How to Get Rid of Fleas in Beds & Furniture

Updated November 21, 2016

Fleas prefer to feed off of animals such as cats and dogs, but they will gladly make a meal of you and your family. One of the more common times to be bitten is when fleas are on your furniture or in your bed. Getting rid of fleas that have infested your furniture and beds requires effort and persistence.

Strip the beds of mattress pads, sheets, blankets, pillows and pillow cases. Wash all bedding, and dry it on the highest heat setting possible. Most fleas will drown in the washing machine. Those that survive -- and any eggs left on the bedding -- will be killed by the heat in the dryer.

Vacuum the surface of all furniture and beds using an upholstery attachment. Remove couch cushions and vacuum beneath them. Use a crevice tool to vacuum in the cracks of the furniture. Vacuum both sides of a mattress, as well as the box springs. Vacuuming encourages fleas to hatch, progressing the life cycle of the flea. This makes the treatment of fleas more effective.

Empty the contents of the vacuum into a zip-top bag. Dispose of the fleas outside your home; fleas can escape the vacuum and re-infest your home and pets.

Fill the water reservoir of a steam cleaner with water and cleaning solution. Steam the surface of furniture and mattresses. Allow them to dry completely. Empty the contents of the waste water receptacle into the toilet, and flush it away.

Apply an Insect Growth Regulator to furniture and mattresses. Follow the product's specific instructions for proper application; different brands may vary. Avoid vacuuming these surfaces for two weeks after application, unless otherwise instructed by the manufacturer. An IGR works as a reproductive preventive for fleas.


IGRs are the most effective ways of treating fleas, but you do have other options if you are concerned about the chemicals. Diatomaceous earth is safe around children and pets; it kills fleas by dehydrating them.

Things You'll Need

  • Washing machine
  • Dryer
  • Vacuum
  • Upholstery attachment
  • Crevice tool
  • Zip top bag
  • Steam cleaner
  • Steam cleaner solution
  • Insect growth regulator
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