A flea infestation is one of the most difficult situations to deal with, especially among home or apartment owners. Flea infestation is indeed difficult to eradicate, because of its small size and evasiveness.
No worries, there is an effective way to get rid of these tiny creatures since they are sensitive to heat. If you are wondering if fleas can survive the washing machine, here is the answer.
As a general rule, fleas cannot survive a trip to the washing machine when a special laundry detergent is used. Washing household items on the hot cycle (95° F), followed by a spin in the dryer (140° F or higher) is an effective method of flea control.
While, it is not guaranteed that 100% of all the fleas will die in the washing machine and dryer, rest assured that their survival rate is low.
The mix of hot water and detergent is enough to kill the fleas and eggs that they have laid on your clothes and bedding items.
How To Wash Flea Bedding
Pets reside as part or full time inside the home and sometimes sleep in your bedroom.
They carry fleas that can set as their breeding ground. Address this problem by getting rid of all the fleas as well as the larva and pupae from living in all the areas in your home.
The key to eliminating fleas is finding all the possible breeding areas, and the most common is the beddings. So, here’s a simple way to clean bedding materials:
Wash the sheets, covers, and pillowcases
Strip off all the sheets, comforters, dust covers, pillowcases, and other beddings. Wash them in separate loads or you can take them to a launderer if they do not fit in the washer.
Vacuum the carpet, the bed, and any porous with cloth surfaces.
Spray the bed, carpeting, and box spring with a citrus-based cleaning solution that contains limonene and linalool, because these compounds are effective in killing fleas on contact.
They evaporate quickly while living a refreshing, orangey scent. Do not return to the bedroom until you have got rid of all the fleas in your home. They can easily jump on the clothing to infest the room again.
For heavy flea infestations, it is best to destroy and discard all the pet bedding.
For mild infestations, washing the bedding thoroughly with hot and soapy water is enough to kill the fleas and destroy the eggs and larva.
You need to wash your pet’s bedding every week for at least a month or until you ensure that the infestation is over.
Even so, it is still a good habit to wash your pet’s bedding to prevent reinfestation from occurring. You can also dry clean the bedding, but make sure not to transfer the fleas to the dry cleaner’s business and other customers.
Aside from washing your bedding materials, here are other things you can do:
Wash dogs with soap or dog shampoo
Your furry friends are the most common reason for a flea infestation; therefore, make sure to wash your dogs with soap or dog shampoo.
Soap is a mild insecticide that can kill fleas at all stages of their lifecycle. You may also comb your pets with a fine-toothed comb to get rid of the fleas directly. It is highly recommended to bring your cats and dogs to the vet to test for infectious diseases.
Ask the vet to recommend an effective monthly treatment for parasites, especially if you allow your pets to sleep in your bed.
Vacuum the carpets
Fleas can also hide in animal hair, but the eggs and pupae may have fallen into the carpets.
Vacuum the carpets thoroughly using flea powder. You can also shampoo it if there is noticeable damage to the carpet because digested blood can leave marks. You may also spray with a limonene or linalool solution to freshen up the carpet.
You may vacuum any porous furniture like couches and armchairs. But if your pets are outdoor animals, you may treat the area as frequent.
Check other areas
If you don’t have pets, there is a chance that wild animals like rats, squirrels, and raccoons might cause this infestation.
Therefore, you can treat the bedding and other areas of your house. Moreover, check also the window for holes where fleas can enter. Eliminate any food source near your home like feeders for birds.
Keep in mind that fleas that feed on rats are at risk of carrying infectious diseases, so call an exterminator to avoid such contact.
What Temperature Kills Fleas In Washing Machine
A washing machine temperature of 35 degrees Celsius (95° F) or hotter is enough to get rid of the fleas and the flea eggs. Some washing machines allow you to set the water temperature to 60° Celsius (140° F) or higher.
However, it is not necessary to use such a high temperature because it can come at the cost of damaging the fabric that can no longer handle the heat.
Luckily, there are laundry additives that can boost the effectiveness of the washing machine when eliminating pests like fleas. These liquids can be added to a regular detergent and typically they are non-toxic chemicals that contain essential oils as active ingredients.
Best Laundry Detergent For Fleas
Concentrated Kleen-Free Natural Laundry Additive
Item Weight: 16 ounces
Kleen-Free is fast-acting, safe, containing unique enzyme formula attacks that can penetrate and emulsify the organic matter that holds dirt together.
They are effective on hard-to-reach surfaces, corners, cracks, and other crevices. This hypoallergenic and non-toxic cleaner is a safe and environment-friendly alternative to harsh chemicals without compromising its cleaning power.
Add 1 to 2 ounces of this concentrate to laundry and 1 to 20 ounces of water for general cleaning. This pack includes one bottle containing 1 gallon of concentrated enzyme cleaner.
This product has been for over 30 years and one of the leading manufacturers of natural, enzyme-based products worldwide. They also produce bed bug treatment, lice removal, and many more.
CitriSafe Remedy Liquid Laundry Detergent
Item Weight: 32 ounces
This detergent is formulated specifically to wash fabric that is contaminated by mold, pests, and other microorganisms.
It contains tea tree oil and citrus seed extract to cleanse, remove dirt, mold spores, and debris. It requires 1 ounce per load, which is a great use for towels, linen, pet beds, gym clothing, and other textiles that are damp and close to the skin for a long period.
It contains 32 ounces of super-concentrated detergent, making it enough for 32 loads with no sanitizing additives. It works throughout the entire wash and rinses cycle. It is an effective surfactant that works during both the agitation and rinse cycle. Also, it works with hot, warm, and cold water.
How Long To Run The Dryer To Kill Fleas
Fleas cannot survive in the dryer. To kill fleas on the garments and bedding, it is recommended to launder the items for ten minutes at 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Then dry at the highest heat setting.
They will die in temperatures above 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Outdoor fleas die when temperatures rise above 95 degrees Fahrenheit for more than 40 hours a month. In the dryer, it is recommended to use the highest heat setting to kill fleas.
Multiple factors will prevent survival even if the heat somehow does not kill the fleas. The dry conditions will cause desiccation while the tumbling action can cause physical damage. Moreover, the washer’s water and detergent will wash away and drown the fleas.
Do Flea Eggs Die In The Washing Machine?
The eggs of fleas do not die easily in water; however, washing machines can kill flea eggs.
They cannot survive the detergent, water, heat, and physical tumbling action inside the washing machine. It is highly recommended to wash the item at 140 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes and then dry at the highest heat setting.
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