trying to fix it.
Flea traps are great at letting you know whether you have fleas or not, before an infestation gets out of hand.
Lets You Know Where Fleas Are Hiding
And even if you know for a fact that you have a flea problem, traps can still be useful. By setting up a few traps throughout your home, you will be able to see which areas of the house have more or less flea activity.
This will help you to target your treatment efforts at the areas that need it most.
Even after you’ve finally got rid of the flea infestation, traps still serve a purpose. They can help give you peace of mind that the fleas are truly gone.
By allowing you to monitor the flea population in your home, they will help you know earlier if the fleas make a comeback so that you can get on top of it before it develops into a major problem again.
What are the Best Flea Traps?
Another great advantage of flea traps is that they are mostly passive. Choose the best ones, set them up and watch the carnage ensue.
So what are the best flea traps you can get your hands on? You can’t go wrong with any of the below four flea traps – read through our reviews to choose the best flea trap for your needs.
And if that still isn’t quite enough, read on – we’ll show you how you can also design your very own DIY flea trap. Now on with the show…
Aspectek Trapest Sticky Dome Flea Trap
This electric flea trap is probably our favorite and will most likely be the only flea trap you need.
The trap comes fully assembled and ready to use, with two glue traps so that you have a replacement once the first gets full. This trap claims to attract fleas from up to 50 feet away, and it does this through the use of light, heat, color, and what the manufacturers call a ‘sweet odor.’
The dome helps to keep the sticky surface inaccessible to pets and kids. The openings in the dome are large, which they need to be to ensure that fleas can enter easily and get stuck.
This trap needs to be plugged in, and the manufacturers recommend that you keep it switched on 24 hours a day. This can be hard on the bulbs, but luckily, they are easily replaced with regular night light bulbs.
What We Love About This Flea Trap
The dome-like design of this trap is handy for keeping pets and kids away from the sticky trap. Be warned, though, the glue on this trap is STICKY, and it will cling to any fingers or noses that come into contact with it. If someone in your household does manage to get the trap stuck on themselves, a little bit of vegetable oil works to break the adhesion.
The light and heat of this trap are provided by a tiny bulb that is powered by a plug-in cord. This means you won’t need to hunt down batteries to use the trap, but it also means you will need to use an electrical outlet.
The amount of power these traps draw is very small, but if you don’t want to have them on all the time, use them only at night and switch them off during the day. Fleas are active around-the-clock, but the light will be more visible and more attractive to them when their surroundings are dark.
All in all, these are great flea traps. If they don’t attract fleas in your home, you probably don’t have any to attract. Perhaps the biggest downside of these traps is the bulbs. When used 24 hours a day, they have a tendency to burn out quite quickly.
But hopefully, you’ll have eradicated your flea problem well before you need to switch bulbs.
The Ultimate Flea Trap
If you’re going to call yourself the ultimate flea trap, you had better make sure that the claim is at least somewhat accurate. Fortunately, this trap has a lot to offer the budding flea hunter.
The thing is, though, it’s really similar to the Aspectek Trapest flea trap we mentioned above. So much so, in fact, that the glue discs and bulbs from one will fit perfectly into the other. It uses the same dome-shaped design and plug-in lightbulb to attract fleas to their sticky doom.
Which is exactly why The Ultimate Flea Trap makes such a great alternative. You see, in case you want to make sure you have plentiful supplies to keep your flea traps running for awhile, you can get the exact same version of these flea traps but simply with more sticky pads and light bulbs.
Here’s what we mean:
- You can get The Ultimate Flea Trap with 2 sticky discs and 2 light bulbs for roughly the same price as the Aspectek Trapest flea trap.
- Or you can opt for a double package with two of The Ultimate Flea Traps and 4 sticky discs and 4 light bulbs for a little less than double the price of the above.
Either way, you’ve got options.
What we love about this flea trap
Given the similarity between these and the Aspectek traps, it’s no surprise to find the pros and cons of each are more or less the same. They use the exact same mechanism to attract and catch fleas, and one is about as effective as the other.
When choosing between the two of them, the chances are that the biggest factor in your decision will be price – and in that case, The Ultimate Flea Trap wins.
Trap-N-Kill Flea Trap
This trap uses an adult flea’s attraction to light to draw them toward the sticky surface. The manufacturer claims that the sticky pads will last up to three months or until they are full of 10,000 fleas – whichever comes first.
That figure may only be accurate if the fleas are considerate enough to arrange themselves in the perfect pattern to occupy every millimeter of the trap surface. Still, no matter how they land on it, this pad will hold a lot of fleas.
What we love about this flea trap
A 4-watt nightlight style bulb provides heat and light, so you needn’t worry about this trap drawing a lot of power. It will need to be plugged into an electrical outlet to work, though. If you intend to use the trap 24 hours a day, you may find that the bulbs will burn out.
However, they are easily replaced at any hardware store with the same light bulbs you would use in a nightlight.
One of the best features of this trap is the grid that sits on top of the sticky pad. While large enough for fleas to easily fall through, the grid helps to keep some of the pet hair off the pad. Pet hair can quickly make a sticky pad not so sticky, rendering it ineffective as a trap, so it’s a thoughtful design feature to try and prevent this.
There’s no question that these traps work. Like any lighted trap, they are most effective when placed in dark areas or used overnight.
If you have fleas in your home, sooner or later some of them will get stuck on the sticky pad. Take care where you place them, though. The design of the trap means that the sticky pad is mostly uncovered. While this is great for trapping fleas, it’s not so great for the clumsy among us.
The grid that stops pet hair falling onto the sticky trap will do nothing to stop a misplaced foot getting caught, so if you have kids, you may end up pulling these traps off their socks at some point.
Enforcer Over Nite Flea Trap
The unusual design of this trap sets it apart from other electric flea traps. This trap plugs directly into the wall, with no cord attached. In fact, it looks just like a regular nightlight.
One advantage of this design is that it’s far less likely for your pets or kids to step on the trap accidentally. Plus, there’s no cord to kick over. And it functions as a nightlight as well as a flea trap, which is a nice touch.
However, sometimes a product’s greatest strength can also be its weakness. Unless you use an extension cord, you are limited as to where you can place this trap by where your plug outlets are. Depending on the layout of your house, this may not be a problem. But it’s something to think about.
What we love about this flea trap
Another unusual feature of this trap is that it has a light sensor to ensure that it only comes on in the dark. This helps to save power and makes the bulb last longer, while ensuring that the trap is only in use when it will be most effective.
It helps to make this trap one of the lowest maintenance out there. You simply plug it in and let it do its thing.
However, this trap is smaller than a lot of the alternatives. As a result, it’s unlikely to catch as many fleas. For monitoring purposes, this doesn’t really matter. You either have fleas or you don’t, and you don’t need to catch 10,000 of them to know that they are around.
But its small size, combined with its limited range of applications, means it’s not the most effective trap on the list.
How To Make A DIY Flea Trap
If you’ve been reading reviews of flea trips, you may have noticed a common theme. Essentially, all you really need to catch fleas is a light source to attract them and a sticky surface to hold them in place.
It can’t be that hard to build your own flea trap, you may be thinking.
You’d be right. If you’re up for a little DIY, it’s not hard to build a free flea trap for yourself. Free flea trap. Try saying that three times fast.
Double-sided tape can be a good option for the sticky surface needed to trap fleas. It’s useful for creating a perimeter around areas of flea activity, such as pet beds. Of course, there’s always the risk that your pet will step on the trap and ruin your carefully designed capture device.
Another option is to fill a shallow dish with water and add a few drops of dish soap. The soap will break the surface tension of the water so that any fleas that land on the surface will quickly sink and drown.
Some people like to add a candle in the center of the dish to provide light and heat to attract fleas. This makes for a very aesthetically pleasing flea trap, but you also run the risk of starting a fire. You could achieve the same effect by shining a lamp down on the dish of soapy water to attract the fleas.
Whatever light source you choose, leave it shining overnight. In the morning, if you have fleas in your home, there’s a good chance you will find them in the bottom of the dish.
If you’re trying to save money, this can be an excellent way to achieve the monitoring effects of a flea trap without shelling out a bunch of cash.
But if you want a sure thing, go with one of the flea traps above. They are, after all, the best.