Where do fleas hide? Good question. There’s nothing more satisfying than hunting these bloodsuckers down and destroying them.
After all, nobody likes a parasite. Sucking blood for a living tends not to make you any friends. And even the sparkly dreamboat vampires of a few years back seem to have had their cultural moment and faded back into the shadows from whence they came.
But the bloodsuckers are still with us. Except they are less likely to be a pale Eastern European aristocrat with a questionable taste in capes, and more likely to be some kind of insect.
Among the perennially unpopular family of blood feeding insects, the flea is one of the most notorious.
Anyone who suffered through the itchy bites caused by a flea infestation knows that these tiny creatures are no joke. And the nuisance they create is completely out of proportion with their size.
Fleas are absolutely tiny. So tiny that, while they can be seen with the naked eye, they are extremely difficult to spot. And what makes them even more difficult to find is that they love to hide.
Where Do Fleas Hide?
A modern home provides almost unlimited places for a flea to hide. When you’re talking about an insect that, even fully grown, never gets bigger than 1/8 of an inch long, it’s not hard to see how easy it is for fleas to escape your attention.
Want to see up-close and person what fleas look like?
But you have one great advantage in your game of hide and go seek with the fleas. It’s that big, beautiful human brain of yours.
There are certain places in your home that are more attractive for fleas to hide in than others. Knowing a little bit about the biology and lifecycle of these insects will give you a better idea of where to look for them.
So let’s take a look at some of the most common hiding spots for fleas. And then the bloodbath can ensue.
Fleas Hide On Your Pets
We may as well start with the most obvious answer. There are many species of flea in the world, but the ones that cause the most trouble for us are the dog flea, the cat flea, and the human flea.
These pests take their name from the animal they most prefer to feed on, so no prizes for guessing that cat fleas are most likely to be on the cat, and dog fleas more likely to be on the dog.
But don’t get too bogged down in their names. All of these fleas will feed on any mammal, including dogs, cats, rabbits, rodents, and people.
Adult fleas will spend all of their time on their host. They use their strong legs to grip on to the hairs in an animal’s coat and lodge themselves there. This keeps them close to their food source, and adult fleas can’t survive more than a few days if they are removed from the animal they feed on.
Also, without a regular supply of blood, female fleas can’t lay eggs. Even when a flea gets dislodged from a pet by scratching, it will use its incredible jumping ability to simply get back on.
It’s as though you could spend your life riding around on some kind of gigantic mobile hamburger. Who wouldn’t want to do that?
Here’s how to get rid of fleas on pets…
The good news in all this is that since fleas like to live on your pet, it gives you an easy way to wipe out the entire colony of adult fleas feasting on your poor dog or cat simply by choosing an effective flea treatment.
Flea treatments differ for dogs and cats so here are separate guides to help you out:
So if adult fleas are found almost exclusively on pets, a flea infestation should be an easy problem to solve, right? Well, no. Adult fleas make up only around 5% of the flea population in a home.
So giving your pet a flea treatment will kill most if not all of the adults, but within a few days, a whole new generation of flea eggs will hatch out and start the entire cycle all over again. So where are those pesky eggs hiding?
Fleas Hide in Carpet
Can fleas live in carpet? Absolutely.
Female fleas make no attempt to attach their eggs to the animals on which they lay them. Eggs typically fall off as the animal moves and end up wherever they land. Often, this will be on the floor.
And if you have carpet, you’re right to be worried. Flea eggs are tiny and will readily sink down into the fibers of the rug.
After a few days, the eggs will start to hatch. Hatching can often be triggered by vibration, so vacuuming both helps to remove eggs and can also cause them to hatch out faster.
Fleas undergo complete metamorphosis, which means that the emerging juveniles looked nothing like the adults they will one day become. Flea larvae look like tiny worms.
And if that’s not gross enough, the flea larvae feed on flea dirt, which is the blood-based droppings of the adult fleas.
Once they’ve had a few meals, flea larvae will spin a cocoon around themselves while they pupate. This can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks.
But once conditions are right, they will emerge from the cocoon as adult fleas. From there, they will climb to the top of the carpet and jump on to the animal as it passes by.
Here’s how to get rid of fleas on pets…
Of course, the best thing to do is to get the fleas before they become full-grown, biting pests. So how do you do that?
A vacuum is the best place to start. But completely getting rid of fleas in carpet is a little more involved than that, which is why we have a full guide to help you kill the fleas in your carpets.
Fleas Hide in Beds
Can fleas live in beds? As much as we hate this answer, we must speak the truth: yes, fleas can and will live in beds.
So how do they get there? Well, any animal that has fleas will be shedding eggs wherever it goes. For that reason, it’s essential to think carefully about where your pet spends its time.
If your dog or cat likes to jump up on the bed, chances are good that some flea eggs will have fallen off and begun to mature there. Yes, that means there you probably have fleas in your bed.
And it’s not just your bed that you need to worry about.
Your pet’s bed makes for a great kindergarten for baby fleas. Fleas like to hide in the fibers of fabrics, so your bed, your family’s beds, and your pet’s bed can definitely be a suitable place for the larvae to develop.
Here’s how to get rid of fleas on bedding…
It’s repulsive to think you or your pets have been sleeping with fleas but the good news is that it’s not difficult to get rid of fleas in bed. Here’s the full guide.
Fleas Hide on Furniture
Just like the bed, if your pets get on to living room furniture, they will shed flea eggs there. And just like the bed, sofas and armchairs also make perfectly good places for fleas to pupate.
Immature fleas are repelled by light, and will burrow their way into any dark spots they can find while they wait to grow up. The cracks and crevices of an upholstered sofa provide no end of hiding spots for these tiny insects.
Here’s how to get rid of fleas on furniture…
Again, this is why the vacuum and steamer are some of the best tools you’ll have in your fight against fleas. Just make sure you get into all the cracks and crevices.
Fleas Hide in Cracks and Crevices
We hate to end this on a bad note, but you must know the truth: fleas can be hiding in every crack, crevice and corner of your house.
Fleas love the dark privacy of small cracks and crevices and will thrive in the tightest spaces like the cracks of hardwood floors, room corners, and along baseboards.
The more places throughout the house your pet has roamed, the more likely the infestation has spread.
Here’s why: Anyone who has a cat will tell you that they can be weird animals. Normally, from a pest control perspective, cats are the best pet around, since they will readily hunt and eat pests in the home.
When it comes to fleas, though, cats present even more problems than dogs because they are more mobile. Anywhere your cat goes, it could be dropping flea eggs.
This can lead to eggs ending up in some strange places, such as on top of kitchen appliances or on high shelves. Both cats and dogs will spread fleas throughout the house, but cats will certainly spread them far wider than dogs will.
And because fleas tend to prefer the dark privacy of small cracks and crevices, they will soon set up thriving flea communities in these small, hidden pockets of the home.
Here’s how to get rid of fleas in cracks and crevices…
When it comes to adult fleas, we know where to find them. They will be on your pet or very close to them. But killing adults will not solve the problem by itself. You need to kill the eggs and the larvae too.
So the first step to killing fleas that are hiding in cracks and crevices is your trusty vacuum cleaner. A steamer is also a good idea but let’s be honest, it could take ages to properly steam clean every nook and cranny of your home.
Which is why when it comes to killing fleas hiding in the tiniest crevices of your home, the best solution is a flea spray. But not any flea spray will do – we recommend you get a 2-in-1 spray that combines a pesticide to quickly kill adult fleas with an Insect Growth Regulators (IGR).
No battle against fleas is complete without an IGR – these are basically pesticides for younger fleas and they work by forcing a synthesized hormone onto the young or unborn fleas so they can’t grow into healthy, reproducing adults.
So what’s the best one? Precor 2000 Plus Premise Spray is highly effective at reaching into the tiniest nooks and crannies to kill adult fleas and sterilize juvenile fleas. Virbac Knockout E.S. Area Treatment is another great option.
Okay, that sums the most common flea hiding spots to find and destroy fleas. So take a careful look throughout your house and think about everywhere that your pet has been.
Anywhere the animal goes, there is the possibility of it leaving flea eggs behind. And once you find them, well, you know what to do.