Do fleas stay on clothes? Can these bugs live and travel on clothing items?
Here is all you should know.
Fleas are well known for their attraction to pets or animals due to the ample cover provided by hair or fur while they feed. With blood as their primary source of food it’s easy to see why these pests have a preference for hair hosts.
However, this doesn’t mean they won’t bite humans.
Do Fleas Live In Clothes?
Fleas won’t hesitate to get their fill of blood from human hosts. Also, persons with pets experience the most flea problems.
As a pet owner, you may want to know if fleas live on clothes.
This is what we’ll be discussing on.
Also, we’ll be considering other related aspects of flea activity.
The Ideal Habitat for Fleas
To better discuss whether fleas will live on clothes, it’s important to first consider the ideal habitat for these parasitic insects. Fleas love to live close to a food source.
Because they feed on blood, such food sources include humans, pets, rodents and several other mammals.
Fleas will normally be found around moist, cool, and shady surroundings. Such conditions are found in most yards as moisture is provided by the watered lawn, shade and the cool by trees.
You’d find these blood sucking creatures in leaf piles, on outdoor furniture and pet bedding.
Fleas will mostly be found on pets, and other rodents. They may also be found on humans. If fleas are found on humans, does that confirm the possibility of fleas living on clothes?
It actually does.
Let’s discuss how they get on clothes and for how long fleas remain.
Fleas on Clothes
If you have a flea problem, there’s a possibility that these pests are on your clothes. So, how did they get end up there? Do they fly? Not at all! Fleas do not fly. However, these creatures are excellent jumps.
To have a better idea of how far fleas jump, a flea can jump as far as 13 inches.
That is, it can jump as much as 200 times its own body length. This explains how they get on your clothes. To hop on to human hosts, fleas will lie in wait along pathways for anyone passing by.
When you’re close enough, they jump towards you and get a hold of your clothes.
Now, thy fleas won’t jump as high as your waist level or and above unless of course you’re seated around flea-infested areas. In most cases, fleas will get a hold of the lower parts of your pants.
From your pant legs, they move towards areas of your skin left uncovered to have their fill of blood.
How long can fleas live on clothes? A day at most.
How About When I’m Wearing Short Pants?
Putting on short pants exposes much of your legs.
This makes things much easier for fleas as they still hop on and dig in for a meal without the need to find exposed skin. Fleas may get into socks or shoes or climb up your legs until they find themselves in your clothes.
The Objective is to Feed
When fleas hop onto your lower pants, they do so solely for feeding purposes and nothing else. Because clothing cling to your body, it’s easier for fleas to feed and also hide. Clothes provide the vital cover needed to feed.
Although fleas live on clothes, it’s also important to ask whether they remain.
In other words, we need to know whether fleas live on clothes as their permanent abode. The answer is no! Fleas will live on clothes but won’t remain for long.
In a single day, fleas will need to feed multiple times. While it’s possible to hang on for 24 hours, fleas will eventually need to disembark in search of another blood meal.
So why will fleas need to abandon clothing to feed when they can easily feed on their host?
Actually, most people will have to get a change of clothes for one that’s either casual (for home use) or one that’s formal (when going out). Such fleas will need to find another food source whenever they need to feed.
Killing Fleas in Clothes
Whenever you discover you have fleas on your clothes, you’ll need to immediately remove such clothes and place them washed with hot water.
Running a hot water cycle with mild detergent should be enough to kill fleas due to the heat. By itself, soapy water suffocates fleas and other insect pests.
While washing clothing with hot water kills fleas, it isn’t enough to prevent them from returning. In other words, you’ll have to treat your home of fleas to have any real relief from them.
A number of steps can be taken to address the problem.
First, you’ll need to have your yard and indoor areas treated by using effective pesticides. Vacuuming is also an additional treatment method that gets rid of fleas and eggs on carpets and couch areas.
Have pets quarantined and treated. This also includes their bedding area.
If these treatment steps seem overwhelming to you, consider calling for professional help. Pest management services will provide comprehensive flea treatments covering all areas.
Treat Your House and Yard
In order for treatments on clothing to have any effect, you’ll have to treat your house and yard for fleas.
There are lots of pesticides that can help with that. One of the most reliable natural treatments is food grade diatomaceous earth. Have this powder sprinkled around your yard.
Vacuum Your Floors and Carpets
Before vacuuming your carpets and couches, sprinkle some diatomaceous earth on carpets. Salt will also serve the same purpose. These substances dehydrate fleas.
When sprinkled, allow to sit overnight before vacuuming. When you vacuum, flea carcasses and eggs are removed.
Consider vacuuming more frequently than usual for about a week. This helps take care of any fleas or eggs remaining.
Have Pets Quarantined and Treated
For effective pet treatment, it’s best to seek advice from a vet on what treatments are most effective. These could be oral treatments or over the counter medications you’d apply yourself.
Having treated your pet, it’s best to keep them quarantined until you’ve established the complete elimination of fleas from your home.
Fleas can live on clothes. However, they only stay temporarily until they need to feed.
We’ve also seen the various methods of control.
Treating your clothes for flea infestation is never complete without treating your surroundings.