Fleas are tiny parasitic insects that live on the blood of animals and humans. They can quickly infest a home and be extremely difficult to get rid of. One of the most effective ways to kill fleas is by mopping floors and surfaces with a flea-killing solution.
Can I use vinegar to mop for fleas?
Yes, you can use vinegar to mop for fleas. Vinegar is acidic which makes it hostile to fleas. Mixing equal parts vinegar and water and mopping floors with it can kill adult fleas and flea eggs on contact. White distilled vinegar or apple cider vinegar work best. The acidic vinegar dissolves the waxy outer layer of fleas and eggs, causing them to dry out and die. Be sure to mop all floors thoroughly, especially carpets, rugs, and pet bedding areas.
Can I use bleach to mop for fleas?
Bleach can be an effective solution for mopping floors and killing fleas. It is a strong chemical that destroys fleas’ exoskeletons on contact. Mix 1 cup of bleach per gallon of water and mop hard floors throughout the home. Allow the floors to air dry completely after mopping. Bleach can also be added to wash cycles when washing pet bedding. Take precautions when using bleach as it can irritate skin and eyes. Wear gloves and open windows to allow proper ventilation.
Can I use salt to mop for fleas?
Yes, plain table salt can be used to kill fleas when mopping. Salt is abrasive and can dehydrate fleas. Mix 1-2 cups of salt in a gallon of hot water and mop floors thoroughly. The salt dissolves the flea’s waxy coating causing them to dehydrate and die. Vacuum the floors after they are dry to remove any remaining salt and dead fleas. Be careful not to get salt water on hardwood floors as it may damage the finish.
Can I use Dawn dish soap to mop for fleas?
Dawn dish soap makes an effective and affordable solution for mopping floors to kill fleas. Dawn’s formula helps break down the fleas’ exoskeletons. Mix a few squirts of Dawn and warm water in a bucket. Mop floors vigorously with the soapy water, then rinse clean. The soap solution will kill adult fleas and larva on contact. Focus on carpets, rugs, pet beds, and crevices where fleas lurk.
Can I use rubbing alcohol to mop for fleas?
Yes, rubbing alcohol works to kill fleas when mopping. It is highly effective because it dissolves the waxy coating on a flea’s exoskeleton, causing dehydration and death. Mix equal parts rubbing alcohol and water in a bucket. Dip a mop into the solution and mop floors thoroughly. Be sure to mop in corners, cracks, and crevices. Wear gloves since prolonged exposure to rubbing alcohol can dry out skin. Allow floors to completely air dry before allowing pets back on surfaces.
Can I use borax to mop for fleas?
Borax is a natural mineral salt that can kill fleas when used to mop floors. It is abrasive like salt which scratches the flea’s cuticle causing dehydration. Mix 1-2 tablespoons of borax per quart of warm water. Dip a mop into the borax solution and mop floors, rugs, and pet areas. Vacuum up the borax once floors are dry to remove any residue and dead fleas. Use caution with borax since it can be toxic if ingested by pets.
Can I use lemon juice to mop for fleas?
Lemon juice makes a safe, natural solution for mopping floors to kill fleas. The citric acid in lemon juice breaks down the waxy coating on fleas, eventually causing dehydration and death. Mix equal parts lemon juice and water into a mop bucket. Mop hard surfaces thoroughly and allow to air dry. The strong lemon scent also helps repel and prevent future infestations. Concentrate on pet areas and crevices where fleas lurk.
Can essential oils be used to mop for fleas?
Yes, certain essential oils can be added to mop water or cleaning solutions to kill and repel fleas. Some essential oils that work against fleas include peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree, lavender, citrus oils, and cedar oil. Add several drops of chosen essential oils to the mop bucket. The oils help suffocate adult fleas and flea larvae. Be sure to test oils first for staining. Oils also leave a pleasant aroma while naturally repelling fleas.
Should floors be vacuumed before mopping for fleas?
It is highly recommended to vacuum floors thoroughly before mopping for fleas. Vacuuming lifts adult fleas and larvae out of carpets and cracks. It stimulates pupae to emerge which can then be killed by mopping. Vacuum carpets, rugs, pet beds, baseboards, and furniture before mopping. Use a vacuum with a flea collar, flea powder, or borax in the bag. Dispose of the vacuum bag immediately after vacuuming to prevent re-infestation.
How often should floors be mopped to kill fleas?
For a severe flea infestation, floors may need to be mopped daily or at least every other day until fleas are under control. Mopping floors helps kill the adult fleas that make up only 5% of the total flea population in a home. Continue mopping regularly while also treating pets and using sprays or foggers to kill eggs and larvae in carpets and furnishings.
Here is a general guide for how often to mop for fleas:
- Severe infestation: Daily to every other day
- Moderate infestation: 2-3 times per week
- Mild infestation: 1-2 times per week
- Post-treatment: 1-2 times per month
Should baseboards and walls be mopped for fleas?
Yes, baseboards and walls should also be mopped when trying to eliminate a flea infestation. Fleas will congregate along baseboards and bottom portions of walls when jumping off carpets and furniture. Use a flea-killing solution and mop several inches up the wall and thoroughly along baseboards.
If wall material cannot be mopped, use a spray bottle with flea solution and spray infested areas. Be sure to move furniture to spray behind and underneath. Getting rid of fleas on walls and baseboards will help drastically reduce an infestation.
Mopping floors, baseboards, and walls with the right flea-killing solutions is an effective method to kill adult fleas in the home. While mopping only targets the 5% adult flea population, consistent mopping combined with other treatment methods can help eliminate a difficult infestation. Be sure to frequently vacuum before mopping and use solutions like vinegar, bleach, soap, or essential oils that dissolve the waxy coating on fleas for best results.