There are few things more unsettling than typing out the query: how to get rid of fleas in bed.
Because while finding fleas on your dog or your carpet is unpleasant, there is nothing worse than the feeling of finding a flea in the cozy, intimate space of your very own bed.
Seriously, is nothing sacred to these blood suckers?!
If you’re in the unfortunate situation of sharing your sleeping space with fleas, take comfort in the fact that it’s not too difficult to get fleas out of your bed. Yes, it’ll take some work but it can be done even without the expense of professional pest control.
The thing is – you want to start as soon as possible.
Fleas breed at an alarming rate and once they start laying eggs on or around your bed, the situation can get a lot itchier.
You don’t want that. So here’s exactly how you can get rid of fleas in bed in 6 simple steps. You’ll want to get started on it. Like, now.
Is it fleas in your bed?
First things first, before we get to ridding your bed of fleas, are you sure it is fleas that you’ve found in your bed?
Fleas don’t typically hang around in human beds so if you suspect fleas because you have bites or saw a tiny, disgusting bug – we’re sorry to break it to you, but it might be bed bugs, in which case, the situation just got a whole lot worse.
But don’t panic – here’s how to check which blood sucking parasite you’re dealing with.
- Check your mattress and/or your pets. Mattresses are prime real estate locations for bed bugs, but fleas won’t typically seek them out. Instead, fleas prefer to live in your pet’s fur – you’ll be able to see them moving between hairs. So if you’re not sure – check your mattress for signs of bed bugs. If you find nothing, you’re probably dealing with fleas.
- What do the bites look and feel like? Bed bug bites look like raised, flat red welts and often appear in a line or clusters – they don’t always itch. Flea bites can be randomly placed but usually occur around your lower legs, since fleas jump rather than fly or crawl. Flea bites tend to look like small red spots surrounded by reddish haloes. They itch like crazy.
- Watch how they move. If you can spot any live bugs, watch them to see if they crawl or jump. Bed bugs crawl. Fleas jump.
Okay, fleas it is! Thank your lucky stars and let’s move on to the next step.
How to get rid of fleas in bed
The first step to getting rid of fleas in bed is going to be painful, both for you and your pets because it means…
No more pets in your bed
…at least until the flea situation is under control.
We know, we know – you love sleeping with Fido on your bed but since flea infestations typically begin with pets, your furry friend is sort of like the flea “ground zero” and shouldn’t be allowed back into your bed until you’ve treated his fleas and followed the following steps to get rid of bed fleas.
How do you get rid of fleas on your dog (or cat)? Here are some foolproof guides:
Wash all your bedding
The second you find fleas in your bed, you should strip all your sheets, pillowcases, blankets, comforters and toss them into the wash. Wash and dry at the highest setting – fleas die at temperatures hotter than 95 degrees Fahrenheit so this simple step may be enough to wipe them out – as long as the flea infestation was confined to the sheets.
However, if you can’t remember the last time you washed or changed your bedding, the infestation might have spread to your mattress…
Suck up future fleas
Flea eggs can wind up anywhere since they don’t stick to animal fur (or any surface), which makes it easy for them to fall off pets and land on your carpet, cushions or your bed. And this is bad news ’cause it’s the flea eggs make up the majority of any flea infestation.
If you don’t clear them up now, the flea attacks will never completely stop. Plus, the thought of sleeping on a bed with flea eggs, larvae and pupae is seriously gross.
To clear your mattress of these future fleas, vacuum the entire surface of the bare mattress. Go over the surface two or three times and then flip the mattress over and repeat.
Remember to take the vacuum cleaner outside before you remove the bag so the fleas don’t sneak back into your house.
Completely de-flea your mattress
Some fleas may escape the vacuuming and others could be hiding nearby in carpeting and cushions, biding their time to jump back into bed with you.
To not give them even a sliver of opportunity, we’re going to completely de-flea your mattress.
Here are the best ways to do this.
Steam your bed
A steam cleaner is one of the best flea killers simply because it is an all natural way to kill fleas in all life stages. A steamer like Vapamore’s MR-100 Primo Steam Cleaner will reach temperatures of 220 degrees Fahrenheit, which is more than hot enough to kill off adult fleas, flea eggs and larvae.
Even better, the steamer can run continuously at that temperature for up to 60 minutes. You can steam all the fleas living in your bed to death in that time.
The only downside to the Vapamore Steam Cleaner is its price tag. Luckily, there’s a cheaper alternative that’s also great. The McCulloch MC1275 Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner produces steam that’s over 200 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 45 minutes. And it’s half the price.
Use flea killers
If you don’t have or don’t want to go the steam cleaner route, you can use flea killers directly on your mattress. But since this is where you sleep, we don’t recommend actual pesticides. Especially when there are such great natural options, like…
- Food-grade Diatomaceous Earth (aka, “DE”) – get it here. Safe and non-toxic for you and total hell for fleas as it will dehydrate them to death on contact.
- Vet’s Best Natural Flea and Tick Home Spray – get it here. Natural flea spray that kills adult fleas on contact as well as flea eggs. Works immediately so you have less fleas in the short term while DE does its thing.
You can definitely use both but not at the same time. And we recommend getting a mattress cover.
Start by spraying your bare mattress with Vet’s Best Natural Flea and Tick Home Spray and then wait a few hours until the mattress is dry.
Once dry, scatter DE across your mattress and then slip on the mattress cover. Seal up the mattress cover.
The DE is harmless to you but we still want to make sure it’s sealed so you can trap all the fleas that are in your mattress. Once fleas come into contact with the DE, it only takes a couple hours to kill adult fleas, but we recommend leaving your mattress sealed for a solid month to ensure any hatched flea eggs have also made contact and died.
The mattress cover we recommend feels lovely on the skin and is comfortable to sleep on so a month is nothing. And plus, you’ll be getting rid of fleas in your bed while you sleep!
Prevent new flea infestations
The above de-flea method will eliminate fleas from your bed…but if you have fleas in your carpet, upholstery, cushions and around the house – it’s only a matter of time before you’re repeating steps #2 to #5.
You have better things to do.
So let’s do it right the first time – just like the first step in getting rid of fleas on your bed was to treat your pet, the last step to complete this extermination is to clear your house of fleas. Don’t worry, it’s not as hard it sounds – here are the best flea killers to completely eliminate fleas from your house.