How to Flea Bomb a House – Step-by-Step Guide (with Pictures)
Ctenocephalides felis, or the common cat flea, is the bane of pet owners, with nearly 75% of them buying flea-tick products for their animals. The sobering reality is that experts expect the market to continue to grow through 2026 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.9%. That comes on the heels of findings by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing a three-fold increase in diseases.
It’s essential to understand that treating your pet isn’t the end of the problem. That’s what makes flea bombing your home a part of the treatment. Of course, prevention is the best course of action by using a topical product during the season. All it takes is a single female flea to infect your home with up to 2,000 eggs during its lifetime.
Before You Start
You need to know several things before you take to battle with the fleas. These insects can go long periods between blood meals. So, even if you’re not seeing them in your home, they just may be dormant. We mentioned the number of eggs a female can produce. That life-stage gives them excellent protection.
That’s why answering how long does it take to flea bomb a house means more than one treatment. That whole process may take a month or more, depending on the product you use. Manufacturers will often state as much with their product descriptions. That makes our description of a battle fitting for these pests.
The other thing to understand is that some vital prep is involved before you start. Remember that you’re using a pesticide that is meant to kill fleas. There are risks to non-targeted species, including you and your family. However, you must balance that with not treating the problem. Fleas carry diseases that are transmittable to your pet and your family.
Buying the Right Fogger for the Job
Manufacturers have reformulated foggers to make using them and controlling fleas easier for pet owners. Today’s products usually have a residual effect that can cut down on the number of times you need to use them. Many contain organic compounds called pyrethrins from certain species of chrysanthemums. That’s good news for you but bad for honey bees and aquatic organisms.
Many foggers are also non-selective, broad-spectrum pesticides. They’ll also kill other pests in your home, such as silverfish, mosquitoes, and gnats, in addition to the fleas that are tormenting you and your pet. You’ll also see synthetic versions of pyrethrins called pyrethroids. The former is unstable in the environment and breaks down quickly. The latter will last longer with better stability.
We strongly urge you to read the fogger’s label carefully. The product will state the area it will cover, usually in cubic feet. One with a 2,000 cubic feet range is enough for a 16-foot x 16-foot room with an 8-foot ceiling of unobstructed space. The latter is the main takeaway message. Remember that you’re going to have to fog your entire house since the fleas are mobile.
However, the one caveat is closets or other small rooms. Bear in mind that the fogger’s contents are under immense pressure. It can even explode if used in these spaces. Instead, open the doors to any adjacent rooms.
If in doubt, measure the rooms to determine how many foggers you’ll need. Luckily, you’ll usually see them sold in multi-packs which can save you some money. Pay attention to the residual effects, too. You may find that if you wipe out the end of the flea season, your pet won’t bring any more into the house. That can give you better control over the situation. Supplies that you’ll need include:
- Foggers that will cover your entire home
- Sheets or tarps
- Yard spray.
How to Flea Bomb a House (Step-by-Step Guide)
1. Have a Game Plan
Most foggers will work for two hours. You, your family, and your pets must vacate the premises during this time. That means you must have a plan, particularly with indoor pets such as cats. You might consider taking the pup to doggie daycare and perhaps boarding the cats for the day to make things easier for you.
2. Prepare the Rooms
You’ll need to remove or store away any toys—pets or kids—in the rooms you’re treating. You can also cover any tables or furniture with sheets or tarps to protect them. Protect any place that may come in contact with food. Remove any food or serving items sitting on the countertops even if you’re not fogging the kitchen.
3. Extinguish the Pilot Lights in Any Appliance
You should also extinguish any open flames or pilot lights in gas ovens, fireplaces, or other appliances. If you have firewood in your home, either remove it or cover it with a cloth.
4. Turn Off Your HVAC System
It’s imperative to keep the fogger’s spray inside your home to concentrate it for the best results. Therefore, you should turn off your HVAC system to avoid contaminating the outdoors from the exhaust. The same precaution applies to fans or air purifiers.
5. Close All Windows
Again, it’s all about concentrating the spray. Make sure to close all windows in your home before you start. We suggest doing a room-by-room check before you set off the flea bombs to play it safe.
6. Lay Down Some Newspaper in the Center of Each Treated Room
The foggers will work best if you have them above the floor. You can use either an overturned box or a chair. Cover the base with newspapers or a drop cloth to protect the surrounding area.
7. Set Off the Foggers
Follow the instructions on the label for preparing the foggers for use. That typically means shaking them well to mix the contents. Push down the nozzle to start them while keeping them upright. The fogger’s spray will be intense, so take care when setting them down on their platforms. Leave your home immediately after you’ve started them.
If possible, we suggest using an outdoor yard spray around the house. It’d be a shame if your dog brought some fleas into your home after your hard work getting rid of them. It’s also an excellent time to bathe your pet with a flea and tick shampoo. It’s imperative not to use dog products on cats because of their higher sensitivity to the ingredients.
8. Return After Two Hours
Most products suggest you vacate the premises for at least two hours. The fogger likely won’t be spraying its contents the entire time. However, the air will remain thick with its fumes, making it unsafe to enter your home any earlier. We suggest one person enter the house first. Open the windows and doors to air out the rooms for an additional two or more hours as needed.
9. Clean Any Exposed Surfaces
Cleaning your home afterward is imperative to remove any residual spray and get rid of the dead pests. Wipe down any exposed surfaces with warm, soapy water. Mop any tile or wood floors. You should also vacuum the carpeting in all rooms. Toss the bag out or empty the contents in a bag and put it in an outdoor garbage can.
10. Bring the Pets and Family Back Home
Once things are cleaned up, you can bring everyone back home to enjoy their pest-free space. You can keep the windows open if you detect a lingering scent of the foggers. Fortunately, many manufacturers keep this in mind to make them less unpleasant to use. Follow up as necessary as recommended by the manufacturer’s instructions.
Fleas are not only annoying, but they’re also unhealthy for your pet and family. They can carry diseases and parasites that can make the problem even worse. Fortunately, foggers provide an effective solution for getting rid of these pests, along with others that you may find in your home. The most important thing to remember is to follow the directions to the tee. After all, these products are essentially poisons.
FeaturedImage Credit: triocean, Shutterstock
- 1 Before You Start
- 2 Buying the Right Fogger for the Job
- 3 How to Flea Bomb a House (Step-by-Step Guide)
- 3.1 1. Have a Game Plan
- 3.2 2. Prepare the Rooms
- 3.3 3. Extinguish the Pilot Lights in Any Appliance
- 3.4 4. Turn Off Your HVAC System
- 3.5 5. Close All Windows
- 3.6 6. Lay Down Some Newspaper in the Center of Each Treated Room
- 3.7 7. Set Off the Foggers
- 3.8 8. Return After Two Hours
- 3.9 9. Clean Any Exposed Surfaces
- 3.10 10. Bring the Pets and Family Back Home
- 4 Final Thoughts