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How do I get Rid of Fleas in a Bed?

By Elizabeth West
Updated May 16, 2024
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Flea eggs can end up anywhere, especially if there are pets in the house. Fleas in a bed are particularly annoying, since fleas bite and suck the blood of any people or pets in the bed. To get rid of them, several strategies need to be employed, including thorough cleaning, pet quarantines, and pest extermination methods.

All the bedding in the affected area must be washed in hot soapy water. This kills all the fleas, their eggs, and their larvae. Enclosing a mattress in a protective cover, like the ones used for bedbugs, will not prevent fleas from getting into a bed or keep them from biting. Fleas usually stay in the carpet or rugs and do not typically seek out mattresses to lay their eggs. Insecticides should not be applied to mattresses where people sleep.

Pets that are harboring fleas need to be quarantined and treated for the infestation, or the fleas will return. This can be done at home, or a veterinarian can take care of the animal. It is important to only use products specifically designed for the animal being treated to prevent serious or fatal poisoning. The pet can then be combed with a special extraction comb, and the fleas can be disposed of. Hot soapy water will kill fleas in a bed that belongs to a pet.

Carpets often harbor fleas and their eggs and larvae, and people walking through the infested area can carry the eggs with them into bed. Daily vacuuming will help pick up eggs and larvae, and the bag should be discarded outside immediately after use. Carpets can be cleaned with a hot steam machine, although this may not kill eggs. Professional carpet services can use an infrared heat treatment to kill the eggs, larvae, and adult fleas.

Flea bombs will get rid of the live insects, but they leave toxins around the house. Food-grade diatomaceous earth or a borate flea product will dehydrate the fleas and kill them. If fleas in a bed are still a problem after all these measures have been taken, a professional pest control service may need to be called. Professionals can apply a treatment, although most usually do not treat bedding, so the homeowner will have to continue washing and vacuuming regularly until all the fleas are eliminated.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By ShellM89 — On Jun 12, 2011

@MalakAslan – Fleas at work? That is awful! I do live in an area where fleas seem to be prolific and I did have them in my home and bed at one time.

It takes lots of work and diligence to get rid of the fleas once they have made themselves at home. The food-grade diatomaceous earth and borate flea products are good examples of natural products that kill and help prevent fleas.

There are also some other natural products that can be used that seem to help in getting rid of fleas and preventing infestation.

Some that have help me or people I know are lavender, tea tree oil, and citrus products. You can find more information on the Internet.

By MalakAslan — On Jun 10, 2011

Did you know that you can get fleas in your bed (and home) even if you don’t have a cat or dog? It happened to a friend of mine when I lived in Southern California.

Some areas just seem to have fleas all over, like the beach area where I used to live. I don’t know if it was because there were so many stray animals or because the weather was really nice, maybe both.

One time there were even fleas in the place where I worked and I got bites all over my legs.

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