How to Kill Fleas in a Mattress

Written by elizabeth chaplin
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How to Kill Fleas in a Mattress
Take action to keep fleas out of your bed. (bedroom image by Jorge Casais from

Fleas are bloodsucking insects that are usually carried into the home by the family pet. Treating your pet for fleas is the first step. However, if your pet likes to cuddle on your bed, there may be fleas on or around the mattress. According to Vet-Kem, a flea product distributor, fleas do not actually burrow inside the mattress or box spring. In fact, most flea eggs and larvae fall from the bedding onto the floor surrounding the bed. It is key to thoroughly treat the bedding and the surrounding area to completely eradicate mattress fleas.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Washing powder
  • Chlorine bleach or oxygen bleach
  • Baby gate
  • Permethrin insecticide spray
  • Flea collar
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Mattress cover

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  1. 1

    Remove all bedding from the bed, including sheets, blankets and pillowcases. Wash the bedding in hot water with heavy-duty washing powder. Add chlorine bleach for colour-safe bedding and oxygen bleach for all other bedding.

  2. 2

    Take away any objects under or around the bed, including toys, clothing and storage boxes.

  3. 3

    Block off the entire room from pets, children and other people with a baby gate. Or, evacuate the house while treating it for fleas.

  4. 4

    Spray the area around the bed with permethrin insecticide spray, making sure to follow the manufacturer's directions on the bottle. Let the insecticide dry.

  5. 5

    Open the vacuum cleaner and remove the bag or dust container. Insert a flea collar into the bag or container. Replace the bag or container.

  6. 6

    Vacuum thoroughly under and around the bed, then vacuum the mattress. Vacuuming should remove flea eggs, larvae and pupae.

  7. 7

    Place a hypoallergenic or bug-resistant mattress cover over the mattress. This keeps any remaining fleas or eggs inside the mattress, depriving them of food.

  8. 8

    Replace the bedding, and vacuum regularly, for the next two weeks. This stimulates hatching, bringing adult fleas into contact with the insecticide already on the treated areas.

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