How to Know If You Got Rid of All of the Fleas (2023)

By Ealisa Adams | Updated September 26, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • Flea comb

  • Petroleum Jelly

  • White paper or towel

Fleas are pesky and annoying and hard to get rid of. After you have treated you pet with medications and shampoos and have treated your house with appropriate pesticides, you want to know that all the pests are gone.To truly know if you are rid of all the fleas, you have to properly check your pet.

Place your pet on the white paper or towel. Make sure that the paper or towel is a bright white so that it is easy to see any black fleas that fall off.

(Video) How to Get Rid of Fleas Guaranteed (4 Easy Steps)

Using the flea comb, brush against the pet’s hair so that you can see your pet’s skin. Start with the back and work your way down. Make sure you check your pet’s toes, around the ears, armpits, tail and head as well. These are often popular places for the fleas to hide and hang out.

Keep a close eye on the white paper or towel. You are looking for and fleas that fall or jump off. Once you see one, it is safe to assume there are more.

Apply petroleum jelly to the flea comb and brush your dog a second time. If your dog has fleas, they will get stuck to the jelly and you will be able to see them. This is also a good way to treat your dog for fleas because the jelly picks them up while you brush.

Check for flea dirt. If your pet has fleas, you will find little black or brown specks called flea dirt. Flea dirt is pieces of blood left behind by fleas on pets. These specks may also fall off onto the paper.

Start treatment again if you find a flea. Just one flea can create another infestation, making it important to restart and continue treatment if you find one. If you have not already done so, seeing a veterinarian may be the next step if you have already tried unsuccessfully to treat the fleas more than once. A veterinarian can offer stronger products than over-the-counter medications and also offer some helpful advice to help get rid of all the fleas.


Photo Credits

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(Video) 10 Effective Ways to Get Rid of Fleas

How to Know If You Got Rid of All of the Fleas (11)


How do you make sure all fleas are gone? ›

Thoroughly clean areas where fleas frequently breed. This includes washing bedding, rugs, and pet bedding, and thoroughly vacuuming and sweeping floors and carpeted areas and along the edges of walls. Pet treatment. Every pet in the home must be treated.

How do I know if flea treatment is working? ›

The active ingredient in FRONTLINE (fipronil) kills fleas by affecting their nervous system, making them hyperactive before dying. These dying fleas often rise to the top of your pet's haircoat, so the presence of visible fleas after treating your pet, is a sign that the product is working.

How do you know if you still have fleas in your house? ›

Signs of a flea infestation include seeing: fleas hopping on your drapery, carpet, or furniture. multiple dot-like insects in your pet's fur. your pets scratch, lick, or bite their fur excessively.

How long will I see fleas after treatment? ›

As eggs hatch and develop, you might find fleas reappearing 10-14 days after treatment - this is quite normal and provided the insecticide remains in place it will kill them. This is why it is important not to carry out cleaning which might remove insecticide.

What month do fleas go away? ›

For many states, the most prevalent seasons for fleas and ticks are the spring and summer, or roughly from May through September. For southern and southwestern states, the flea and tick season typically occurs year-round. Extremely high heat will destroy fleas and ticks, as well as their eggs.

What kills all four stages of fleas? ›

Vacuum often. All four stages of fleas are killed after vacuuming, with a 96 percent success rate. Homes that are vacuumed often will usually not have a flea problem that persists for long, because the eggs, larvae, pupa and adult fleas will all be killed or removed through the vacuum.

Why am I still seeing fleas after treatment? ›

Flea larvae can remain dormant in your home for months, so new fleas may continue to emerge — even after treatment. These fleas will quickly die after hatching if you've treated your home and kept up with regular flea preventive for your pet, but it can take a while for all the existing fleas to hatch and be killed.

Why am I still seeing fleas in my house after treatment? ›

Often even after treating with a suitable flea treatment you will still see flea's on your animal. However, this does not mean that the treatment has not worked or that the fleas are immune – the reasons are fairly simple: Fleas are hatching in your home and re-infecting your pet.

Are fleas more active after treatment? ›

Treated fleas may become more active before they die

So you may see fleas come to the surface of your pet's coat and your pet might feel a bit more itchy than usual until those fleas are killed.

Will fleas eventually leave? ›

You might be asking yourself will fleas eventually go away? While some could last 2 – 3 weeks, they could also live for up to 12 months on the host it finds, so it is unlikely they will go away on their own. Fleas can also reproduce very quickly by laying eggs in carpet, bedding, or garden prolonging the infestation.

Will I ever get rid of fleas in my house? ›

Acting quickly if you notice fleas in your home or on a pet can prevent a severe infestation. Tips for managing fleas include vacuuming and dusting, washing all bedding, using topical flea treatments on pets, and, using EPA-registered insect repellents, and more.

How many fleas is an infestation? ›

As few as 20 fleas might mean your pet is infested, while the most could be between 200 to 300. Ignoring a few fleas can quickly lead to an infestation on your dog and in your home,2 because two adult fleas could lead to hundreds of eggs and pupae. Fleas start feeding on blood within minutes of landing on your pet.

Should you vacuum after flea treatment? ›

After your treatment

You must not: enter your home for at least two hours afterwards because the insecticide spray can be harmful to people and pets. clean or vacuum the treated areas for at least 14 days to allow the spray time to work.

Can I use flea treatment again after 2 weeks? ›

You can reapply flea treatment after 2 weeks, but it's not necessary. Fleas are a common problem for dogs and cats, and there are many treatments available to help you protect your pet from these pesky parasites. However, if you have applied a flea treatment in the past 2 weeks, there is no need to reapply it again.

How long can fleas live on furniture? ›

How Long Can Fleas Live Without a Host? In average conditions with a host to feed off of, fleas typically live around 2 to 3 months. However, fleas can only live up to one to two weeks without a host on your bedding or mattress.

Why does it take 3 months to get rid of fleas? ›

In most cases, it takes three to four months to completely get rid of a flea infestation since it takes fleas this long to go through their life stages, according to the American Kennel Club. “The real battle against fleas comes down to killing those that aren't on your cat or dog,” said Cooley.

Can fleas survive a washing machine? ›

Hot, soapy water in a washing machine: As previously explained, washing flea-infested items in a clothes washing machine is an effective way to kill fleas, thanks to the laundry detergent, along with the heat of the water and the turbulence of the wash cycle.

At what temperature do fleas stop being active? ›

Fleas can live in temperatures as low as 46 degrees. However, it can take up to 5 days of consistently below freezing temperatures to kill an adult flea. At temperatures between less than 46 degrees and 33 degrees survival rate varies between 10-20 days.

What time of day are fleas most active? ›

During the day, fleas avoid the sun so they are most active at sunset and least active at sunrise. At dusk, the pests would lay more eggs, respire more, and move around in the yard more. Although the fleas are not completely inactive at any time of the day, they have increased activity at dusk and night.

What do flea eggs look like on furniture? ›

Flea eggs are almost microscopic—typically about 0.5 millimeters in length and about half as wide. That's about the size of a grain of salt. Flea eggs have a soft shell called a “chorion” that has an off-white color, similar to a grain of salt, though they are more oval in shape.

What do fleas look like in your bed? ›

Signs that Fleas Are in Your Bed

Signs of fleas in your bedding include tiny black specks that are sometimes called "flea dirt." These are flea excrement; if you sprinkle them with a little water, they'll turn a dark-reddish brown.

How often should you reapply for fleas? ›

The best protection is regular use to protect your pup from fleas and ticks. This means that, with most topicals, you should be reapplying at least every 30-days. There's no right or wrong time of day to treat your pet. But, you shouldn't wash or bathe your dog for at least 48 hours before or after applying.

Can fleas survive in a vacuum cleaner? ›

They said a standard vacuum cleaner abuses the fleas so much it kills 96 percent of adult fleas and 100 percent of younger fleas.

Will vacuuming everyday get rid of fleas? ›

According to extensive studies conducted at Ohio State University, vacuuming is indeed an effective way of getting rid of fleas! Through these studies, scientists discovered that vacuuming killed 96% of adult fleas from carpets and 100% of the flea pupae and larvae.

How hard is it to get rid of a flea infestation? ›

These pests are very hard to get rid of. Fleas have flattened bodies so they can move through the fur of their hosts easily. They also have very strong exoskeletons, making them very hard to crush. They also leap out of danger quickly and are very small, so if they do get away they are hard to find again.

What time of year are fleas worse? ›

Peak Flea and Tick Season

Summer is one of the most active times for fleas and ticks, with some of the worst season being fall, in September, October, and November. Research has shown that the number of fleas on cats and dogs is 70% in the fall when compared to the spring season.

How long does itching last after fleas are gone? ›

“Your pet may itch for up to 2 weeks after a bite, and the itching will be severe and even damaging to your pet's skin,” Osborne says.

Does it matter if flea treatment goes on fur? ›

Topical medication should be applied directly to the skin, not the hair. You must part the hair so that you can apply it to the skin at the base of the neck.

Does washing everything get rid of fleas? ›

Fortunately, washing your clothes, bedding, rugs and other textiles is an effective way to kill fleas in any of the four life stages, thanks to the chemicals in the detergent along with the heat and turbulence encountered during washing and drying.

Do I have to wash everything to get rid of fleas? ›

Clean, clean, clean

This is why, if your pets have fleas you must treat and clean your house as well. Collect all bedding, throws, rugs and clothing and wash them in soapy water - washing liquid will do. The soapy water is known to kill the eggs, larvae, pupae and adults.

Do you have to wash everything after fleas? ›

You should wash bedding after because fleas can thrive anywhere. So if your beddings are left unwashed, there is a chance that the pest can still survive especially its eggs.

How often should I vacuum to get rid of fleas? ›

This is because flea eggs take 2 to 3 days to hatch after they have been laid, so by vacuuming every second day, you are preventing them from hatching and becoming more of a problem.

Can fleas survive the dryer? ›

The reason that washing and drying anything with fleas works is that fleas have to stay at a constant temperature. Therefore, when you dry them, you are overrunning their internal temperatures and they aren't able to survive.

Can you shake fleas off clothes? ›

Launder clothing and bedding

If you suspect that fleas have already made it into your clothing or bedding, launder them with soap and water. This will be enough to kill the fleas. You can also dry clothing, dog beds, and bedding on a hot dryer setting.

Should you brush out fleas? ›

Make sure to also comb all the little, tough-to-reach areas where fleas like to hide—such as between toes and in the armpits and groin. Combing removes and kills many adult fleas. You must comb often to prevent a new flea infestation and preventing existing eggs from developing into new adult fleas.

Are fleas gone after a flea bath? ›

Many flea shampoos kill fleas on contact and prevent them from returning. In addition to killing adult fleas during bathing, the best flea shampoos for dogs also prevent flea eggs and larvae from maturing into adults for a prolonged period of time.

What do fleas do after treatment? ›

Treated fleas may become more active before they die

The ingredient in FRONTLINE Spot On and FRONTLINE Plus that kills fleas makes them hyperactive before they die. So you may see fleas come to the surface of your pet's coat and your pet might feel a bit more itchy than usual until those fleas are killed.


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