Mosquitoes flying around

How to Get Rid of Fleas in Your Bed

March 24, 2023

By Daniel Baldwin, BCE, CCFS, CP-FS

For pet owners, few things are better than snuggling up in bed with your beloved dog or cat for a cuddle session. But if your pet shares your bed and ends up with a case of fleas, they may bring them into your bedding.

Flea bites cause irritable itching for both furry and human family members. Plus, because of their small size, fleas can be difficult to detect and remove. If you suspect you have fleas in your bed, read this guide to learn the signs of a flea infestation and how to get rid of them.

What are fleas?

Fleas are small, wingless insects that survive by feeding on animal or human blood. They live on the exterior skin surface of their host and remain hidden beneath fur or hair. Their small size makes them difficult to detect, especially on animals with thick coats, meaning it can also be hard to see fleas if they’re in your bed. 

An adult flea varies in size from about 0.1 to 0.32 what is 10 centimeters in length. There are around 2,000 various species and subspecies of fleas known, and many have traveled across continents by hitching a ride on human or animal hosts.

Close up of a flea on a white fabric

How do fleas get inside?

Typically, fleas enter a home when a cat, dog, or other domesticated animal brings them in on their skin. Less common ways fleas can enter a home are through hand-me-down furniture, clothing, or on the skin of a person already infested. Fleas jump from place to place, capable of jumping as far as 13 inches—about 200 times their length.

Flea life cycle

Fleas have four life stages, starting as an egg, then becoming a larva, pupa, and finally, an adult. Their lifecycle can either be very quick or last many months—sometimes up to a year—depending on the conditions and food sources available through their life stages. It can take up to three months to break the flea life cycle, and adult fleas can live up to two weeks without attaching themselves to a host. 

How can you tell if you have fleas in your bed?

The first sign of fleas anywhere in your home is a pet that can’t stop scratching itself, especially if they spend a lot of time outdoors. If you see a mixture similar to salt and pepper in your pet’s bedding, or your own, it could be flea eggs and digested blood from adult fleas. Fleas are attracted to your bed because they search for warm and hidden food sources. The typical signs of fleas in your bed are waking up with little red, itchy welts from bites. 

You may also see specks on your sheets, floor, socks, and where your pets spend the most time. To confirm a flea infestation, look over your pet’s skin, especially around the neck and tail, by gently pulling the hair back. Fleas move incredibly quickly, but you’ll likely be able to see one or two moving if there is an active flea problem.

Fleas sucking on cat skin

Can fleas live on blankets and bedding?

Fleas like to burrow into soft, small spaces and hide, such as plush carpeting and bedding. However, if they don’t have a food source, they won’t live there for long. Fleas are far more likely to live on your pet’s body or bedding than on your sheets and blankets. If you share your bed with your pet, fleas may lay eggs in or around your bedding and blankets, and you may find flea larvae on your bed.

How to get rid of fleas in your bedroom

Because a flea’s life cycle can be difficult to disrupt, severe infestations will take months to control and require diligence. To kill fleas in your bed, thoroughly clean the areas where the fleas are breeding. Wash bedding, blankets, rugs, clothing, and pet beds. Vacuum carpets and sweep floors, ensuring areas underneath furniture and along the edges of walls aren’t missed. 

Consult your veterinarian on the best method for flea removal for your pet. These methods often include specific soaps and a flea comb. Treat your home at the same time you treat your pet to prevent reinfestations and disrupt the flea life cycle.

Pest control services 

Hawx Pest Control will help you determine which products and processes are best for treating fleas inside your home. With proven methods, qualified technicians, and the best products and services available, Hawx is the undisputed leader in pest control solutions. Our teams focus on ensuring the highest quality results that address current problems and help to prevent future infestations. Contact us today for your free estimate.

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