Does Vacuuming Kill Flea Larvae

Does Vacuuming Kill Flea Larvae?

As a homeowner, I’ve at one time been disturbed by household fleas and I was required to take quick and effective steps to control them – including vacuuming and heat treatment? 

But does vacuuming kill flea larvae? Well, Yes, researchers have concluded that vacuuming will indeed kill 96% or more of the fleas that in various life stages

  • So, I advise you to vacuum your home and yard to exterminate or kill the developing flea pupae, larvae, adults, and flea eggs. 

Further, the vacuuming process will trigger the cocoons-surrounded fleas to emerge faster – and thus enhances better exposure to insecticides

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Details: Does Vacuuming Kill Flea Larvae?

Raise that carpet nap, and vacuum to enhance how deep and fast the insecticide will penetrate into the fibers of your carpets – places that growing fleas will hide.

  • You’ll require to vacuum keenly the pet’s sleeping and resting area – further throw rugs (plus garbage bag) and vacuum the edges of the beds, cushions, furniture, and rooms.

But after how long will the flea larvae dies following the vacuuming process? Well, in 2-14 days, the flea larvae (all the 3 stages) should have been killed by vacuuming before they spin to form protective cocoons for the flea pupae. 

This must happen before the flea pupae spin into cocoons and the adult fleas emerge – this will be in 1-2 weeks. Notably, 96-percent of adult fleas (from six tests) will die when vacuumed while 99+ percent of younger fleas tend to die if effectively vacuumed. 

Vacuuming the fleas will kill most flea pupae, larvae, and even flea eggs. The vacuuming process triggers a faster emergence of the fleas from their cocoons and hence they’ll be exposed more to the insecticides – as their cocoons will be broken. 

An Ohio State University study shows that vacuuming will kill cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis) – which are the largest percentage of fleas that attack humans, dogs & cats – that’s fleas in the various life stages. 

  • Further, the team undertaking the study on the non-toxic methods of exterminating fleas concluded that fleas bombs may really send the bugs away while the insects could also develop some level of resistance to the chemical insecticides. 

One researcher reported that the fleas were mainly killed by air currents, fans, and brushes of the vacuum cleaners.

  • This is because the devices will mechanically wear out the fleas’ outer waxy layer (cuticle) that otherwise assists in keeping the bugs well hydrated. 

The researchers reported that vacuuming will damage the fleas’ protective layer – which will make the flea pupae and larvae dry up – and hence die. But the research used an upright vacuum – they noted that most of the vacuums will exterminate the bugs. 

Vacuuming will Exterminate Flea KLarave and Eggs

Flea larvae are worm-like bugs that’ll live mainly on animal hosts, their resting places, and beddings (check the shape of baby fleas). 

  • Mainly female fleas will lay those bug eggs (the white and tiny eggs) on the pet (hosts) but they’ll fall off on the animals’ resting areas like the carpet, couch, or pet bed. 
  • After catching, the flea larvae (worm-like and whitish bugs) will continue growing but sit on a specific spot eating the flea’s digested blood (dirt or poop) that the adult fleas will be dropping. 

Despite that vacuuming will exterminate flea larvae, it might not be super effective for various reasons – some of which I’ve outlined below;

  1. Homeowners may not vacuum thoroughly enough to kill all the larvae and eggs – but even when they do they might not exterminate most of the worm-like bugs. 
  2. For carpeted areas, the fleas larvae tend to burrow their way deep into the carpet fiber, and loops – and thus it might be challenging to vacuum them off from the carpet pile or fiber. Really, vacuuming may only remove about 5-percent of the flea larvae. 

If you vacuum those bare floors, you’ll get a better flea-killing rate compared to working on carpets – but you may also require to wash the pet beds – these will help exterminate flea eggs, larvae, and pupae. 

Will only Vacuuming Kill Fleas Larvae?

To effectively control the flea larvae, you’ll require to equally flea-treat the pets and home to eliminate those immature fleas before they re-infest the hosts and your spaces.

I recommend using some flea insect growth regulators (IGRs) to achieve better flea control as these will hinder the flea larvae from molting or developing into adults.

  • Thus, controlling the flea larvae using just vacuuming might not work effectively – you might need to control IGRs or use professional exterminators.

The seriousness of the flea larvae will affect how long it’ll require for you to control the fleas – but this may be anywhere from 1-8 weeks – and vacuuming may help reduce the severity of the flea issue.

So, vacuuming the fleas will be a suitable start to eliminate the fleas – but you’d rather employ an integrated flea-control tactic to control the bugs around the household.

How Often Need You Vacuum? Special Vacuum?

So, how often must you vacuum the areas to kill the flea larvae –  well, this is my recommendation – you may need to vacuum the spaces for fleas daily during the early times of the flea larvae control.

  • This is since the eggs of these bugs hatch within 2 to 3 days upon getting laid. Therefore, thorough vacuuming may allow better removal of larvae and eggs – prior to their hatching.

But will the vacuuming require some special vacuum machine? Will you require special attachments and extra extenders to exterminate all the flea eggs. 

The suction process will eject most of the household bugs including dust mites, ticks, bed bugs, and ants. So, for regular bug control, the special vacuums would work. 

But, for your household bug control, you won’t require special vacuums for flea larvae extermination. It’ll get to the corners, cracks, & crevices. 

  • After vacuuming, ensure to seal and dispose of the vacuum bag safely such as on the outside garbage. 

Do I really have Flea Larvae?

Well, if there are cats & dogs in your spaces, you’ll definitely have some fleas and flea larvae. The pets will be gnawing, licking, and scratching. 

  • So, if the pet has fleas, you’ll notice red bumps and patches around the tail (backside), inside the ear, and also the belly. 

Examine the upholstered furniture and pet bedding that dogs & cats use. Don’t forget to check the carpet too for those itchy bugs and their larvae. 

 How to kill flea Larav naturally in Carpets? 

Vacuuming the spaces will help remove the flea larvae but to achieve better outcomes, you’ll need to use other comprehensive techniques. 

I would also advise sprinkling some diatomaceous earth (2 days), salt (1-2 days), or baking soda (carpet sprinkling) for faster flea larvae removal. 

  • You may need to use some brush, carpet rack, or broom for rubbing the ingredients into the carpet fiber before you begin vacuuming. 

I don’t have Pets, what Now with the Flea Larvae?

So, as a homeowner who’s experienced some fleas (or flea larvae) but you have no pets – you must be devastated of where to begin the bug control. 

From experience, wildlife professionals, critters may also bring flea larvae – some of them include squirrels, skunks, raccoons, and opossum. 

  • Thus, check or listen around the house to see some signs of the flea hosts. Controlling these wild animals will remove the flea larvae too over time. 

Contact an exterminator for critter removal unless you want to DIY and you have removal plus trapping experience. 


So, on the question “does vacuuming kill flea larvae?”, well, vacuuming will help reduce the population of fleas (plus flea larvae) for a massive infestation.

  • But, you’ll require to employ other flea-control methods like IGR foggers, steam cleaners, baking soda, salt, and diatomaceous earth.