Do vacuums kill fleas? – [New studies]

Image showing a woman vacuuming fleas.

According to recent studies, vacuums kill 94% of adult fleas and even up to 100% of younger fleas. No more studies are required to further back up this theory, thanks to the definitive results of several experiments. The combined force of brush roll, air circulation, and fans seems to be enough to destroy the majority of fleas.

It is theorized that the brushes in vacuum cleaners remove the outer layer protecting the fleas, leading to dehydration and death. The study was related to removing fleas from a carpet that included 100 adult fleas, 50 younger fleas, and 50 larvae. The test was performed 10 times, yielding very similar results.

The conclusion of this study is that vacuuming fleas is a reliable way to deal with this problem. It’s not only a chemical-free solution that physically removes the insects but it’s also very budget-friendly.

How to effectively vacuum fleas?

Fleas can be vacuumed effectively without the use of any special vacuum cleaner. That being said, using a vacuum cleaner similar to the one in studies will improve the odds of getting similar results. Try to go for one that has brushes, fans, and powerful air currents.

Vacuuming fleas in your household is a little different since there’s no controlled environment. Fleas will regularly lay their eggs on animals which later roll off onto the floor or furniture. If you are just getting the fleas infestation you will need to vacuum at least every other day. This will ensure that no new fleas are hatched making the issue even worse. Just vacuuming isn’t enough as animals can carry unwelcome visitors all the time.

To make the process a little easier for you, we have created an actionable list that will help you take care of this problem.

Infographic showing data about vacuuming fleas.
Infographic showing hard evidence on vacuuming fleas.

  1. Sterilize the area. Start by vacuuming the area that has the highest chance of fleas infestation. Some of the spots you should focus on are beddings, pet beddings, carpets, carpeted areas, edges of walls, and even bare floors. Try to think of spots your pet often picks when laying around. Be sure to wash those spots often and use the right cleaning products.
  2. Treat your pets. Otherwise, pets will carry all the fleas around, making your effort go to waste. Thoroughly bathe your pets with soap and water and use a flea comb. Focus on regions around the neck, tail, and face. If you would like to know more, please contact your veterinarian to choose the right product for your pet.
  3. Regularly clean your household. Being systematic is probably the most important part of this whole process. It will prevent fleas from laying new eggs and hatching. Using a regular vacuum cleaner should be enough as they are highly effective. Nonetheless, commercial cleaning products can help if you choose to invest in one.
  4. Repeat all the steps. Sanitization, treating your pets, and cleaning your household should be repeated until the fleas are gone (many experts recommend running this cycle for 2 months). It’s important to combine all those steps to pick up any remaining eggs, and younger fleas.

Even though it’s not necessary if you want you can empty the dirt into a plastic bag and only then throw it away. While the % of killed fleas is very high, doing this can lower the chances of them surviving even more. That being said, freezing or burning the contents of vacuum bags is an unnecessary hustle. 

Why should you vacuum fleas?

Vacuuming fleas is a very effective, inexpensive, and chemical-free way to remove the infestation from your household. Most vacuums can handle those insects and fund them, probably a one-way trip to the bag. It’s also a very physical way to get them out of carpet, which has been tested through multiple experiments.

In summary, here are a few reasons why you should vacuum fleas:

  • Relatively easy and quick
  • Inexpensive
  • Well-tested and documented
  • Chemical-free method
  • Fleas tend to live on the ground
  • Combines well with other extermination methods

All of that makes this method a good starting point, as well as a great regular practice when dealing with fleas infestation. 


Does vacuuming make fleas worse?

Vacuuming fleas does not make the problem worse. In fact, it’s a good strategy to regularly vacuum (at least every other day) carpets, rugged areas, or even bare floors. Fleas can also hide along the edge of the wall and on various beddings. Vacuums do kill fleas very effectively, making this method a great way to battle those insects.

Does Febreze kill fleas?

Febreze can kill fleas, although it won’t be as effective as vacuuming. Killing fleas with a Febreze is a slow process that can take multiple days of constant spraying. The formula needs to be sprayed directly onto the insects to have any satisfactory effect.

Will fleas eventually leave?

Unfortunately, fleas won’t leave on their own. To make them go away you need to take some action which will include one of many extermination methods. Vacuuming, using commercial cleaning agents, or any other method will work well only if done systematically. Fleas’ life cycle needs to be disrupted in order to make them go away.


In conclusion, vacuums do kill fleas. According to studies, the majority of adult fleas get killed when sucked into the vacuum bag, and even up to 100% of young fleas. The vacuum cleaner does not make a huge difference, although, we would recommend getting one with brushes, fans, and powerful air circulation.

You may also want to check out our other article – Can you vacuum ants?