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How to Get Rid of Fleas in Bed Mattress

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How to Get Rid of Fleas in Bed Mattress

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.

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 5 simple steps. You’ll want to get started on it. Like, now.

#1. Make sure it’s fleas

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.

#2. 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.

Treat your pets for fleas

In order to get rid of fleas in your bed, start by treating your pets (if you have any). If you are unsure about the process, then it is best that your pet is checked by a veterinarian for proper flea treatment.

There are a number of flea treatment products available in the market which are good for use on both cats and dogs. Do note that some products are not safe for cats, so read the label carefully. These flea treatment products are available as topical preparations or for oral use which may be used monthly or with a few months interval. Follow the veterinarian’s advice for optimum results.

Also, beddings of pets should be washed thoroughly with very hot water, as fleas prefer to nest where the pet usually stays in order to continue feeding on him or her.

#3. 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…

Wash sheets and other bedding

The moment you find fleas in bed, wash the bed sheets, pillowcases, blankets and comforters with detergent on a hot cycle. After that, run the beddings in the dryer. Fleas will not survive the hot cycle in both the washer and the dryer so this will do the trick. However, if the infestation is not limited to the sheets, when the fleas in bed have reached even the mattress for instance, washing the beddings may not be enough.

#4. 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 the 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.

Vacuum the bed and floor

The next thing to do is to vacuum the sheets, mattress and the pillows. Even the rugs should be vacuumed on a daily basis. Doing this will eliminate not only the nesting fleas in bed, but also their eggs, and thereby interfere with their life cycle. After every vacuuming, vacuum bags must be disposed for proper control of the infestation. If not, the eggs will just hatch inside the vacuum bag and continue the life cycle and thereby the infestation. Know that the vibrations from the vacuum stimulate the fleas to come out of their cocoons, making them exposed to the insecticide to be used.

#5. 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. Some people recommend boric acid for this, but why have toxins near where you sleep? Especially when there are much more effective flea killers​.

To do this, you’ll need:

  • Food-grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE) – Safe and non-toxic for you and total hell for fleas. It will completely wipe out your flea population within a few days’ time.
  • Vet’s Best Natural Flea and Tick Home Spray – 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.
  • A Mattress Cover – To seal the above de-flea mixture until all the fleas are dead.

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, slip on the mattress cover and before you seal it up, squirt DE inside. 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!


Fleas cannot survive in extreme heat. Once an infestation has started, machine wash all blankets, pillow cases, and sheets in hot water and put them the dryer immediately afterwards.

If there are fleas in the bed sheets, the insects could have spread to the mattress and pillows, too.

Vacuum each piece as well as any nearby rugs or carpets that may contain more fleas and eggs. Carefully dispose of vacuum bags and filters to avoid re-infestation and repeat each step as needed.

10 Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Do I kill Fleas in My Bed?

If you have fleas in bed, removing them is a multi-step process. Washing bedding in hot water, vacuuming any area suspected of fleas and treating the pet for fleas are recommended, along with the use of an insect growth regulator.

2. How Do You Get Rid of Fleas in Your Bed Naturally?

Flea home remedies:

  • Dish soap..
  • Herbal flea spray.
  • Baking soda.
  • Salt.
  • Lemon spray.
  • Diatomaceous earth
  • Rosemary.
  • Flea repelling plants.
3. Can Fleas Live In Bed?

Fleas are not usually found infesting a homeowner’s beds and bedding. The more likely situation is that flea eggs, larvae and pupae are living under the bed or, even more likely, are living in the bed and bedding of the household pet(s).

4. Can Fleas Live in Memory Foam Mattresses?

Bed bugs do not generally live within the mattress – regardless of which type you own. Instead, they stay on the surface, just hidden out of view and away from the light of day. They are just as likely to crawl beneath the memory foam mattress and remain there until you are sleeping cozily.

5. How Do Fleas Get in the Bed?

Fleas are not usually found infesting a homeowner’s beds and bedding. Fleas that are observed in beds and bedding are most likely there only to take a blood meal or were perhaps dislodged from the animal if the pet is allowed to sleep in the same bed as the homeowner.

However, if the homeowner does not wash and change the bedding for a long while, it is possible that the immature stages of the fleas could possibly take up residence in a bed or bedding.

The more likely situation is that flea eggs, larvae and pupae are living under the bed or, even more likely, are living in the bed and bedding of the household pet(s).

6. What Is a Natural Flea Killer?

Citronella, eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree, and rosemary will all naturally repel fleas. If your dog doesn’t mind a spray bottle, dilute a few drops of your chosen essential oil in water and spray directly onto your dog’s coat.

7. Do Dryer Sheets Repel Fleas?

As far as tips go, I heard that rubbing a dryer sheet like Bounce on your dog will help kill or help to keep fleas off of your pet. Seems they don’t like it. But as far as what you have been doing, keep that up. Keeping your pet clean, vacuming carpets or getting rid of them all help with keeping fleas at bay.

8. Where Do Fleas Hide In Bedroom?

The short answer is: fleas hide in cracks and crevices, under rugs and carpet, at pet’s feeding area in the yard, in beds and mattresses, clothes, or under leaf piles. The adult fleas will find you or your pets through breath, vibrations, and movement.

9. Can Fleas Live In Human Hair?

Fleas will bite and feed on humans, but the reality is that they do not wish to live on us. If there’s no preferred host around, they can end up getting into dense human hair. Fleas will not lay eggs in human hair because our blood is not nutritious enough to support their fertility and ability to reproduce.

10. Do Fleas Eventually Die Off?

As they can’t take a blood meal from people the fleas will eventually die off (as they need a blood meal to produce eggs), although it’s possible that your human family might get bitten frequently until that happens.

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