How to Get Rid of Fleas in a Car


It's irritating enough dealing with flea infestations in the house; the last thing you want to deal with is a flea infestation in your car too. There are many ways in which your car can become infested with fleas, such as a flea-infested pet bringing them into the car or even a flea catching a ride on your clothing. Either way, they bite, suck blood, and reproduce quickly so you don't want to ignore the problem.

Want to know how to get rid of fleas in your car upholstery and carpet? Start by treating your pets for fleas then vacuum and steam clean the inside of the car. Use a killer spray and diatomaceous earth to kill any remaining fleas.

If you have children and regularly travel with them in the car then it becomes extra essential to get rid of the fleas quickly. Ahead, we'll take you through some of the most effective options for how to get rid of fleas in your car, and hopefully help you to get rid of them for good.

Treat Fleas on Your Pet

What are the most common causes of fleas in the car? A pet with fleas that took a ride. You'll want to treat your pet and make sure they're free of any fleas before you even begin to start tackling the problem. There are many types of effective products available on the market to help you get rid of fleas on dogs and cats such as flea shampoos, flea collars, household sprays, and oral tablets, for example.

For best results, start the treatment with a quality flea shampoo like Vet's Best Flea & Tick Shampoo or spray to kill adult fleas then start your pet on a preventative medication like K9 Advantix II.

If you don't treat your pets first, the fleas will only return to your car, even if the hitch a ride on you from the house to the vehicle.

Remove Clutter from Your Vehicle

During their cocoon phase, fleas nestle deep into areas and crevices in which they can't be disturbed. The more you have in the car, the easier they can hide. Start by removing everything you can from the seats, floor, and even glove compartment.

Throw out any trash, and anything that you want to keep we would recommend sealing inside sealable plastic bags and placing them in the freezer, where any eggs and larvae will be killed off. If you have any items that can't be frozen, try placing the sealed plastic bags in the sun for a day or two.

Once you have dealt with any trash or removable items, remove upholstery, including any blankets, pillows, floor mats, cushions, seat covers, and steering wheel covers. Wash them with detergent or a mild bleach solution in very hot water before drying them on the highest possible heat setting.

Vacuum and Steam Clean

For smaller infestations, vacuuming or steam cleaning may do the job. Good steamers produce steam around 120 to 170 degrees, ample heat to deal with any flea infestation, as fleas are unable to withstand any temperatures above 95 degrees. Arguably you should be vacuuming or steaming your car fairly regularly anyway, but now is as good a time as any to start so a flea infestation doesn't happen again in the future. While steaming and vacuuming, make sure you pay extra attention to tiny crevices and potential hiding areas.

Larger infestations will have to be dealt with using a combination of methods, as a vacuum or steam cleaner will not be able to remove all of the fleas.

Pros and cons of using a vacuum and a steam cleaner: This is a fast and effective option for dealing with fleas in your car, however, it's not always the best when it comes to tackling flea eggs. Flea eggs hatch in humid, warm environments, so fleas can be known to reappear a few days later. Also, the vacuuming and steaming will have to be repeated regularly if it's to be an effective treatment.

Use a Flea Spray

Flea sprays tend to be most people's go-to option when it comes to how to get rid of fleas in the car. There are many different sprays available on the market, all specifically designed to deal with any pesky flea infestation. Flea sprays are most effective when applied as early as possible to prevent the infestation from spreading. A good choice is Hartz Ultra Guard Plus Flea & Tick Spray which kills all life stages.

A simple process, all you need to do is spray the seats and carpets of the vehicle, being sure to get in between the seats and to get all the floor mats too. You should keep the car locked for around 2 hours once you've sprayed the chemical to achieve the best results, and you should vacuum and steam the car afterward to remove any dead fleas.

Pros and cons of flea sprays

Flea sprays are relatively cheap and one of the most effective methods of dealing with fleas. The sprays kill off not only the fleas but their eggs as well, which will prevent an infestation from being able to spread to other areas of the car. Some people and their pets may have allergic reactions to the chemicals involved, however, so be cautious.

Apply Diatomaceous Earth Powder

Food-grade diatomaceous earth powder is available from pet stores and health stores, and once sprinkled liberally and left inside the car overnight, it can be a pretty effective method for dealing with fleas in the car. Diatomaceous earth has a sharp and crystalline molecular structure and it's made from the fossilized remains of ancient sea creatures. Sounds pretty cool, right?

As it makes contact with the fleas, it shreds the exoskeleton completely, and when all is said and done, 99 percent of your flea infestation problem should be dealt with. You should be sure to sprinkle the diatomaceous earth powder on and in between all of the seats, seat belts, on the floor mats and in the trunk of the car. After you've left it for around 8 to 10 hours give it a thorough vacuuming. You'll want to repeat the procedure 2 days later, and be sure to discard the vacuum bag when done.

Related Questions

Can you flea bomb a car?

Yes, you can flea bomb a car. Just be sure that you remove anything that can be washed and wash and dry them in the washing machine on the highest temperature possible. Vacuum your care carefully and remove clutter. Use a single flea bomb and do not open the car for 48 hours.

Will fleas die in a hot car?

Fleas can only withstand temperatures up to 95 degrees, so yes, if it is hot enough, a hot car on a hot day should kill them. However, this is not the best method to use for killing fleas that have infested your car. You'll want to use one or a combination of the methods laid out above if you want to effectively deal with a flea-infested car.

What temperature kills fleas and eggs?

Adult fleas are unable to survive in heat exceeding 95 degrees Fahrenheit or temperatures colder than 46 degrees Fahrenheit. When it comes to flea eggs, however, they have a slightly different temperature tolerance when it comes to cold temperatures, as they are unable to survive below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Related: What are the best vacuums for fleas?

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