How to Get Rid of Fleas in Bed

How to Get Rid of Fleas in Bed

Fun fact: Over 95% of the flea population will be scattered all over your house (including in the bed) with the pets hosting just 5% of the pests. 

So, if you think bed bugs are the only disturbing pest you can have in your bed, then think again.

  • Fleas will hide, reproduce, and bite you or your kids as you sleep.

In this article, I’ve outlined how to get rid of fleas in bed.

In summary, you can remove fleas from the bed by Washing and drying the bed fabrics at high temperatures.

  • Wash the bed covers, pillow covers, and bed sheets using hot water to kill the fleas. Next, put the fabrics into your dryer to kill any living fleas. 

Related: How Big are Fleas?

Details: How to Get Rid of Fleas in Bed

Fleas will reproduce at a quick rate and after laying eggs the growth of the population will be very fast.

But you can remove fleas from your bed without hiring an exterminator – even during winter. Here are the steps you must take.

1. Verify that its Fleas

Correct identification is a critical step while controlling pests including fleas.

So you have to respond to this question “are these pests on my bed really fleas?”

In summary here are the signs that will show the presence of fleas in your bed.

  1. Live Adult fleas
  2. Flea skin
  3. Flea larvae
  4. Flea eggs
  5. Flea bite marks
  6. Flea dirt

a. Live Adult fleas

Adult fleas will be visible to your naked eyes and will bite humans – they aren’t microscopic or too tiny like the dust mites.

  • So you can easily spot the fleas on your bed provided the eyes aren’t too weak.

On physical appearance, fleas measure about 0.3 inches and they are reddish-brown or brown in color.

One distinguishing feature between fleas and bed bugs is that fleas can jump high thanks to their long hind legs which are visible.

  • Bed bugs luck the hind legs and they’re also flat and oval-shaped.

You can check for fleas on the headboard, bed frame, or under pillows and mattresses.

b. Flea skin

Flea larvae will shed skin (twice) during the molting or growth process as they graduate to become pupae.

  • So if you see some flea skin on your bed it is enough to sign that there are larvae and adult fleas around.

But the flea skin casings (exuviae) will be seen easily using some magnifying glass.

  • The skins casings (when viewed using a magnifying glass) will appear like some soft white tube that is soft.

You can check for the flea skin on the bed frame headboard and under the mattress.

c. Flea larvae

Flea larvae may be challenging to spot because they are microscopic, measuring about 2 mm to 5 mm.

  • The tiny worms will have an off-white color and some hairy bristles.

The flea larvae will be hiding most of the time (in cracks and gaps) since they don’t crawl regularly on the bed.

But the worms will come out occasionally to eat flea dirt. They won’t live on or bite humans.

The flea larvae will molt through different stages to become pupae (cocooned fleas).

d. Flea Eggs

Without a magnifying glass, it will also be challenging to see flea eggs.

  • But these eggs will look like some salt grains measuring about 0.55 mm -quite tiny.

The flea eggs will have an oval shape – a feature that will help appreciate them from salt grains.

Qualify any grains that you find on the bed as flea eggs then they must be off-white, oval, and soft.

e. Flea Bite Marks

The presence of flea bite marks on a human who was sleeping on a bed can signify the presence of these pests.

  • Characteristic features of the flea bite marks are that they are red, tiny, and random on the human skin and tend to itch.

On comparing flea bites vs bed bug bites; bed bug bites will be spread all over the human body but flea bites are mainly found on the lower extremities (part) of humans.

  • You’ll find flea bite marks on knee bends, uncles, and lower body

Flea bite marks are also comparatively smaller compared to the marks of bed bug bites.

Bed bug bites will look like some form of swelling while flea bites will appear like pimples or acne. 

2. Don’t Allow Pets on the Bed

If you’re fond of allowing pets including cats and dogs to sleep next to you in the bed, it’s time you either flea-treat animals or keep them off your sleeping area.

Cats and dogs (if not properly flea-treated) will drop fleas and their eggs on your bed.

The pests will be hiding in the pet’s hair or fur and will drop off once the animal is resting or sleeping on the bed.

  • Notable signs of these fleas on your bed will include the presence of flea dirt or just flea poop.
  • If you sprinkle the flea dirt with some water when laid on some white fabric they will return reddish brown.

If you notice fleas bites on your body after you’ve slept next to your pet, then it is clear you must reject the enemy from the bed until it is treated.

You should flea-treat the cat or dog to avoid the emergence of a massive flea infestation.

Products I can recommend include;

You should retreat the pet, your home, and the yard to ensure your spaces won’t hold fleas and they won’t end up in your bed.

3. Wash all the bedding

Next, wash both your bedding and your pets and don’t forget the clothes.

I recommend that you wash the bedding in cold water (plus some liquid detergent) first before washing them with hot water.

Another chemical that you can use with the washing water is bleach – this will kill flea eggs and adult fleas.

  • Add some of this bleach into the washing machine before rotating it at high speeds.

Washing the washable bedding materials will help dislodge the flea larvae eggs and adult fleas.

I also recommend that you launder the area rug, pillows, sofa throws and pets bedding using the highest temperature allowable for the materials.

Finally allow the bedding materials that can’t be placed in the dryer to dry in the sun outside.

Other items that you must wash at temperatures over 95 degrees Fahrenheit include comforters, blankets, pillowcases, and sheets.

4. Vacuum the Mattress

Yes, that’s right, you should vacuum the mattress to remove fleas from the bed. But ensure to check that your mattress can be vacuumed and its average drying time.

  • After vacuum cleaning the mattress, don’t sleep on it within 6 hours.

Flea eggs will be hiding inside the mattress seams since I don’t stick on various offices including the fur of the pet.

  • This allows the flea eggs to fall off easily from the pet’s fur and land on the bed, the carpets, or bed cushions.
  • Search activities can promote the development of a new and massive flea infestation.

So you should clean the mattress to prevent the advancement of the flea cycle. So, repeatedly vacuum the whole surface of the mattress to help remove the flea larvae, flea eggs, and adult fleas.

The last and the most important part of vacuuming the mattress will be disposing of the vacuum bag correctly to avoid reinfestation of the fleas.

5. De-Flea The Bed and Mattress Fully

After vacuuming the mattress and washing the bedding fully, can fleas could still escape and hide in cushions and carpeting waiting to jump back in your bed.

  • Therefore, experts recommend that you fully deflea the bed area and the mattress.

First, avoid using boric acid because it could be toxic to humans who will be sleeping on that bed.

Below are effective and safe flea killers that you can use around the bed area.

1. Diatomaceous Earth (food grade DE) will kill fleas by breaking their exoskeleton to dehydrate the pests.

Luckily, DE is effective yet non-toxic and so it will help remove that free infestation in just a few days.

2. The next technique is to de-flea the mattress completely by using quality mattress encasement.

I recommend that you use a mattress encasement continuously until there are no more signs of fleas.

3. Use a quality flea spray such as the Vet’s home spray to exterminate the pest.

Some of these sprays will kill the flea eggs and the adult fleas on contact. So if you need a quick and effective solution for the fleas around your bed, go for home flea sprays.


Fleas are irritating pests and they’ll have painful bites plus have different health effects.

It’s common for home homeowners to find fleas on the carpet, their pets (dogs and cats).

  • However, finding fleas on your bed or that of your kids might be surprising (including other living areas) but it still happens.

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