My Cat Has Fleas, How Do I Clean My House? [Top Vacuum Options for Fleas]

My cat has fleas how do I clean my house? If you’re looking for a non-chemical and safe way to get rid of cat fleas, your vacuum is the answer! The sucking power of this machine can remove fleas in different life stages. So if your feline is spreading the bloodsuckers around your home, it’s time to take action with these vacuum options.

Bissell Cleanview
Deluxe Handheld
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Verilux CleanWave
Sanitizing Portable
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For this post, we will discuss how you can use a vacuum to get rid of cat fleas, what you should do, and the commercial vacuum options we recommend in case you don’t have one yet.

Vacuums kill cat fleas!

Good news! Vacuuming is a one-way ride for fleas. In a study conducted by Ohio State University, the experts found that vacuuming fleas will actually kill them across life stages.

Moreover, they recorded a 96% killing rate when vacuuming adult fleas. Meanwhile, they recorded a 100% success rate of killing vacuumed eggs, larvae, and pupae.

The head researcher, Glen Needham, ruled out any toxicity properties on the vacuum bags and canisters first. With this, he found out that the fleas will die due to the harsh effects of moving air, brushes, filters, and fans within the vacuum.

Needham theorized that the brushes were able to wipe away the cuticle or waxy coating of fleas’ bodies. This makes them more vulnerable to dehydration, thus their apparent death.

This proves that vacuums can be used as a green solution to fleas. For households with extreme sensitivity to pesticides, the findings of this study are a big leap. Aside from evading the harsh effects of chemicals, vacuuming is also a cost-efficient solution.

Although purchasing a vacuum has a higher upfront cost, the ongoing cost is much lower. Besides, vacuums are used for other cleaning purposes all year round.

In this video, pest control expert Mark Govan tells us more about how vacuuming helps in managing a flea infestation.

Fleas removed during vacuuming

As the study indicated, all fleas, regardless of life stage, can be sucked and killed using a trusty vacuum. Similar to what the OSU study found, the following are the killing rates for fleas on each life stage:


Only about 1 to 5% of the flea population is composed of feeding adults. The rest are 8% to 10% pupae, 34% to 35% larvae, and 50% to 57% eggs. This means that the crawling fleas that you see on your cat are just the tip of the iceberg. A larger population is brewing and waiting to explode in your home and pester your kitty.

Vacuuming the fleas will remove about 95% to 96% of the adults. Still, it depends on the surface where the adult fleas are hiding. Vacuuming may yield lower results on high-piled carpets.


Of all the life stages, flea eggs are the easiest to remove. It’s non-sticky plus it doesn’t crawl or move like adult fleas. Most of the time, it will rest on the surface where it falls off until it hatches or be transferred around by a human or a pet.

In the OSU study, 100% of the flea eggs were removed. Take note, though, that you need a beater bar attachment to do this, especially if you’re dealing with a carpet or a rug. As these materials thicken, the vacuuming power for flea eggs reduces.


Fleas become larvae once the eggs hatch. In this life stage, vacuuming becomes more challenging. Larvae can hide on tiny crevices where they can reach pupae. Also, flea larvae hate light so they will reach out for darker and hidden cracks.

Also, flea larvae have bristled bodies which makes them stick stronger to carpet and rug fibers. This makes vacuuming more difficult unless it’s powerful enough to defeat the larvae’s clinging abilities.

About 50% of larvae clinging on carpets can be removed. For hard surfaces, you can achieve 100% removal.


Flea pupae or cocoon is the last stage before the insect becomes a full-fledged adult. The flea will wrap itself in a silk strand which will cling hard to carpets and other hidden spaces. Vacuuming can remove up to 64% of the pupae on carpets.

Also, you have to seek hidden crevices and cracks where the fleas can find a favorable spot to pupate. After two weeks, these pupae will hatch. Take note that it may take longer since the flea will wait for a favorable condition and when a host is located near.

Newly sprung adult fleas will die if they don’t get to feed right away.

How long and how often should you vacuum?

If the fleas are already widespread in your home, vacuuming every day is a good move. If this is impossible to do, every other day should suit you well. Besides, fleas hatch within 2 to 3 days.

Being consistent with vacuuming is the key to eliminate a big part of the flea population even before it gets to your pet. Also, it will save your skin from the itchy bites.

So how long should you vacuum? As long as you’re covering as much ground possible, you’re good with vacuuming. The rule of thumb is spending at least three seconds on each spot, especially on thick carpets and rugs.

Do this religiously for up to 4 months until you’ve eradicated most of the fleas. If you still see fleas after the fourth month, it might be better to tap the help of a professional exterminator. You might be missing major hideouts where the fleas are harboring.

How to vacuum for fleas

If you’re vacuuming and using a flea spray product, we recommend that you vacuum it first. This way, the fleas would have surfaced, and your product will be more effective in eradicating the pest.

After the application of the product, don’t vacuum until it fully dries. Some recommend up to a week, but we think that it depends on the instructions indicated on the product’s label.

Giving each surface two to three passes will be ideal for sucking in more fleas. Overall, you have to vacuum with the usual way you’ll do it. What you have to watch out for is the consistency and frequency of the practice.

What to look for a flea vacuum?

“My cat has fleas how do I clean my house?”  If you’re also experiencing this same dilemma, it’s time to purchase the right vacuum. This equipment will remove and kill the fleas as part of a bigger flea eradication plan.

Before putting your money on any model, make sure that you consider the following points first:

-Bag vs bagless type

When it comes to killing fleas, there’s no difference between using a bag or bagless vacuum type. Fleas will die when it comes in contact with the brush and filter.

Still, there’s no doubt that a bag-type vacuum has an edge when it comes to convenience. The vacuumed fleas are easier to dispose of. Anyway, a bagless vacuum will also do as long as you dispose of the fleas on a sealed bag.

-Suction power

You’d want a vacuum with the highest vacuuming power. This way, more fleas will be sucked out from your home.

The only issue here is that powerful vacuums are quite expensive. Nevertheless, it’s a worthy investment, especially if you have a cat that produces a lot of dander.

A vacuum that can suck in around 0.3 microns is an ideal choice. Aside from being powerful against fleas, it will also help remove allergens around your house.

-Filter type

The filter type is crucial here to ensure that no eggs or larvae will escape your watch. A HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter is the top choice these days. This filter is efficient in removing microscopic dirt in the air, including the tiniest flea eggs.

Some vacuums will also come with additional filtering layers including a deodorizer and an allergy filter, All of these are ideal, but there’s a possibility that the cost will be higher as well.

-Beater bar

A beater bar is an attachment that bears bristles that can lift and dig carpet fibers. It helps in removing the larvae that have clung beneath the carpet.

Moreover, most studies about vacuuming fleas have used beater bars. This way, you can boost your chances of removing the pest with this accessory.


When shopping for a vacuum, look for hose attachments if possible. Take note that flea larvae and pupae will hide in the most hidden cracks of your home.

Extended hoses and wands help reach under the couch, furniture, and other hard-to-reach areas of your home. It may cost a little more, but you’ll also get additional functionality. It’s a decent bargain in the long run.


Since vacuuming includes squeezing through crevices and hard-to-reach spots, you should look for a model that’s easy to maneuver. In addition, handheld vacuums are unbeatable on this aspect. You’ll have full control over the direction of the vacuum.

Aside from that, handheld vacuums aren’t demanding in storage.

Vacuuming isn’t the only solution to a flea infestation

Although studies support the efficacy of vacuums in removing fleas and killing them, it’s not the only solution to an infestation. You can’t vacuum your pet’s fur, so it needs a different treatment using shampoos and sprays.

Also, if the infestation is already at an advanced stage, it’s much better to tap the help of professional exterminators.

Nevertheless, vacuuming every day will reduce the risk of the fleas coming back on your home. Also, it will keep pet dander and other insect pests at bay.

Top Vacuums for Cat Fleas

OUR TOP PICK: Bissell Cleanview Deluxe Handheld Vacuum
my cat has fleas how do I clean my house

Product Name: Bissell Cleanview Deluxe Handheld Vacuum

Product Description: Our top recommendation here is the Bissell Cleanview Deluxe Handheld Vacuum. This is a corded model equipped with a HEPA media filter together with four attachments. This Bissell vacuum is lightweight and compact, which allows you to clean all over your home. And using the wand attachment, you can reach through hidden spaces. It also comes with an easy-to-remove canister and a cord that can reach up to 18 feet. If you’re dealing with pet fur and dander, you can use the wide mouth tool.

Offer price: $$$

Availability: InStock

  • Power
  • Ease of Use
  • Value for Money


Overall, this is powered by a 4 amp motor with a power switch at the end. Also, it weighs five pounds and very easy to maneuver on various surfaces.

Take note that this unit is only compatible with 120V outlets. Nevertheless, it’s a workhorse, which is quite surprising considering its size and build.

Aside from sucking in fleas, this Bissell vacuum is also effective in removing cat fur and dander.


✔️Equipped with HEPA filter

✔️Comes with an 18-feet cord

✔️Paired with 4 attachments


❌Compatible with 120V only


Verilux CleanWave Sanitizing Portable Vacuum

my cat has fleas how do I clean my house

If you prefer a cordless vacuum, we recommend the Verilux CleanWave Sanitizing Portable Vacuum.  It comes with a 400-watt motor that works in a cyclonic action. This sucks in fleas and kills it in the process.

Aside from the sucking effect, the Verilux Portable Vacuum is also equipped with germ-reducing light. It kills and damages the DNA of the organisms that get sucked into its canister. Aside from that, it’s also useful in getting rid of bugs, fleas, ticks, and other tiny crawling insects.

Thanks to its cyclonic action, its sucking effect stays strong even if the canister gets filled. The forceful suction keeps the dirt away from the filters, ensuring that the vacuum functions in full capacity.

Aside from the vacuum, the package also comes with a sanitizing light head, nozzle, detachable hand vacuum, and brush attachments.

The Verilux vacuum is laboratory tested to remove 99% of germs, bacteria, and viruses. Its handheld construction also makes it easy to use.

✔️Comes with a germ-reducing light
✔️Cleans, sanitizes, and deodorizes
✔️Laboratory tested
❌Rechargeable and not corded, could be an issue for some

Final words

“My cat has fleas how do I clean my house?” Using a powerful vacuum, you can now suck the fleas out of your home. Still, you should remember that vacuuming is only a part of a bigger flea eradication process. 

Do you have any suggestions? Let us know below!