This guide will reveal what causes fleas to die, with or without human intervention.
You’ll find out the factors that fleas can’t tolerate. Those factors are lethal for fleas.
So, when do fleas die? And in what conditions?
Keep reading to find out.
Do Fleas Die In The Winter?
Fleas can’t survive freezing temperatures below 46°F (8°C). The flea larvae, and the subsequent instars, have a lower threshold. They’ll perish at temperatures less than 55°F (13°C).
But freezing temperatures don’t destroy the flea eggs. As per Petmd, “Cold temperatures don’t kill flea eggs. They slow down the lifecycle.”
It means that flea eggs will remain intact despite the cold temperature. They’ll hatch later only when the temperature becomes warmer than 55°F.
However, freezing temperatures don’t kill the fleas instantly.
It’ll take five days of constant exposure to cold for the fleas to die.
But why do fleas die in freezing temperatures?
The cold temperatures freeze the sclerites. Sclerites are shiny, smooth plates on the flea’s body that protect the fleas from the impact of falling on hard surfaces and from the animal’s teeth.
Freezing temperatures crack the sclerites. The cracks expose the internal organs of the fleas.
The cold penetrates the fleas’ exoskeleton and freezes the internal organs of the fleas, causing fleas to die.
Do Fleas Die In The Summer?
Temperatures over and above 95°F (35°C) are lethal for fleas. Fleas can’t survive that temperature.
Temperatures more than 95°F (35°C) are also lethal for flea larvae, instars, and eggs.
That’s why it’s always recommended to use steam cleaners to get rid of fleas in the bed if you’re eliminating fleas on your own.
Steam cleaners produce heat of more than 140°F. This heat penetrates the pores of surfaces where you use the steam cleaner.
The hot steam that steam cleaners generate melts not only the molds and mildew but also bugs like dust mites, fleas, bed bugs, mold mites, and many other types of bacteria.
Using the steam cleaner on soft furnishings like bed mattresses, couches, and carpets will kill bed bugs and fleas in all life stages.
The steam from the steam cleaner also eliminates fleas, molds, and mildew from surfaces like hardwood floors.
Do Fleas Die In The Dryer?
Fleas can’t survive the heat in the dryer. Dryers produce heat to the tune of 140°F and above, which is deadly for fleas in all life stages.
Heat kills fleas on contact. So, both dryers and steam cleaners are lethal for fleas.
Launder the clothes with fleas for 10-13 minutes at 120°F – 140°F to kill any fleas latched onto the clothing.
Hot water also kills fleas. So, washing garments and fabrics in hot water will kill and remove fleas in all lifecycle stages.
When Do Fleas Die Outdoors And At What Temperatures?
In the outdoors, fleas will die at temperatures below 46°F (8°C) and higher than 95°F (35°C).
But does that mean fleas will disappear from your pets at these temperatures?
Let’s find it out.
Do Fleas On Pets Die In Winter And Summer Months?
Not all fleas on your pets will die in extreme cold and hot temperatures.
Many fleas will die at temperatures less than 46°F (8°C) and more than 95°F (35°C).
But some fleas can withstand high and freezing temperatures by latching themselves to your pet’s skin.
Your pet’s body can provide the warmth that fleas need to survive the winters. And your pet’s fur can protect the fleas from the scorching heat.
So, it doesn’t matter how the weather is. Always take your pet to a vet for flea treatment if you notice that your pet is repeatedly scratching itself.
Apart from fleas, many other parasitic bugs can live on your pet’s skin and fur that can make your pet sick.
Will Fleas Die In A Hot Car?
Yes, fleas will die in a hot car if the temperature inside the car is more than 95°F (35°C).
Fleas inside the hot car will take 3-7 hours to die. But the prerequisite should be that the car windows are up and there’s no host inside the car.
As heat kills fleas, fleas in all life stages inside a hot car will die.
However, there’s a catch. Never use a flea bomb inside a car if there are fleas in your car.
Bug bombs are never safe. And using them inside your car or home can make the fleas hide deeper only to come out to breed and bite later.
Do Fleas Die On Their Own?
Yes, fleas can die on their own. The life period of a flea is 12 months when it has access to a host for regular blood meals.
However, in the absence of a host, adult fleas can’t survive beyond three months.
Fleas in certain life stages, like the larval and instar stages, will die sooner.
Newly formed female fleas can also die sooner because they need regular bloodmeals to process the eggs inside their bodies.
So, to think that fleas will go away on their own from your house is a big mistake.
As long as you and your pets are there, fleas will complete their entire lifecycle.
A single female flea lays up to eight eggs in a day. And it can lay 500 eggs in its entire life period of 12 months.
So, assuming that fleas will go away on their own.
One single female flea can cause a flea infestation in your home.
When Do Fleas Come Out The Most?
Summer is the peak flea and tick season. It’s during the summer months when the number of adult fleas outdoors is the most.
These fleas lurk in the tall grasses and dense bushes to latch onto furry animals.
If you walk through these places with fleas, then fleas will latch onto your trousers, especially below the waist area.
So, it’d be best to look for any flea infection in your pets during the summer months.
When Do Fleas Die After Treatment?
After treatment, you may notice flea activity in your house for 2-3 days. A bad flea infestation takes time to go away, and live jumping fleas will show up despite the treatment.
But that’s normal.
Like bed bugs, fleas continue to survive a few days after the treatment.
Most of the fleas will die because of the pesticide and heat treatment. However, some fleas will escape and hide in the thin gaps and cracks during the treatment.
You may notice fleas jumping around even after treatment.
Also, the pupae of the fleas are immune to pesticides. So, many new fleas will emerge out of the cocoon.
That’s why pest controllers will do follow-up visits to take measures that prevent fleas from coming back by eliminating the fleas that show up after treatment.
This guide revealed the circumstances which can kill fleas.
However, don’t rely upon or wait for these conditions to eliminate fleas in your home and pets.
A few fleas will always survive those conditions. And even one flea in your home can cause an infestation.
If your pet has fleas, or if you notice fleas in your bed, couch, or carpet, inspect your home for any infestation.
However, calling a pest controller to inspect your home is the best foot forward.
Dr. Thomas Orbert, the Microbial Maestro, dances with the tiniest of creatures as an entomologist extraordinaire! With a PhD in entomology, his passion lies in unraveling the secret symphonies of insect-microbe interactions. From minuscule marvels to captivating complexities, Dr. Orbert unveils the hidden world of bugs, igniting curiosity one buzz at a time!