Does hot water kill fleas? If it does, how can we use it to protect our house from these bugs? Here’s what you should know.
Warm water is a safe and toxic-free option that gets rid of light infestations.
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Hot Water Can Kill Fleas
Fleas are very sensitive to temperature. They even have to live within a specific range of temperature for them to flourish. That would be from 21°C to 30 °C (70 °F to 85 °F) with a humidity of 70%.
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But according to Flea Science, fleas die when they’re exposed to any temperature above 35 °C (95 °F). It doesn’t take them more than 40 hours in a month to survive outdoors when the sun produces something close to that kind of heat.
And in general, warm water can reach 43 °C (110 °F) while hot water can range from 50 °C (130 °F) to anything beyond that. No flea, not even in its pupation stage, can survive those temperatures.
Washing Pets with Warm Water
To kill minor infestations, a warm bath and a flea shampoo is usually enough for pets.
Bathe your pet carefully. Wash the neck first, so fleas won’t get any ideas of jumping into the head. Don’t wash the head or pour water over it. The shampoo might get into your pet’s sensitive ears and eyes. Instead, use a wet cloth to wipe your pet’s face.
Using Hot Tower to Kill Fleas
Aside from washing pets, there’s also other ways to use hot water against fleas. These are simple tips you can use as initial steps to rid your house of fleas, before you bring in the big guns and apply serious and expensive bug treatments.
- Washing your beddings, clothes and your pet’s bed with hot water. Fleas won’t be able to survive the wash. Every week, wash these items separately. Set the washer to the highest temperature setting, the one that’s used for sanitizing baby clothes. Repeatedly wash your items at least 2 times or keep them in the machine for 10 to 15 minutes. For more details on washing flea-infested items, check out our post here.
- Steam clean your carpet. Although different, steaming technically uses temperature to kill fleas. The Wagner Power Steamer and Cleaner is a powerful machine that can help you with your problems with fleas, bacteria and even bed bugs. You can use it in small and large spaces with its 8-foot hose and extensions.
- Never expose hardwood floors with hot water. Unless you want expensive repair bills on your hands, never use hot water or streamers to clean your floors. Water can weaken the wood’s structure and invite rot, fungi and even more pests. Instead, take a look at these cheap options that are designed specifically to exterminate fleas on hardwood floors.
So the right question isn’t “Does hot water kill fleas?” it’s actually “How can we use hot water to kill fleas?” because you can always do a number on fleas if you know how to expose them to the correct temperature – a couple of degrees that they biologically can’t handle.