It’s not only the bed bugs that can live in your bed and feed on your blood. Fleas also do the same.
Fleas in your bed will bite you, feed on your blood, multiply, and lay eggs to spike up the flea infestation in your house.
But fleas in bed leave behind signs that many people ignore.
Overlooking those signs will worsen the flea infestation and will pose a threat to you and your pet’s health.
Keep reading to know the flea signs in bed and how to get rid of fleas in bed.
How Fleas Get To Your Bed?
There are many ways that fleas get to your bed. However the most common ways that fleas reach your bed are –
Through Your Pets
Your pets are the primary carriers of fleas. When your pet dogs or cats spend time on your bed, carpet, and couch adult fleas will jump off from them and hide in your bed.
Some flea eggs can also fall from the pet’s skin and fur. Those eggs hatch, turn into larvae, and then into adult fleas in your bed.
Fleas are effective hitchhikers like the bed bugs.
If you’ve been to a place that has flea infestation then fleas can latch onto your clothing, bags, and luggage.
They’ll travel with you to your home and will start an infestation.
That’s one of the primary ways that your home and bed can get fleas despite no pets.
Wildlife like racoons, opossums, rats, and strays that hide sneak inside homes and hide in places like basement and attic will transfer fleas to these places.
The fleas in these places will pick your presence in your home. And they’ll follow you where you to your bed.
Your bed is the likeliest places from where they can get their bloodmeals.
So, they’ll hide in the bed and bite you while you’re asleep.
Wildlife can be the hidden source of fleas in your home and bed despite no pets in your home.
6 Signs Of Flea Infestation In Bed
Fleas love the cozy and warm environment of your bed. Plus, the direct access to blood hosts, make it easy for the fleas to thrive.
Like any parasites in homes, fleas in the bed will leave behind traces that affirm their presence.
Here are the top five signs of fleas in bed that you should never miss –
Flea dirt is flea excrements. They look like tiny black dots on light colored bedsheets and pillow covers.
On dark bed linen, the feces marks can be difficult to spot.
Take a wet sock or cloth and rub on the flea dirt spots. You’ll notice that the dots getting diluted and they’re leaving behind reddish stains on the sheets.
Fleas consume blood of their hosts. So, their feces turn reddish when you wet them.
Flea dirt can be visible on the bed frame, headboard, and pillow covers.
The most obvious sign of fleas in your bed is flea bite marks on your skin. Flea bite marks can look like bed bug bites.
But there are certain subtle differences between the two.
Flea bite marks have a random pattern or in clusters and bed bug bites are in a line, says Danie Smith from University of California at Berkeley.
Another difference is that fleas bites mostly around the ankles. Bed bugs can bite you anywhere as long as they’re getting access to your skin.
Also, the bed bug bite marks are lumpier and bigger than flea bite marks. The flea bites have a red halo at the center of the bite wound.
Fleas In Pets
Excessive scratching, hair loss, pale gums, and lethargy in pets are signs that your pets are carrying fleas.
Though it’s not a direct sign of fleas in bed, but your pets carrying fleas are bound to transfer them to your bed.
You must start to look for other traces of fleas in your bed if you’re noticing fleas signs on your pets.
Adult Fleas In Bed
Adult fleas hoping and jumping on your bed are a telltale of fleas in your home and bed.
Fleas look like oval-shaped dark reddish brown bugs with long hind legs that help them to jump.
They’ve got a thick hard shell which protects their undersides.
So, you may want to get hold of the tiny flea and squish it between your thumbnails to confirm that it’s a flea.
The fleas living in your bed and feeding on your blood will certainly multiply. The blood that they get from their hosts helps the female fleas to breed and process eggs.
A female flea will lay eight eggs after a bloodmeal.
She’ll deposit the eggs inside the mattress seams and in any thin cracks on your bed and furniture near your bed.
Flea eggs look like tiny pale white elliptical balls. These eggs will hatch within 8-12 days.
That leads to another overlooked sign of flea infestation in beds and homes, flea larvae.
The flea larvae is a small white translucent maggot-like worm the feeds on the flea feces.
You’ll notice them crawling on your bed’s headboards and underneath the bed furnishings.
If you notice the flea larvae under a microscope or magnifying glass, you’ll notice a thin black line running horizontally inside it’s body.
The flea larvae turns into pupae after a week.
The flea pupae is a cocoon the flea larvae create to lock them inside till they mature into adult fleas.
The pupae is initially white. But over time, it can catch dirt and look like black specks like flea feces.
How To Get Rid Of Fleas In Bed?
Eliminating fleas in home and bed isn’t a one time task. You may have to do repeated treatments till you stop noticing the flea signs.
Fleas are tiny parasitic pests that are expert in hiding.
So, follow the steps below and keep repeating them at least two times a week to till you stop noticing the signs like flea bites and adult fleas.
Wash The Bedsheets In Hot Water
Like bed bugs, fleas die when exposed to heat.
So, remove all the bed linen like the sheets and pillow covers and wash them in hot water in the highest heat permissible for the fabric.
Then dry them at the highest heat which is safe for the fabric.
The hot water and dryer will kill any adult fleas, their larvae, and eggs.
Sprinkle Flea Powder On The Bed Mattress
Take the mattress off the bed. And sprinkle flea powder on it.
Flip over the mattress and also sprinkle the flea powder the mattress’s rear side.
Then go ahead and use the flea powder on the box springs, headboard, and bed frame.
Ensure that the powder enters the crevices on the bed frame and headboard.
And do not forget to sprinkle the powder on the screws and joints of the bed.
Also, use the flea powder on any other soft furnishings like pet beds, carpets, rugs, and couches in your bedroom.
If fleas were in your bed, then they can be in these places too.
The flea powder will kill fleas hiding in these places.
Wait for 20 minutes to let the flea powder do it’s work before moving onto the next step.
Vacuum Clean The Mattress And Bed
Take your vacuum cleaner and use it clean your bed mattress, couch, rugs, pet bedding, and carpets.
Also, clean the bed frame, headboard, and each and every place where you’ve sprinkled the flea powder.
Remember, you’re doing this step to remove the dead fleas and the flea powder.
It’ll be best to clean the soft furnishings like your mattress and carpets with a steam cleaner.
Steam cleaners produce heat that kills fleas in all their lifecycle stages. They also clean better than the vacuum cleaner.
Repeat The Above Steps At Least Twice A week
Fleas are insects are tiny parasites on humans and animals.
They’re adept at hiding in the thinnest of gaps and cracks. So, while performing the above steps, some fleas will surely escape.
And they’ll hide. But those fleas will come out to feed on your blood.
So, keep repeating the above steps at least twice a week till you stop noticing the flea signs, especially adult fleas and flea bites.
Treat Your Pets For Fleas
Pets transfer fleas to your home. Get rid of fleas in your pets and you can solve the flea problem in your home.
If you pet is showing signs of fleas, like consistent scratching, hair loss, anemia, lethargy, pale gums, and irritation, then take your pet to the vet.
The vet can recommend a flea collar which are very helpful in removing and preventing fleas in pets.
According to medicanimal.com, flea collars release fluids that spread on the pet’s skin and fur. This fluid kills any fleas on them and also prevents the fleas from catching the pet.
How To Prevent Fleas In Your Bed And Home
Fleas have their own secret ways of making their way inside your home despite the fact that are no pets in your house.
But if you’re cautious about the following things, you can have a flea-free home.
Prevent Wildlife From Entering Your Property
Racoons, opossum, rodents like squirrels, also carry fleas. They sneak inside homes hide in places like garages, attics, and basements.
Don’t let that happen. Use proper shields and covers on the entry points to prevent these flea carriers inside the house.
Use Flea Spray On Your Luggage And Clothes After Coming Back From The Outdoors
Do not take your luggage and belongings directly inside the house whilst returning from any outdoor activity.
Fleas, and even ticks, live in dense vegetation and tall grasses in the nature.
And they’ll latch onto your luggage and clothing if you’ve spent time in those areas.
So, use a flea spray on your belongings and clothes before you step inside the house. It’ll kill all the fleas that might have latched onto them.
The same is applicable if you’ve been to a home or an establishment that has fleas.
Keep Your Pets Safe From Fleas
Your pets are most likely to get fleas from other infected pets or from the outdoors. It happens mostly during the summer.
So, keep an eye on your pets for any signs of fleas. Noticing any, take immediate steps by taking to a vet.
But be careful, there can be other bugs in pets that are not fleas.
Maintain Proper Cleanliness
Clean your bed often to ensure that there are no human biting parasites like fleas, ticks, and bed bugs taking shelter on your bed.
Wash the bed linen in hot water to limit the spread of these pests.
Also, your couch, carpet, rugs, pet bed, and closet can also be hiding places for human biting parasites.
Ensure that you clean them too and use repellants like peppermint oil to keep the pests away from these furnishings.
Limit Your Pet’s Time On The Bed
It can hurt you to not let your pet cozying up with you in your bed and couch.
But it’s important to prevent fleas in the bed that you don’t let them, at least in the summer.
Not allowing your pets on your bed reduces the possibility of fleas infestation in bed.
How To Keep Fleas Off You While Sleeping?
Using flea repellants like peppermint essential oil on your skin prevents flea bites.
Fleas, and many blood-feeding bugs, including bed bugs, hate the peppermint smell. And they keep away from the skin and things that smells minty.
Using a white vinegar spray on your bed mattress, frame, and headboard, also repel fleas. The acidic smell of the vinegar keeps fleas away.
But don’t use a flea killer spray on your bed. It’ll pose you to unnecessary health risks.
And flea sprays and flea bombs are ineffective to get rid of fleas.
Effects Of Flea Bites
Fleas in your bed will definitely bite you to get their bloodmeals. And flea bites can have some serious consequences.
Itchy red welts, swelling, and pain are common outcomes of flea bites in humans.
Sensitive individuals, especially the elderly and children, are hyper reactive to flea saliva.
The fleas secrete saliva when they bite. And the saliva causes FAD (flea allergy dermatitis) that appear as hives and papules.
Fleas can carry bacteria like Rickettsia typhi that they get if they’ve fed on the blood of wildlife like racoons, opossum, rats, and strays.
That can cause Flea-borne typhus in humans.
Fleas can live and multiply in your bed and mattress. They’ll feed on your blood and go through their lifecycle if you don’t remove them from your bed and home.
Many factors play a role in bringing fleas to your bed. One of them is your pets.
However, you can have fleas in your bed and home despite having no pets.
Wildlife can transfer fleas to your home. Those fleas will eventually follow you to your bed to get their bloodmeals.
Another way is that you can bring fleas home too!
Treating the source of fleas and ensuring that you prevent fleas by following the steps laid out in the post are the best options.
However, if flea activity isn’t dwindling in your home, then you’ll need to hire a pest controller.