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How to Get Fleas out of Mattress?

If you’re dealing with a flea infestation on your mattress, you’re not alone. These pesky pests can quickly multiply and become a nuisance. Getting rid of fleas from your mattress requires a systematic approach and thorough cleaning to ensure a flea-free sleeping environment.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of effectively eliminating fleas from your mattress and preventing future infestations.

Table of Contents

Causes of Flea Infestations in Mattresses

Flea infestations in mattresses can occur due to various reasons, primarily stemming from the presence of fleas in the surrounding environment. Here are the three main causes of flea infestations in mattresses:

Pets and Animals as Carriers

Pets, such as dogs and cats, are common carriers of fleas. When your pets spend time outdoors, they can easily pick up fleas from grassy areas, other infested animals, or even wildlife.

Fleas latch onto their fur and find their way into your home, including your bed and mattress, where they can quickly reproduce and establish an infestation.

Fleas on the mattress

Human Transmission from Infested Areas

Fleas can also hitch a ride on humans, especially if you visit an infested area. Fleas are adept at jumping onto passing hosts, including humans, and can easily be transported into your home and onto your mattress.

Places like parks, outdoor markets, or even other infested homes can serve as sources of transmission.

Outdoor Infestation Sources

Outdoor infestation sources are another cause of fleas finding their way into your mattress. Fleas thrive in warm and humid environments, and certain outdoor spaces can be breeding grounds for these pests.

The common outdoor infestation sources include:

  • Abandoned animal nests or burrows.
  • Gardens and yards with overgrown vegetation.
  • Wildlife, such as raccoons or squirrels, carrying fleas.

Signs of Fleas in Your Mattress

Visible Fleas or Flea Dirt

Inspect your mattress carefully, and you may spot tiny, dark-colored insects or flea dirt, which looks like small black specks.

Flea dirt is actually flea excrement and is an indication of their presence.

Flea Bites in Humans

Itchy Bites and Allergic Reactions

Flea bites can cause red, itchy welts on your skin. Some individuals may also experience allergic reactions to flea saliva, leading to more severe itching and discomfort.

Unpleasant Odor

If your mattress has a musty or unpleasant odor, it could be a sign of a significant flea infestation. Fleas release pheromones that contribute to the foul smell.

How to Get Fleas out of Mattress: Step by Step

Getting rid of fleas from your mattress requires a systematic approach to ensure effective removal. Follow these step-by-step instructions to eliminate fleas and create a pest-free sleeping environment.

Step 1: Preparing the Mattress for Treatment

Before starting any treatment, prepare the mattress by moving it away from the bed frame and wall. This prevents fleas from spreading during the process.

Strip all bedding, including sheets, pillowcases, and mattress covers, and launder them with hot water and detergent.

Step 2: Vacuum Thoroughly

Vacuum your mattress meticulously to remove adult fleas, eggs, and larvae. Pay extra attention to seams and folds where fleas often hide. Use a vacuum cleaner with a strong suction and a crevice attachment.

After vacuuming, dispose of the vacuum bag immediately in a sealed plastic bag outdoors to prevent fleas from re-infesting your home.

Step 3: Apply Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth is a natural, non-toxic powder that is highly effective against fleas. Lightly sprinkle the diatomaceous earth on your mattress, focusing on areas where fleas were concentrated.

The powder works by dehydrating and killing fleas upon contact. Leave it on for a few hours before vacuuming it up.

Step 4: Steam Clean the Mattress

Using a steam cleaner is an excellent way to get rid of stubborn fleas and their eggs. The high temperatures of the steam will kill fleas at all stages of their life cycle.

Ensure that your mattress doesn’t become too wet during the process, as moisture can lead to mold growth.

Step 5: Encase Your Mattress

You can consider investing in a quality, zippered mattress encasement designed to keep out bed bugs and fleas. These encasements create a barrier that prevents fleas from infesting your mattress in the future.

Step 6: Regularly Wash Pet Bedding

If you have pets, their bedding can be a source of flea infestations. you should wash your pet’s bedding regularly in hot water and use pet-safe flea repellents to keep fleas at bay.

Step 7: Use Natural Repellents

In order to prevent future flea infestations, you can consider using natural repellents, such as cedar chips or essential oils like lavender or eucalyptus. These natural repellents help deter fleas from settling in your home.

Preventing Future Flea Infestations

Prevention is the key to maintaining a flea-free mattress and home. You can follow these tips to reduce the risk of future infestations:

Maintain a Clean Home

Regularly clean your living spaces, vacuuming carpets, rugs, and upholstery, and washing your bedding frequently. A clean environment reduces the chances of fleas finding a suitable hiding spot.

Keep Outdoor Areas Tidy

Fleas often make their way indoors through the outdoor environment. Trim your lawn, remove excess debris, and keep your pets’ play areas clean to minimize the risk of flea infiltration.

Employ Pest Control Methods

You can consider using natural pest control methods in and around your home to repel fleas and other unwanted insects. Planting certain herbs like mint or using citrus-based sprays can act as deterrents.

Regularly Check for Fleas

Perform routine checks on your pets and bedding to catch any potential flea problems early on. Early detection makes it easier to handle the situation before it worsens.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can fleas infest any type of mattress?

Yes, fleas can infest any type of mattress, including memory foam, spring, latex, and hybrid mattresses.

How often should I vacuum my mattress to prevent fleas?

Vacuum your mattress at least once a week to prevent flea infestations and maintain cleanliness.

Can I use essential oils to repel fleas from my mattress?

Yes, certain essential oils like lavender, cedarwood, and eucalyptus have flea-repelling properties and can be used to protect your mattress.

Should I treat my pet for fleas if I find them in my mattress?

Yes, it is essential to treat your pets for fleas to prevent reinfestation in your mattress. Consult your veterinarian for suitable flea treatment options.

Can I use bleach to clean my mattress for flea removal?

It’s not recommended to use bleach as it may damage the mattress. Stick to safer alternatives like vacuuming and steam cleaning.

Can fleas survive in cold temperatures?

Fleas prefer warm environments, but they can enter a dormant state in colder conditions and become active again when it’s warmer.

Are there any natural flea repellents for pets?

Yes, certain essential oils like cedarwood or lemongrass can act as natural flea repellents for pets, but always consult with a veterinarian before using them.

Can I prevent fleas without using chemicals?

Yes, regular cleaning, maintaining hygiene, and using natural repellents like diatomaceous earth or baking soda can help prevent fleas without relying on harsh chemicals.

How long does it take to get rid of fleas from a mattress?

The time required to eliminate fleas depends on the severity of the infestation and the methods used. With consistent efforts, you can see significant results within a week or two.


Dealing with fleas in your mattress can be a frustrating experience, but with the right approach, it’s a problem that can be effectively managed.

By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can not only get rid of existing fleas but also prevent future infestations, ensuring a clean and comfortable sleeping environment.

Author: Jessica

Jessica is a lover of both life and gardening. She loves to share his passion for both on social media. He often posts about his latest gardening projects, as well as tips and tricks for others who might be interested in starting their own gardens. She also frequently posts about the different aspects of his life that he enjoys, from spending time with friends and family to exploring new places.

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