A bathroom is a clean space, yet the presence of fleas will upset anyone.
How did those small little bugs that look like fleas show up in your clean and sanitary bathroom? Worse, why would you get fleas in the bathroom when you don’t even own any dogs or cats?
Fleas can invade your bathroom even when you don’t have pets. Black fleas, snow fleas, and other flea-like insects can quickly multiply with their exponential breeding habits. Prevention is better than cure. Household essentials like lemons and dishwashing detergent are powerful flea repellents.
The first step to effective flea removal is to identify what kind of fleas you have in your bathroom.
What Should You Know About Fleas?
Fleas are small jumping insects.
Black fleas are blood feeders and live off animal blood.
To access the host’s blood, the black flea secretes saliva to keep the bite wounds bleeding. Flea saliva spreads blood-borne parasites.
Black fleas are mostly nocturnal, so you will see them jump around your bathtub or leap across the floor.
These fleas carry any number of diseases and can cause bacterial infections. They can cause allergic reactions in people, and fleas will create discomfort for your pets.
During summer months, black flea populations bloom, and the fleas will start to jump, feast on hosts, and breed.
During the winter months, black fleas still remain active, though they do slow down due to the colder temperatures.
Flea eggs are said to remain dormant and viable for up to a year.
Flea larvae or pupae can remain dormant for as much as five to nine months.
Vibrations from approaching animals can wake the dormant fleas that will then latch onto the new host to continue their lifecycle.
Black fleas can lay up to 50 eggs a day.
In the right conditions, a flea can live up to a year, and one adult flea can lay thousands of eggs in that year.
Therefore, fleas breed at an exponential rate, creating a “plague” in a matter of weeks.
There are several flea-like insects found in the bathroom such as snow fleas or springtails.
These dark gray flea-like insects may look like black fleas, but they aren’t.
For starters, these “fleas” aren’t blood feeders, won’t bite people, and while they love damp places, they are fairly harmless.
How Do Fleas Get Into Your Bathroom
You or your pet can spread the eggs of black fleas, spotted fleas, snow fleas, small flea bugs, or other flea-like insects to your bathroom.
Fleas may also attach to your clothes or be found on your pets, ending up in the bathroom when you follow your daily bathroom routine.
The origin of fleas is often exterior to your home, and your pets may bring fleas home from the parlor when you send them to be groomed.
Fleas are attracted to moisture, warmth, and the presence of skin tissue the fleas can feast on.
Efforts to clean off fleas may just transfer fleas to your bathroom as they are fairly tough and enjoy warm moist areas.
Fleas don’t climb into your bathroom from the outside. Instead, fleas jump from one wall area to the next, clinging on with their clawed hooks.
Bathing your dog or yourself won’t get rid of fleas.
Instead, fleas simply hook onto a surface in the drain, then resurface a few weeks later, making the process of ridding your home of fleas difficult.
If you have pets, they will carry black flea larvae, adult fleas, and even eggs into your home and bathroom.
Where Can You Find Fleas in Your Bathroom
Fleas love moist, warm places where they can easily feast on the blood of their host.
Therefore, you find fleas in the dark and out of the way areas like the corner grouting lines, in folds of your bathroom rug, the drain cover of your bathtub and shower pan.
Other moist and dark places fleas can be found in include the space behind the toilet bowl, around the bathroom vanity, on the wiring of your electrical lights, and in the screen of your exhaust fan.
Fleas love the plant baskets in your bathroom. Black fleas hide there to lay eggs and wait for approaching hosts.
Fleas may remain in the tub when you’ve been carrying them from outside on your body.
These fleas in the bathtub are resilient and won’t drown in bath water or die because of the hot water.
Your shoes may have collected flea eggs, which then hatch in the bathroom carpet and spread from there.
How to Get Rid of Fleas in Your Bathroom
1. Determine the Cause, Origin, and Extent of the Flea Infestation
Firstly, you need to figure out where the fleas are coming from.
If you are dealing with snow fleas, you may need to consider moist avenues that allow them to access your bathroom.
For black fleas, consider what is the source of their spread: your dogs, cats, visitors, trips away, or perhaps you just moved into a house that already had fleas.
Note the areas in the bathroom where the fleas are mostly found and any related areas where the fleas migrate to.
Also try to capture a few sample fleas to show an entomologist so they can advise you on the best poison or chemicals for treatment to use.
2. Eliminate the Current Flea Population
Once you know what kind of fleas you are dealing with, your local pest control shop will be able to advise you on an appropriate and safe poison to use to kill off the current fleas.
If you are unhappy about using poisons in your bathroom, go the natural route.
If you have dogs or cats, be sure to first have them treated for fleas by your vet.
A flea-resistance pill or body spray will work quickly to eliminate any fleas from this source (aka your pet).
Next, remove any flea-infested objects such as bathroom planters, stacks of towels, bathroom rugs, magazines, laundry baskets, etc.
Take these outside where you can deal with the fleas without simply chasing the fleas from one spot in your bathroom to another.
Use a certified safe flea killer to spray and treat all surfaces in your bathroom.
Use the same spray to treat the items you removed, but leave them to air outside while any remaining fleas evacuate these items.
If you don’t like chemicals, you can opt for a natural cleaner/flea killer like borax powder or salt crystals that you can scatter along the areas where you saw fleas in your bathroom.
A surefire way to remove the fleas correctly is to use a high-power vacuum cleaner. Be sure to vacuum all nooks and corners of the floors and walls.
When you have finished vacuuming, remove and seal the vacuum cleaner bag, using a plastic bag that you can tape shut. Throw the vacuum cleaner bag away.
3. Remove Any Remaining Flea Eggs
Next, it is time to deal with the flea eggs. Remember that where there are fleas, there are flea eggs.
You need to remove all the generations of the fleas if you want to have a flea-free bathroom.
Using a steam cleaner, steam all the corners, edges between tiles, bath drain, shower pan drain, baskets, rugs, and bathroom vanity.
Wipe the steamed areas with a sponge with white vinegar and dishwashing liquid.
4. Repel Any Future Flea Invaders
Now you’ve gotten the fleas gone, it’s time to ensure the fleas stay away from your bathroom, because fleas do not go away with a bath or just wiping your bathtub.
Bathing your pooch won’t kill or remove fleas from their fur, so treating them with a good quality flea repellent from the vet is essential for success.
If you suspect it was your friends or their dogs that spread fleas to your bathroom, you will need to have a discussion about fleas with them.
How to Prevent Fleas From Coming Back
Wash your rugs, dog beds, towels, and magazine rack in warm water with a few drops of dishwashing detergent and a couple of slices of lemon.
The powerful citrusy combination of the lemon and detergent will not only freshen up these textiles, but it will also repel future flea settlers.
Ensure your pets stay up to date on their flea repellent treatments, buy them special flea-repelling collars, and spray them regularly with a solution of warm water and a lemon slice.
Most importantly, vacuum your home, your bathroom, all pet and human beds, and also vacuum your carpets and curtains to eliminate any remaining eggs that could create another flea population.
The Ultimate Guide to Bugs in the Bathroom
Want to know more about the various insects that could be lurking in your bathroom? Our expert guide gives you a detailed rundown on bugs found in bathrooms and offers practical tips for effectively managing them.