Pest FAQs: How to Tell If You Have Fleas in Your Bed
Fleas are pests that feed on the blood of mammals, including most domestic animals and humans. Though they are tiny, they can wreak a lot of havoc, especially if they are left to breed without intervention.
These insects thrive in warm environments, which makes beds a perfect living space for them. If you’re wondering how to tell if you have fleas in your bed, read on. Here’s all you need to know, from potential causes to pest removal options.
Can Fleas Hide in Mattresses and Bedding?
Adult fleas need a safe and cozy environment to lay their eggs, and no spot fits this definition better than your mattress and bedding. These annoying pests can hide in your pillowcase, between your sheets, as well as in the mattress itself.
Aside from living and sleeping in your bed, fleas also produce fecal matter that leaves stains. This matter is actually food for the young larvae, and it helps them grow and develop.
Two Main Signs You Have Fleas in Your Bed
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1. Flea Stains
The feces that larvae feed on usually leave small dark-brown stains on your mattress, sheets, and pillowcase. Of course, these can only be visible if your bedding is white or a light neutral color.
If you sprinkle these stains with some water, they will become reddish. That is how you can tell them apart from ordinary dirt stains.
2. Flea Bites
Bite marks on your body are another common sign of a flea infestation in your bed. These bites often appear in clusters, and they are smaller in comparison to mosquito or spider bites. In addition, the bite area is always extremely itchy and irritated.
Although the bites can show up just about anywhere on your body, they are most commonly found on and around your ankles. So, if you wake up and notice such marks on your ankles or anywhere else, you most likely have fleas in your bed.
You should note that flea bites are of similar size to bed bugs. However, bed bug bites are concentrated linearly, while flea ones appear in circular clusters.
Causes of Flea Infestations in Your Bed
In most cases, pets are the ones that bring fleas into beds and mattresses. Fleas usually find their home in cat and dog fur, laying eggs and feeding on the animal’s blood.
When your pets lie on your bed, some of the flea eggs and larvae can fall onto your mattress or on your sheets. Once the larvae grow into adult insects, they start breeding as well, infesting your bed in the process.
If you have no pets, the fleas might migrate from a neighboring apartment or home, although that is less common. Finally, if you have moved into a new place only recently, the pests might have been left by the previous tenant.
How Long Can Fleas Survive in Your Bed?
Fleas can survive for up to two weeks without a host. Still, they usually live longer in bedding, as they get to feed on your and your pet’s blood every night.
How to Get Rid of Fleas in Your Bed
Luckily, getting rid of fleas from the bedding is quite simple. You should take all your sheets, duvets, and pillowcases and wash them on a hot cycle. If you have a dryer, you should follow the washing with a hot tumble dry. Since fleas cannot survive the heat, your bedding will be as good as new.
When it comes to your mattress, you will need a home flea spray and a vacuum. After thoroughly vacuuming both sides of your mattress, you should spray it and let it dry naturally.
In addition, make sure to vacuum your entire home thoroughly and use flea spray on all other suspicious surfaces. Finally, if you have a pet, you should also find a treatment option for its fur. These include different shampoos and sprays that can ensure your pet becomes flea-free in just a few days.