If you’ve wondered, ‘does a steam cleaner kill fleas,’ then a resounding ‘yes’ is your answer.
Steam cleaning is one of the most effective and eco-friendly ways to get rid of not just fleas, but also dust mites, mildew, mold, and more!
To truly get rid of fleas, a specific steam cleaning process is required.
Does a Steam Cleaner Kill Fleas?
A steam cleaner will kill many adult fleas and their larvae. It may not get every single one, however. Some eggs and pupae may also survive, thanks to protective shells.
Interestingly enough, a steam cleaner will actually encourage hibernating pupae to hatch, thanks to the increased warmth and humidity. This will help you to flush them all out of hiding, so they don’t come back later.
Just make sure to stick to a strict regimen. You will want to keep these measures up for roughly two months, or longer (until adult fleas cease to appear).
You’ll need to be persistent if you really want to kill all of the fleas off. In fact, for a severe flea infestation, you will want to steam clean 2-3 times a week!
The Life Cycle of a Flea (and Why it Matters)
- Egg. Female fleas lay eggs directly on their hosts (read: your pets) in clusters of roughly 20. Why do female fleas lay their eggs here? Because they need to consume fresh blood in order to reproduce (just like the equally unpleasant female mosquito).
- Larvae. Compared to the eggs, larvae tend to be easier to see and kill. These blind, ¼-inch, pale, grub-like creatures have no defenses to speak of.
- Pupae. After feeding on ‘flea dirt’ (that is, leftover blood droppings from adult fleas), flea pupae will spin themselves into highly protective cocoons. Flea pupae can remain in this state for years, waiting for the right conditions. Steam cleaning comes in again, here, however!
- Adults. Once adult fleas emerge from their cocoons, they start feeding on their host in just a few hours. The females reproduce rapidly, after their first blood meal (as they call it).
How to Kill Fleas With a Steam Cleaner
Few insects can resist the 200+ F pressurized steam produced by a quality steam cleaner.
By applying a steam cleaner to not just the carpet, but the furniture and upholstery, you’ll ensure a large chunk of the infestation is killed off.
This being said, there will always be some eggs and pupae leftover.
They should hatch within 1-12 days, triggered by the heat and humidity from the steam cleaner. You can also stimulate them to hatch by raising the heat in your home, and running a humidifier!
Don’t Neglect the Vacuum Cleaner
Before you get steam cleaning or hire a professional steam cleaner, you’ll want to give the vacuum a shot at it. A good vacuum cleaner can also be quite effective at ensuring a large percentage is gotten rid of. You can then follow up with the steam cleaner!
Find the Source of the Fleas and Cut it Off
Of course, all of the steam cleanings in the world won’t get rid of all of the fleas if they live in your pets’ bedding and fur. Or your bed, for that matter!
To prevent the fleas from surviving elsewhere, and repopulating, you’ll need to cut them off at the source: that is, your pets.
Most fleas prefer to stick to their host if they can help it (for a supply of blood). To target fleas in your home, here are some steps you can follow:
- Bathe and brush your pets. If your pet has fleas, never fear! This is a very common problem, and there are a variety of effective solutions available. Two of the best are a flea comb and flea shampoo. The combination is almost certain to do the trick!
- Thoroughly clean pet bedding (or get rid of it). One of the main hotspots for fleas is pet bedding. The insidious insects continue to shed onto it while your pets sleep, scratch, etc. Give the bedding the most intense machine wash if possible, with a generous amount of detergent, and hot water. If the bedding is extremely infested, you may wish to simply get rid of it right off.
- Wash household bedding. If you’ve recently found fleas, and especially if your pets snuggle with you in bed, you’ll want to toss your bedding (and the entire household’s bedding) in the washer! Don’t forget to give any pillows or throw pills a shake-off and look-over!
- Toss your clothes in the washer. You will also want to toss your clothes in the washer. Fleas can easily get on clothing, and stick!
Safe and Environmentally-Friendly Cleaning Power
Compared to other methods, steam cleaning is more environmentally friendly, and safer.
Exterminators use toxic chemicals, while steam-cleaning uses only heat and water. After extermination, there are sure to be some toxins left in the air. Children and pets are particularly sensitive to these, and some may become sick!
Steam Cleaning Also Greatly Reduces or gets Rid of:
- Dust mites. These are insect-like little buggers that feed on dead skin and dandruff. They can cause allergic reactions, bite, etc. With a steam cleaner, they can be swiftly gotten rid of.
- Bed bugs. Nobody wants bed bugs; it’s an all-too-common fear. Fortunately, you won’t have to worry about these tiny nemeses, thanks to your steam cleaner!
- Molds. Mold can cause lung issues, damage to carpet, and more. A steam cleaner can eradicate many types of molds, for cleaner carpet and fresher air.
- Mildew. As with mold, a steam cleaner can make quick work of mildew!
- Allergens. A steam cleaner is an excellent way to get rid of all sorts of allergens, in carpet, furniture, etc.!
- Dandruff. A steam cleaner is one of the best ways to eliminate dandruff.
So, as you can see, a steam cleaner can not only kill fleas, it can eradicate them; just make sure to steam clean and vacuum at least 2-3 times a week (until they are gone).
This will also reduce other unpleasant pests and allergens, such as dust mites, bed bugs, and more!
Steam cleaning is an eco-friendly and environmentally friendly way to remove and prevent fleas with only using boiling water and projecting steam vapors.