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How Effective Is Fumigation for Fleas?

By Jennifer Voight
Updated May 16, 2024
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The use of flea fumigation sprays represents just one aspect of an effective flea control program. Fumigation effectively kills fleas, eggs, and larvae that are already in the home, but it is not effective when affected pets have not been treated. Additionally, while fumigation will kill most fleas in a home, new fleas can be carried in on pet hair and clothing of people who have walked through a flea–infested yard.

Fumigation involves using cans of flea killer to fill a home with pesticide and kill any fleas present in carpets, on furniture, and in any hiding places that are exposed to air. Either a professional pesticide expert or a homeowner can fumigate for fleas. Sprays are available at many major grocery stores, pet stores, and home improvement stores for a reasonable price.

The most effective fumigation sprays will kill fleas at all life stages, not just adults. To effectively remove fleas from the home, it's best for the homeowner to vacuum carpets and floors thoroughly first, especially under furniture and along baseboards or crevices where fleas like to hide. The vacuum bag should be emptied outside the house or sealed before disposal. Some flea experts suggest freezing the vacuum bags for several days before throwing them away to kill the fleas inside.

Before fumigating, all exterior doors and windows must be firmly closed, and all toothbrushes, food, and eating utensils should be sealed up or removed from the home to prevent them from being contaminated with pesticide. All people and pets must leave the home for the duration of the treatment and for at least several hours afterward. After the fumigation is complete, the home should be aired out for several hours to clear the air of lingering pesticide. It may be necessary to wash residue off kitchen counters and anything that will come into contact with food.

Around the same time that a home is being fumigated, pet owners should treat the affected pets as well. This can be done by taking the pet to a veterinarian for a flea shampoo or treating the pet with an oral or topical dose of a flea-control product. Many flea control products are formulated to protect against fleas for 30 days per dose, and many pet owners will need to use these products monthly for life to effectively protect against future infestations, especially if the pet goes outside frequently.

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Discussion Comments

By Eviemae — On Jul 28, 2011

This may seem a little odd, but I am a huge fan of easy home remedies for practically everything. So I was happy to find out how to get rid of fleas in that ilk.

There is a way to get rid of fleas without calling the exterminator and without stinking up your whole home with a fogger.

I learned this from a gardener, actually. It’s safe, too. All you need is a little Seven Dust.

You sprinkle it over the infected areas and let it sit for a little while. Go back over the whole area with the vacuum, and you are finished.

Seven Dust has been used forever to keep pests off of plants, but fleas in your rugs don’t like it either.

Although they say it’s safe to have around kids as long as they don’t eat it, I still only do this when they aren’t home. Better safe than sorry.

By dimpley — On Jul 28, 2011

My parents absolutely do not approve of pets inside of the home. And, since they live in a pretty warm area where the weather is nice, this usually isn’t a problem for them.

The odd things is that every summer they end up with a small flea infestation inside of their home. The first time it happened, I was shocked to see these little critters jumping up on my legs to take a bite.

As anyone who has ever had one can tell you, flea bites are for the dogs; they itch terribly!

We couldn’t figure out what was causing them, since clearly, they had no indoor pets. Then, we discovered the problem.

They live near the ocean, and there is sand everywhere. The fleas that they were getting were actually sand fleas and came in from the outside on their clothes and shoes.

Apparently sand fleas have no problem with carpet either, because they seem pretty content until the fumigator shows up each season.

By sweetPeas — On Jul 27, 2011

@ PinkLady4 - I have discovered that there are a few new techniques to eliminate fleas from your house, yard and pets.

Be diligent in shampooing your pets often to keep them free of fleas. Fleas don't stay very long on pets, they leap off pets and find a cozy place, like carpeting or upholstery to hang out. Flea treatments for pets have improved a lot in the last 2-3 years.

New treatments that are applied monthly to pets are quite effective. They seem to stop the reproductive stage of fleas.

Carpet aerosols work well. Use a growth inhibitor - then spray the area and kill the fleas in their reproductive stage. This is a really good thing, considering that one flea can produce one trillion flea eggs - what a gross thought!

Be sure to follow directions when using products to destroy fleas

By PinkLady4 — On Jul 27, 2011

Fleas are one of a number of pesky pests that must be eliminated from the home. There are bedbugs, carpenter ants, and others. They are costly and a disruption to get rid of.

It's a problem to get rid of fleas (in any form) by fumigation. It can be done temporarily, but the infestation will start all over again. Even though fumigation can destroy fleas inside the home, they are always outside and are continually brought in on clothing and pets.

I wonder if there are any other effective ways to keep fleas out of the house or continually destroy them?

By MrSmirnov — On Jul 26, 2011

I really think that fumigation for fleas is effective if you make sure to keep your pets inside afterward and do you best to prevent exposing them to anymore fleas. This means limiting their interaction with other animals and paying for regular grooming sessions with a professional.

One of the biggest downsides of fumigation for fleas is that you have to leave your home while everything is being taken care of. You will have to find a place for your pets and a hotel for your family. The costs of a full flea fumigation can really add up, but having a clean house makes it all worth while.

By letshearit — On Jul 26, 2011

Needing to fumigate your home from fleas can be a huge hassle and hiring a company to do all the dirty work for you can be a huge stress relief. It is a good idea to get your animals taken to the vet for a thorough cleaning so that they don't bring any additional fleas back into your home once it is fumigated.

As for things like clothing having all of the items in your home steam cleaned can really make sure that every last flea is dead. We actually hired a secondary company to come in and steam clean our furniture. It gave us more peace of mind.

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